Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | Elite Group A - Gurkeerat Singh leads Punjab fightback against Kerala

Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | Elite Group A - Gurkeerat Singh leads Punjab fightback against Kerala

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Gurkeerat Singh Mann picked up four wickets as Punjab fought back against Kerala, after conceding the lead in the fifth round match at the St Xavier's College Ground in Thiruvananthapuram. Vidarbha, meanwhile, coasted home to a nine-wicket win over Bengal courtesy of Aditya Sarwate’s 10-wicket haul.

Resuming play at 46 for two, Punjab slipped to 145 for seven and looked certain to concede a big lead to Kerala’s first innings total of 227. However, some resistance from wicket-keeper Anmol Malhotra (21) and tailender Siddarth Kaul (25), saw them push past 200, before eventually folding nine runs short. But the table-toppers fought back immediately as Vinay Choudhary removed Robin Uthappa with the first ball of the second innings. Gurkeerat then ran through the middle order as Kerala finished the day at 88 for five, with first-innings top scorer Salman Nazir still at the crease. 

Meanwhile, Manendar Narender Singh’s fifty helped Rajasthan end day two against Gujarat on a stable position. He was ably supported by opening partner Yash Kothari (45) and Mahipal Lomror (32), who stayed unbeaten. Earlier, it was Gujarat who put up a more-than-decent first innings total of 325 on the back of half-centuries from Samit Gohel and Bhargav Merai. 

Vidarbha, on the other hand, completed their demolition of Bengal with ease, as they chased down 62 with the loss of just one wicket. Having started the day at 89 for three, they knocked over Bengal’s 170 before lunch and added a 40-run lead. Then, a six-fer from man-of-the-match Sarwate blew away Bengal for 99, before the Vidarbha top-order eased home in less than 14 overs.

On the back of a patient century from opener Prasanth Kumar, Andhra finished day two against neighbours Hyderabad in a commanding position. In reply to Hyderabad’s 225, Andhra already have a 12-run lead with nine wickets to spare. CR Gnaneshwar’s supported Prasanth ably with his 73, while skipper Hanuma Vihari remained unbeaten on 41 at stumps. 

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