A superb all-round performance by Saurabh Kumar helped the Rest of India (ROI) take control of the Irani Cup 2022 match on the second day against hosts and defending champions Saurashtra at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, here on Sunday.
Saurabh first hit a brilliant fifty (55) to push ROI’s lead beyond 250 and then claimed both Saurashtra wickets that fell in the closing minutes of play in a stellar spell of 4-4-0-2. Saurashtra were 49-2 in their second innings at stumps on Day 2, trailing by 227 runs.
Earlier, both overnight batters, Sarfraz Khan (138) and skipper Hanuma Vihari (82) missed out on the respective milestones after Chirag Jani sent them packing in the morning session.
However, Saurabh joined hands with Jayant Yadav (37) for a 71-run partnership for the seventh wicket. He hit ten boundaries in his 78-ball knock that was crucial in propelling ROI’s first innings score to 374.
Starting their second innings with a massive deficit of 274, the Saurashtra openers made a cautious start to keep ROI at bay for 12 overs. It was Saurabh, who struck with the first ball of his second over, to dismiss Snell Patel and then sent back the other opener, Harvik Desai, packing too in another wicket-maiden.
Dharmendrasinh Jadeja then fetched back-to-back boundaries off Umran Malik in the following over to take Saurashtra to stumps on 49/2.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 98 & 49/2 (Harvik Desai 20; Saurabh Kumar 2-0) trail ROI 374 (Sarfraz Khan 138, Hanuma Vihari 82, Saurabh Kumar 55; Chetan Sakariya 5-93) by 227 runs