I have always saved matches but this time I wanted to win it: Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara played a match-winning innings of 96 runs for India A chasing a total of 186 runs Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Mumbai: Jun 6, 2012

After a patient knock of 96 under pressure which helped India A steal a thrilling two wicket victory from West Indies A, Cheteshwar Pujara said he was used to saving matches for the team but it was the first time he chased a total and stayed till the end.

“I have always tried to save matches, but this time I wanted to be there till the end and win it, I have never been involved in a game where I have chased down a score like this,” said a delighted Pujara who held his spot in a crumbling batting performance against West Indies A.

The Windies pace duo of Jason Holder and Delorn Johnson knocked the Indian batting lineup with the former claiming a five wicket haul. Some lethal short pitch bowling by Holder had knocked down Pujara, but the Saurashtra batsman remained unfazed.

Pujara was joined by rookie Shami Ahmed when the score read 115 for eight. Ahmed hung in till the end scoring 23 runs while his partner did most of the scoring in a rain-interrupted match.

“Credit should also go to Shami (Ahmed); he batted brilliantly in those pressure moments. At one stage we all thought that chasing was going to be tough, in fact you can see we were just at the door of defeat. I didn t want to give Shami the strike but it would have been impossible to do it all by myself.

“If we can play them out then we knew the bowling would tire. At the same time we were hoping that it would rain. But as runs kept coming in we saw that we needed 50 more runs and then I told Ahmed that we have a chance to win from here,” Pujara was quoted as saying by Indian Express.

Satisfied with a gritty performance to snatch a win, India A coach Lalchand Rajput said, “It was a great win for us. Class and temperament were both visible in Pujara s knock.”