Hello and Welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of first semi-final of the Ranji Trophy 2015-16 between Assam and Saurashtra at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodra. The first day of the match belonged to Saurashtra as they had Assam reeling at 193 for 7 at the end of the day’s play. Amit Verma and Arun Karthik put on 127 runs for the fourth wicket, but the other batsmen did not show any application as Assam collapsed from 152 for 3 to 193 for 7. Saurashtra bowlers did a superb job as opening bowlers Undakat and Hardik Rathod picked up three wickets apiece to choke the Assam batsmen. FULL COVERAGE: Ranji Trophy 2015-16

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 254/5 in 82 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Cheteshwar Pujara 116(212), Chirag Jani 29(53): It’s been a resolute display of calm-headed batting by Pujara. He’s shown why he deserves that India cap with a knock that has helped Saurashtra comfortably overhaul Assam’s first innings total of 234. From here it looks difficult how Assam could come back for a win to try and make it to the final.

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 212/5 in 76 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Cheteshwar Pujara 87(191), Chirag Jani 17(38): Saurashtra still have five wickets in hand and now require just 20-odd runs to secure a first innings lead. It’s been a sedate knock by Pujara, inching towards the three-figure mark. He has Chirag Jani for company at the other end.

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 159/4 in 63 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Cheteshwar Pujara 52(157), Jaydev Shah 3(13): Saurashtra are 159 for the loss of four wickets at the end of 63 overs. Cheteshwar Pujara has smashed a beautiful hundred. His batting exuded confidence; it is one of the most classy knocks of Ranji Trophy 2015-16 in which his technical superiority was at display.

TEA

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 117/3 in 52 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Cheteshwar Pujara 39(132), Sheldon Jackson 21(45): Pujara is now only 11 runs short off his fifty. Sheldon Jackson is giving him good support at the other end. Saurashtra would want that their partnership grows and blossoms. Assam have failed to pick up the key wicket of Pujara early on in his innings. They have to do it now or else he might well crack a hundred here at Vadodara. Besides, Krishna and Arup Das; Assam has also utilised the services of Dhiraj Goswami and Pallav Kumar Das but the last two have not got any success so far in the match.

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 98/3 in 41 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Cheteshwar Pujara 33(95), Sheldon Jackson 8(16): Arpit Vasavada gets dismissed for just 10 runs, he faced 45 balls. Good thing for Saurashtra is that Cheteshwar Pujara is still at the crease and is closing on to his half century. Saurashtra still trails by 136 runs. OUT! Arpit Vasavada c Arun Kathick b Arup Das 10(45)

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 67/2 in 26.2 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Cheteshwar Pujara 15(44), Arpit Vasavada 6(24): Cheteshwar Pujara is still batting pretty slowly; maybe he will up the tempo after a few more overs. Arpit Vasavada is also taking his time to settle down and is batting at a strike rate of 25. Assam desperately needs the wicket of Pujara. 2-3 quick wickets and Assam can certainly get back into the match.

LUNCH

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 57/2 in 20 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Cheteshwar Pujara 11(24), Arpit Vasavada 1(6): Krishna Das traps Avi Barot leg-before for 35. Arpit Vasavada is the new man at the crease. Good thing for Saurashtra is that Cheteshwar Pujara is still at the crease. Saurashtra now trails by 177 runs. OUT! Avi Barot lbw Krishna Das 35(53)

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 46/1 in 14.1 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Avi Barot 34(43), Cheteshwar Pujara 2(5): Assam draw first blood; Arup Das sends Sagar Jogiyani back to the pavilion. Cheteshwar Pujara has come to the middle. Pujara is the finest batsman in Saurashtra’s line-up. Assam would want to get rid of him as early as possible. A set Pujara in the middle is a dangerous prospect for any opposition. OUT! Sagar Jogiyani c Gokul Sharma b Arup Das 10(37)

Live Cricket Score, Saurashtra 23/0 in 7.5 overs | Assam 234 | BATTING: Avi Barot 15(25), Sagar Jogiyani 8(22): Sauarshtra are off to a good start with both their openers doing their best to get the sheen off the new ball by sticking on the crease and playing shots judiciously on lose deliveries. 234 is not a big score but they cannot afford to get lose. They would want to be ruthless and complement their bowlers who bowled so well earlier. A good first innings lead and they will hold an edge for the remainder of the match in high probability. Krishna and Arup Das have opened the bowling for Assam.

INNINGS BREAK

Live Cricket Score, Assam 234 in 87 overs | BATTING: Krishna Das 0(0): Amit Verma is unfortunate to get out for just two runs short off his century.  Assam lose their remaining two wickets in quick succession and are bowled out for 234. Jaydev Unadkat took a six-wicket-haul. 234 is not a big score and Assam bowlers will have to bowl very well to restrict Saurashtra under it in the latter’s first innings. OUT! Amit Verma c Dharamendrasinh Jadeja b Jaydev Unadkat 98 (241), OUT! Dhiraj Goswami 22 (34), OUT! Arup Das  c Jaydev Shah b Jaydev Unadkat 0(2)

Live Cricket Score, Assam 211/7 in 81 overs | BATTING: Amit Verma 89 (223), Dhiraj Goswami 10 (18): Assam ended their innings at 193/7 in 78 overs on Day 1 against Saurashtra. Amit Verma Dhiraj Goswami are playing strong with their innings and is playing at 89 runs at the moment. Goswami is adding more runs on the scoreboard. Assam have managed to score 200-plus runs on Day 2 at moment and need to continue the momentum of the game.

Assam will look to add as many runs as possible on Day Two. They will look to reach the 250-run mark so that the bowlers have something to bowl at. Assam’s bowlers, such as Krishna Das and Arup Das have been in tremendous touch in this season and cannot be taken lightly. Saurashtra have a strong batting line-up as well, with likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Sheldon Jackson and Avi Bharot in their side. They have been unbeaten this season so far and will be confident of extending that run of form on their way to the final.

Assam have to play their cards right in this game from here on as they are already on the back foot going into the second day of the match. They showed that they can take on some of the big teams in the competition and come out with flying colours in the group stages and also the quarter-final. They will need to dig deep and look to make a match out of this as well.

Teams:

Assam: Gokul Sharma (c), Pallav Das, Rahul Hazarika, Amit Verma, Arun Karthik, Tarjinder Singh, Syed Mohammad, Swarupam Purkayastha, Dhiraj Goswami, Krishna Das, Arup Das.

Saurashtra: Jaydev Shah (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Avi Barot, Arpit Vasavada, Shirag Jani, Dharamendrasinh Jadeja, Hardik Rathod, Sagar, Jogiyani (wk), Sheldon Jackson, Deepak Punia, Jaydev Undakat.