Uttar Pradesh pacers picked up seven wickets as Saurashtra were reduced to 170/7 in their first innings, adrift by 215 runs on the second day of their Ranji Trophy 2018-19 quarter-final at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Young U-19 World Cup star Shivam Mavi was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Ankit Rajpoot and Yash Dayal bagged two each to sum up a dominating pace bowling show from the home side.
Uttar Pradesh added 45 to their first innings score on the opening day and were wrapped up for 385. Saurabh Kumar notched his seventh first-class half-century to depart for 55 by Jaydev Unadkat, while Mavi contributed a valuable 42 and was sent back by the left-arm pacer, who completed a five-wicket haul after adding the wicket of Rajpoot to his tally.
Unadkat returned with impressive figures of five for 86 in his 22.3 overs with an economy rate of 3.82.
Saurashtra were off to shaky start in their first dig. Opener Snell Patel scored just 16 before he was dismissed by Rajpoot, who was on a hat-trick after sending Vishvarajsinh Jadeja for a duck in the 11th over, but was unsuccessful.
The cynosure of all eyes was Cheteshwar Pujara, the hero of India’s triumph in the four-match Test series against Australia Down Under. However, that was not meant to be. The veteran batsman, who confirmed his availability for his side’s must-win game, added just 11 after he was caught by Rahul Rawat to hand Mavi his first wicket of the match.
Lack of partnerships in Saurashtra’s innings proved to be reason for their sudden downfall. Experienced campaigner Sheldon Jackson, who has been among runs this season, fell to Dayal for 6 in the 27th over and dismissed Arpit Vasavada for a duck, two overs later.
Mavi was the second UP pacer, who was on a hat-trick. His double strike pegged back the visitors. In the 50th over, Harvik Desai – the only batsman who resisted the potent pace attack – finally fell to the youngster after he edged it behind to Upendra Yadav. Desai scored a fine 84 off 143, his innings decorated with 13 boundaries. In the next delivery, Mavi cleaned up Kamlesh Makwana to trigger wild celebrations in the UP camp. However, he was denied his hat-trick.
At stumps, Prerak Mankad, batting on 42 held fort with Dharmendrasinh Jadeja giving him company on 9 with Saurashtra left with a mountain to climb on the third day.
For UP, Mavi returned with figures of three for 39 in his 12 overs, while Dayal and Rajpoot, who picked two apiece, registered figures of 2/35 and 2/58 respectively.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 170/7 (Harvik Desai 84, Prerak Mankad 42*; Shivam Mavi 3/39, Yash Dayal 2/35, Ankit Rajpoot 2/58) trail Uttar Pradesh 385 (Rinku Singh 150, Saurabh Kumar 55, Mavi 42; Jaydev Unadkar 5/86, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 3/111) by 215 runs