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In an important match, with both teams needing victories to keep their hopes of a place in the quarters alive, hosts Saurashtra ended the opening day of their Ranji Trophy 2018-19 Round 9 Elite A match against defending champions Vidarbha at 218 for five on Monday.

At Rajkot, the home side rode on half-centuries by opener Harvik Desai, who scored 74 off 165 deliveries and seasoned batsman Sheldon Jackson, who added 65 off 154. Desai smashed nine boundaries before he was dismissed by Suniket Bingewar, while Jackson tonked 10 fours and was sent back to the pavilion by Akshay Wakhare.

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At stumps, Arpit Vasavada (36) and Prerak Mankad (27) were at the crease. For Vidarbha, pacer Bingewar was the pick of the bowlers with three for 48 in his 24 overs.

Vidarbha are leading Group A with 28 points, while Saurashtra are on fourth place with 26 points. Five teams from Groups A and B combined will qualify for the knockout stages.

Brief scores: Saurashtra 218/5 (Harvik Desai 74, Sheldon Jackson 65; Suniket Bingewar 3/48) versus Vidarbha