Rajkot, Mar 13 : Saurastra virtually win the coveted Ranji Trophy for the first time after they took a 44-run lead against Bengal in the first innings at the final at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here today. The visiting side chasing a target of 425, which were studded with 106 from Arpit Vasavada and 66 from Cheteswar Pujara, fell short of 44 runs as they were all out at 381 in the first session of the day. Bengal resumed this morning at 354 for loss of six wickets, were all out at 381 in 161 overs.
Skipper Jaydev Unadkat struck in time of need as he found overnight not out batsman Anustup Majumdar ( 58) leg before the wicket after he added only five runs. Unadkad then ran out another overnight not out batsman Akash Deep (0) and finally got Ishan Porel (1) lbw ending Bengal stubborn batting Saurashtra players then immediately ran around the field in joy, with an expectation that they would lift the coveted trophy for the first time before sun down of the. The first innings lead has been obtained and given the rules, that will do for Saurashtra. Unadkat called his boys together in a huddle, and after having a few words, they disperse.
The game was in the balance this morning with Majumdar and Arnab Nandi ( not out 40) going strong with their strong partnership. It did seem like Saurashtra might miss out once more but Unadkat struck the big blow of Majumdar and Deep then ran himself out in bizarre fashion to totally turn the tables. Though the play was now on and the hosts were batting for their second knock, the winners are decided on the lead of first innings batting once the two full innings could not the completed. Unless miracle happens Sourastra for the first time to lift 15 kgs trophy in eight years. They been finalist on four occasions in past eight years. Brief score Saurastra 425 First Innings Bengal 381 2nd Innings : Saurastra 82/2 .(UNI)