Gujarat blunted the Jharkhand attack in the Ranji Trophy semi-final at Nagpur on Sunday. Yet again, it was opener Priyank Panchal who starred the show with a cracking unbeaten century to take his team to a commanding 283/3 at the close of play on a day where India’s limited-overs skipper MS Dhoni was in attendance to keep an eye on Jharkhand’s progress.

Mumbai fought back well in the final session of the day’s play at Rajkot against Tamil Nadu in the other semi-final. Baba Indrajith and Kaushik Gandhi put up a gritty 110-run stand for the third wicket on a wicket that was helpful for the seamers. Shardul Thakur and the in-form Abhishek Nayar scalped two wickets each.

Mumbai take upper hand

It came as bit of a surprise when Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund won the toss and elected to bat. There was a layer of grass on the wicket and their pacers have delivered consistent performances throughout this Ranji campaign.

It was Mumbai who finished the first session strongly, picking up two wickets, including that of Mukund’s. Indrajith and Gandhi patiently got the scoreboard ticking and built a 110-run stand. Nayar and Thakur effected two wickets each while Balwinder Sandhu and Vijay Gohli picked up one scalp each to reduce TN to 261/6.

Panchal closes in on Laxman’s all-time record

Gujarat run-machine Panchal slammed his fifth ton of the season as his side ended at a solid 283/3 at the end of day one. As things stand, the 26-year-old is only 151 runs behind VVS Laxman’s all-time record of most runs scored in a single season.

Jharkhand failed to apply pressure on the Gujarat top order. Panchal’s 129-run partnership with Parthiv Patel for the third wicket landed a telling blow in shifting the momentum firmly in the favour of Gujarat. Patel brought about his runs at a slow pace and scored 62. Panchal was batting at 144.

Brief scores:

  • Tamil Nadu 261/6 (Baba Indrajith 64, Kaushik Gandhi 50; Abhishek Nayar 2/56, Shardul Thakur 2/64) vs Mumbai
  • Gujarat 283/3 (144 not out, Parthiv Patel 62; Vikash Patel 2/48) vs Jharkhand