Veteran India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who turned for his domestic side Saurashtra in the ongoing Ranji Trophy final against Bengal, failed to continue batting and walked off the field as he was feeling unwell.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) March 9, 2020
After coming into bat in an unusual position of number six, Pujara looked solid during his 24-ball stay before the weather got better of him. Just back from cold weather of New Zealand where India lost the Test series 2-0, Pujara retired hurt to the dressing room looking dazed.
For Saurashtra, openers Harvik Desai (38) and wicketkeeper Avi Barot (54) shared an 82-run stand and batted the entire first session. However, their team failed to capitalise on the start as Bengal bowlers got on top of them with two wickets in the middle and three in the last session.
Pujara’s decision to not continue further deterred Suarashtra’s cause as they were reeling with four wickets down and the 32-year-old was expected to see the rest of the day at the crease resisting Bengal from causing more damages.
Young pacer Akash Deep took three wickets, while Ishan Porel and Shahbaz Ahmed took one each to push Saurashtra on the backfoot during the first day’s play in Rajkot.
Other than Barot Vishvaraj Jadeja (54) struck half-century but slower run-rate and wickets at regular intervals in the second and last session stopped Saurashtra from spewing much venom.
Akash Deep, 23, returned the day’s best figures of 3/41 while pace spearhead Porel and spinner Shahbaz 1/37 and 1/56 respectively. Mukesh Kumar, who was the hero of Bengal’s semifinal win over Karnataka at the Eden Gardens, remained wicketless till the bails were taken off on Day 1.
(With IANS inputs)