Saurabh Kumar’s all-round show puts ROI in firm control in Irani Cup

Rajkot: All-rounder Saurabh Kumar hit a strokeful fifty before returning to snap two wickets as Rest of India tightened the noose around Saurashtra on day 2 of the Irani Cup match here on Sunday.
Saurabh smashed 10 boundaries in his 78-ball 55 and added 71 with Jayant Yadav (37) for the seventh wicket to take ROI close to the 350-mark after Sarfaraz Khan dominated the opening day with a century.
It was Saurabh’s innings which helped ROI grab a solid 276-run first-innings lead over Saurashtra.
The 29-year-old from Uttar Pradesh then returned to dismiss both the Saurashtra openers — Harvik Desai (20) and Snell Patel (16) — as ROI gained further ascendency in the match.
At stumps, Chirag Jani (3 batting) and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (8 batting) were at the crease with Saurashtra, the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy Champions, at 49 for two in 17 overs, still trailing by 227 runs.
Earlier, left-arm fast bowler Chetan Sakariya gave Saurashtra a glimmer of hope with a five-wicket haul as they dismissed ROI for 374 in 110 overs.
The 24-year-old (5/93) snapped four wickets to go with the one scalp he took on the opening day after Chirag Jani removed the overnight batters Hanuma Vihari (82) and Sarfaraz (138) in the first sessions.
After dominating the opening day, ROI resumed day two at 205 for three with skipper Vihari and centurion Sarfaraz batting for more than an hour, adding another 33 runs to their overnight partnership.
However, both departed in quick succession with Jani producing the breakthroughs. —PTI

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