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  5. Ranji Trophy 2024: Cheteshwar Pujara, Devdutt Padikkal register big tons, Sarfaraz, Mayank struggle

Ranji Trophy 2024: Cheteshwar Pujara, Devdutt Padikkal register big tons, Sarfaraz, Mayank struggle

Jaydev Unadkat-led Saurashtra kicked off their title defence by bowling out Jharkhand on just 142 runs in the Ranji Trophy 2024 opener in Rajkot and then Cheteshwar Pujara's 157* off 238 balls helped them score a total of 406/4 on Day 2.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Published on: January 06, 2024 20:00 IST
Devdutt Padikkal
Image Source : PTI Devdutt Padikkal vs Punjab during the Ranji Trophy game in Hubballi on January 6, 2024

The defending champions Saurashtra picked up where they left off last season with early control of the Ranji Trophy 2024 opener against Jharkhand on January 6. The veteran cricketer Cheteswhar Pujara scored an unbeaten hundred for Saurashtra to keep pressure on the national team selectors ahead of the red-ball home series against England.

Pujara, 35, was not part of India's latest Test series against South Africa but his hundred against Jharkhand will boost his chances of making a return to international cricket. After bowling out Jharkhand on 142 runs on Day 1, Saurashtra dominated on Day 2 with Pujara hitting an unbeaten 157 runs off 239 balls with the help of 19 fours at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot. 

Arpit Vasavada, Harvik Desai and Sheldon Jackson also registered the fifties each as Saurashtra put a total of 406/4 at the end of Day 2. 

Manish Pandey and Devdutt Padikkal record hundreds for Karnataka

Eight-time champions Karnataka also kicked off their Ranji Trophy 2024 campaign with a positive start against Punjab. Right-arm pacer Vasuki Koushik took seven wickets for 41 to bowl out Punjab on just 152 runs at KSCA Hubli Cricket Ground and then batters put on a show on Day 2 to give Karnataka complete control of the match.

Last edition's leading runscorer and team captain Mayanka Agarwal was dismissed on a duck but hundreds from Devdutt Padikkal and Manish Pandey helped Karnataka score a total of 461/6 at the end of the day's play. Padikkal top-scored with 193 runs off 216 balls, his highest first-class score, while veteran Pandey scored 118 runs.

Sarfaraz Khan struggles, Ajinkya Rahane misses the opener

In Group B opener, Mumbai were bowled out by hosts Bihar on just 251 runs on Day 2 in Patna. Captain Ajinkya Rahane missed the match due to neck pain as the veteran batter targets big performances in the Ranji Trophy in his hopes for a Test return.

Another Test probable, Sarfaraz Khan, failed to make an impression as he scored only 1 run in the first innings. Sarfaraz also struggled for the runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare and will be under scanner in the upcoming domestic games.

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