Cheteshwar Pujara slams 63rd first-class century, Saurashtra in command against Manipur | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Seasoned batsman Cheteshwar Pujara showcased his class once again by smashing his 63rd first-class century, while Prerak Mankad and Arpit Vasavada also notched up centuries to give Saurashtra a commanding 387-run first-innings lead against Manipur on Saturday.
In a dominant display of batting, Saurashtra’s middle-order batsmen took control of the match on the second day, building on their overnight score of 153/3.
Stand-in skipper Arpit Vasavada and all-rounder Prerak Mankad led the charge with a formidable 152-run partnership for the fourth wicket, pummeling the Manipur bowling attack.
However, the highlight of the innings came from the bat of Pujara, who demonstrated his versatility by scoring a brisk century at less than a run-a-ball rate. Pujara’s aggressive knock of 108 off just 105 deliveries, comprising 12 fours and a six, underscored his ability to adapt to different situations and batting styles.
Despite being known for his defensive approach, Pujara’s recent performances in the Ranji Trophy have showcased his ability to score quickly and decisively.
With an unbeaten double century against Jharkhand and another century in the previous game, Pujara is making a strong case for a return to the Indian Test team.
However, despite his consistent performances, the Indian selectors have favored younger talents in recent series, leaving Pujara out of the national side since the World Test Championship final against Australia in June last year.
Following a formidable batting display, defending champions Saurashtra declared their innings at 529 for 6, setting Manipur a daunting target to chase.
Saurashtra’s bowlers then further asserted their dominance, with Chetan Sakariya, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, and Yuvrajsinh Dodiya each picking up a wicket to leave Manipur reeling at 55 for 3 at stumps on the second day.
With a substantial lead and the momentum firmly in their favor, Saurashtra are well-placed to secure a comprehensive victory in the match, maintaining their position as strong contenders in the Ranji Trophy.
Brief Scores:
At Rajkot: Manipur 142, 55/3 in 28 overs (Ronald Longjam 32 batting; Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 1/12, Yuvrajsinh Dodiya 1/15, Chetan Sakariya 1/18) trail Saurashtra 529/6 dec in 104.1 overs (Prerak Mankad 173, Arpit Vasavad 148, Cheteshwar Pujara 108; Lambam Singh 3/157) by 332 runs
In Jamshedpur: Jharkhand 188 and 171/5 in 37 overs (Aryaman Sen 38; Aniket Choudhary 2/28) leads Rajasthan 210 all out in 71.5 Overs (Salman Khan 52; Varun Aaron 4/65) by 149 runs
In Delhi: Maharashtra 225 leads Services 217/4 in 99 overs (Shubham Rohilla 72, Vineet Dhankhar 43; Taranjitsingh Dhillon 2/69, Arshin Kulkarni 2/23) by 8 runs.
In Nagpur: Vidarbha 423 (Aditya Sarwate 99, Dhruv Shorey 78; Sumit Kumar 4) leads Haryana 198/4in 52 overs (Nishant Sindhu not out, Yuvraj Singh 48; Yash Thakur 2/50) by 225 runs
(With inputs from PTI)

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