Parmar's ton guides Gujarat home
Gujarat posted a comfortable six wicket victory over Saurashtra on the final day of their Ranji Trophy West Zone clash at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium in Surat on Tuesday. Chasing a fourth innings target of 212, Gujarat was almost single handedly guided to their destination by an unbeaten century from Mukund Parmar. The result fattened the victor's tally to 11 points from three games while defeated Saurashtra completed their engagements with six points from four games to settle at the bottom of the table.
The day began with Saurashtra's last pair of Niraj Odedra and Jolly Jobanputra resuming at 244/9. In the sixth over of the morning, the new ball was summoned by Gujarat skipper Pathik Patel and immediately produced the breakthrough. Seamer Lalit Patel broke the stubborn partnership, which had swelled to 40, with the total at 265. It was his fourth wicket of the innings and ninth of the match. Patel's match figures of 9/149 were only slightly inferior to his pace partner, Hitesh Majumdar's 9/131.
Set to score 212 in a minimum of 82 overs, Gujarat had a rocky start as both Vivek Gandhi and Niraj Patel were seen off by Jobanputra without crossing into double figures. But a 129 run third wicket stand between opening batsman and first innings century-maker Nilesh Modi and Parmar took the game firmly away from them.
After Modi fell shortly after tea to a return catch by Sitanshu Kotak for 43, Parmar soldiered on in the company of Bhavin Mehta and later Tejas Varsani. Gujarat coasted home with more than eight overs to spare, Parmar finishing on 126. His 208 ball knock, constructed over almost four hours, was studded with 18 boundaries. Currently placed fourth in the table, Gujarat play Baroda in their final league match at Ahmedabad from December 29 to January 1, needing an outright win to guarantee their progress to the knockout stages.