Ranji Trophy 2013-14, Group A, 7th round, 3rd day December 16, 2013

Merai ton leads Gujarat fightback

ESPNcricinfo staff

Gujarat 314 for 4 (Merai 115*, Venugopal Rao 64*) trail Haryana 573 for 6 dec by 259 runs

Bhargav Merai's second first-class century helped Gujarat mount a solid reply as they looked to hunt down Haryana's mammoth first-innings total in Ahmedabad. He and Venugopal Rao, the other unbeaten batsman, still have considerable work to do as the home side went to stumps 259 runs behind.

Gujarat took more than 20 overs to move from 68 to 96 - a run rate of 1.36 - but the arrival of their captain Parthiv Patel instilled life into the innings. His 44-ball 37 was part of a 71-run stand with Merai which was accumulated at 4.68 per over. When he was out leg before to medium-pacer Ashish Hooda, Rao ensured a similar rhythm was maintained as he struck nine fours and a six in his 64.

Gujarat, who are placed fifth in Group A, have one more day left to snare a first-innings lead and collect a crucial three points and push past mid-table mediocrity.

Read the full report of Mumbai v Odisha here: Odisha fight to prevent innings defeat

Read the full report of Karnataka v Punjab here: Vinay ton leaves Punjab battling for survival

Read the full report of Delhi v Vidarbha here: Delhi stay in hunt with crushing win