Ranji Trophy 2013-14, Group A, 7th round, 4th day December 17, 2013

Merai, Akshar Patel give Gujarat three points

ESPNcricinfo staff

Haryana 573 for 6 dec (Sunny 201, Saini 106*, Rana 102) drew with Gujarat 578 for 8 (Merai 198, Rao 111, Akshar Patel 69*, Mishra 4-169)

Bhargav Merai nearly scored his maiden double-hundred, Venugopal Rao made 111 and No. 10 Rujul Bhatt batted with an injury to earn three points for Gujarat who got five more than Haryana's first-innings score.

Resuming on 314 for 4 with Merai on 115 and Rao on 64, Gujarat eased past 400 as Merai crossed 150 and Rao scored his 14th first-class hundred. But their massive 256-run stand ended when Rao was trapped lbw for 111. Manpreet Juneja didn't survive for too long as he also fell to offspinner Jayant Yadav, leaving the score at 437 for 6, still 136 behind. Akshar Patel steadied the innings as Merai headed towards his double-ton, but fell short by two runs when he was bowled by Amit Mishra.

Akshar and Rakesh Dhurv then took Gujarat past 500 but Mishra halted their charge by getting rid of Dhurv for 17. Bhatt, who had injured himself while fielding on the second day and had not taken the field since, joined Akshar with two fractured fingers. He battled for more than an hour, faced 56 deliveries and scored a vital 26 runs which took Gujarat past Haryana's 573 after which Bhatt retired hurt. Akshar stayed unbeaten on 69 off 98, which featured nine fours.

Bhatt has been advised five weeks' rest and will miss the next few matches but might play this season again if Gujarat qualify for the knockouts.

Read the full report of Mumbai v Odisha here: Natraj ton robs Odisha of win

Read the full report of Karnataka v Punjab here: Karnataka win despite Gurkeerat 157