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Rest of India 205 for 3 (Sarfaraz 125*, Vihari 62*, Unadkat 2-47) lead Saurashtra 98 (Jadeja 28, Mukesh 4-23, Malik 3-25, Sen 3-41) by 107 runs
In the presence of the chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma and his colleague Sunil Joshi, Sarfaraz gave an exhibition of his wide array of strokes that included 19 boundaries and two sixes.
Coming in at 18 for 3, Sarfaraz played one of his most counter-punching knocks to take the stuffing out of Saurashtra attack while adding 187 in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Hanuma Vihari (62 off 145).
The hallmark of Sarfaraz's innings was how he picked the length early, and that enabled him to play late. He played some attractive shots square of the wicket but the manner in which he toyed with Jaydev Unadkat was worth watching.
Unadkat bowled two bouncers at varied pace. Against the first one, Sarfaraz kept his shape to come under the delivery and pulled it uppishly for a six. The next bouncer from the same spot; this time he rolled his wrists over to keep the pull shot down for a boundary.
It was a late cut off left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja that brought Sarfaraz's century. Later in one over of Jadeja, he slog-swept him for three boundaries, forcing Unadkat to open his field to stop boundaries.
However, in the morning, the pitch was spicier than expected. On a track that offered good bounce and some early moisture, aiding a bit of nip in the air, Mukesh decimated Saurashtra with his first spell as he made the batters play almost every delivery.
Most of his deliveries swung in and either left the batter late after pitching or straightened, with the keeper and slip cordon catching everything that came their way. The best part about each dismissal was that it was more about the bowler hitting the fuller length while delivering very close to the stumps.
Neither of the Saurashtra openers, Harvik Desai and Snell Patel, played away from their body, but Mukesh, who had a dream A series versus New Zealand, made them push at deliveries on off stump. However, the prized scalp of Cheteshwar Pujara (1) belonged to Sen, who bowled quick and straight to get a thick outside edge that flew to the slip fielder.
But the man who terrorised batters bowling 145-plus clicks regularly was Umran. The manner in which one batter after another was shuffling towards leg stump to avoid getting hurt was exhilarating.
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Coming in at 18 for 3, Sarfaraz added 187 in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Vihari