Pujara hits third consecutive Ranji century, hosts in command

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Rajkot, Nov 24 (UNI) Right hand batsman Cheteshwar Pujara notched up his third consecutive Ranji century, as the hosts piled up a mammoth total of 643 runs after losing four wickets in the first essay, against Mumbai on the second day of the four-day super league match at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket stadium here today.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who struck a triple hundred against Orissa and a 189 off 182 balls against Punjab at home, putup yet another exemplary batting display by notching up 176 from 173 balls in which he executed 21 fours and two sixes before he was bowled by spinner Sairaj Bahutule.

Hosts started their innings at the overnight score of 285 for one, Chirag Pathak and Sitanshu Kotak cotinued their innings where they left yesterday and stitched another 48 runs today for the second wicket before former was caught by wicketkeeper V Samant off medium pacer U Malvi after making his individual 170 runs.

Pujara joined Sitansu Kotak and added 179 runs for the third wicket stand, in which major contribution of runs was from the willow of Pujara. He has completed his ton in 119 balls and 150 in 149 balls. Kotak's patient innings of 78 runs came to an end when he gave an edge to wicketkeeper V Samant, who easily accepted the catch on the bowling of medium pacer U Malvi. Kotak has occupied the pitch for 312 minutes and has faced 213 balls and hit seven boundaries in his 78 knock.

Mumbai's bowlers toiled hard today and they could scalp only three wickets from 87 overs. Two of them were taken by medium pacer U Malvi while one was taken by spinner Sairaj Bahutule.

Ravindra Jadeja, who is in form, was batting with 42 when stumps were drawn, while Captain Jaydev Shah giving him company with 25 runs. Captain Jaydev Shah had sounded his presence against Punjab where he had scored 178 and he was in fine form and hit as many as five fours in his 25 runs.

Brief Score: Saurashtra Ist Innings 643 for 4 in 177 overs (Chirag Pathak 170, S Kotak 78, C Pujara 176 U Malvi two for 122, Amol Mazmudar one for 24 and S Bahutule one for 153).

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