Nagpur, Jan 3: Jharkhand gained the upper hand in the Ranji Trophy semi-final as they reduced Gujarat to 100 for four in their second innings after taking a first innings lead with a total of 408 all out on the third day here on Tuesday (Jan 3).
Resuming the day at 214-5, Jharkhand were lifted by overnight unbeaten batsman Ishank Jaggi (129), who shared a 97-run seventh wicket stand with Kaushal Singh (53) as the first time semi-finalists moved past Gujarat's first innings total of 390.
Trailing by 18 runs, Gujarat were troubled by left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who picked up three wickets for 36 runs. At stumps, Gujarat were 100-4, with a lead of 82 runs.
For the troubling situation, Gujarat bowlers were to be equally blamed as they allowed Jharkhand's lower order to flourish.
Jaggi, the lone recognised unbeaten batsman, who was unbeaten on 40 on Monday, got crucial support from Rahul Shukla (27) and Kaushal.
The Jaggi-Shukla partnership fetched 70 runs as the former inched towards his 15th first class century. After Hardik Patel dismissed Shukla with a LBW decision, Jharkhand were 283-6, still 107 runs behind Gujarat.
But Gujarat failed to exert the right amount of pressure on Jaggi, who played with ease and continued to drive Jharkhand's innings with the help of Kaushal, with whom he shared a 97-run stand.
Their stand was broken by pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who dismantled Kaushal's stumps. Jaggi too followed him to the pavilion, offering a catch to Rujul Bhatt off a R.P. Singh delivery -- but not before ensuring that Jharkhand got past Gujarat''s total, by three runs.
Nadeem contributed 16 runs till Singh removed him, while also claiming Ajay Yadav (6), who was the last batsman to be dismissed for Jharkhand.
Singh took 6-90, while Hardik bagged two wickets for 108 runs.
Gujarat got a blow early into their second innings when first innings centurion, opening batsman Priyank Kirit Panchal, was run out for 1 with the team at 18-1.
Samit Gohel (49) and Bhargav Merai (44) helped Gujarat overcome the early blow with a 69-run stand for the second wicket.
But spinner Nadeem had other plans. He started his dangerous spell by cleaning up Merai, before captain and India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel (1) was caught by Virat Singh off Nadeem's bowling, to leave Gujarat in a spot of bother at 93-3.
To make matters worse for Gujarat, Nadeem earned a LBW verdict against Gohel, as the western outfit lost its fourth wicket for 98 runs.
Come Wednesday, Gujarat's hopes will hinge on the unbeaten batsmen Manpreet Juneja (2 not out) and Hardik (0 not out).