Rajasthan set Saurashtra a victory target of 306
Jaipur: Rajasthan rode on Pankaj Singh`s five-wicket haul to set Saurashtra a challenging target of 306 to win their Group A Ranji Trophy match, after declaring the second innings at 234 for nine on the penultimate day hereon Monday.
Saurashtra were 11 without loss in their chase with openers Shitanshu Kotak and Sheldon Jackson batting on nine and two respectively.
The visitors need 295 runs on the final day tomorrow in a minimum of 90 overs -- with all wickets intact -- for a win on K L Saini stadium wicket which seems to have eased out.
Saurashtra, who resumed at their overnight score of 213 for seven, were bundled out of 228 in their first innings losing the wickets of Sandip Maniar (22), Kamlesh Makvana (54), Jaydev Unadkat (2 not out) and Siddharth Trivedi (5).
Right-arm pacer Pankaj shone with the ball grabbing five for 61, while Rituraj Singh picked up three for 57. Sumit Mathur and Sourabh Chouhan chipped in with a wicket apiece.
Rajasthan, who led Sautashtra by 71 runs in the first essay, saw opener Sourabh Chouhan (73) hit by a bouncer from Maniar in the second over of their second innings and was retired hurt.
A little later, skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (0) was castled by Maniar when the left-handed batsman tried to play across the line.
Vineet Saxena (65) and Ashok Menaria (46) then combined well and stitched a 93-run partnership for the third wicket to consolidate Rajasthan`s position.
After the departure of two batsmen, Chouhan returned to the crease and scored a fine 135-ball 73 to take the hosts past 200-run mark. He was removed by Chirag Jani but not before the Udaipur-born batsman had struck six fours and three sixes.
The home team declared once Rituraj Singh was run out for 11.