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Ranji Trophy: Saurashtra in control after Jackson''s ton, bowlers'' exploits against Rajasthan

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Jaipur, Feb 10 (PTI) Saurashtra's middle-order batter Sheldon Jackson followed in senior teammate Cheteshwar Pujara's footsteps, completing his century on day two of their Ranji Trophy Group A tie against Rajasthan to guide the defending champions to a 300-plus total here on Saturday.

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In reply, the hosts were in dire straits at stumps at 159 for 6.

Jackson (116) added to Pujara's century on the opening day to ensure a healthy 328 all out for Saurashtra in 116.5 overs, before veteran left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Yuvrajsinh Dodiya tormented the Rajasthan batters, grabbing three wickets apiece.

Rajasthan still trail the defending champions by 169 runs thanks to Jadeja, who returned figures of 3/68 in 23 overs, and Dodiya, who bowled superbly for his three wickets for 62 runs.

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The morning session belonged to Saurashtra. The 37-year-old Jackson, who is approaching the 7,000-run mark, reached his 21st first-class century after resuming at his overnight score of 78.

Jackson, who had forged a 168-run stand for the fourth wicket with Pujara on Friday, completed his century off 249 delivers, hitting eight boundaries and four maximums before he was clean bowled by left-arm spinner Kukna Ajay Singh.

Jadeja's 34 later on in the innings saw Saurashtra get past the 300-run mark and put Rajasthan under pressure.

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For the hosts, Ajay Singh (5/120) emerged as the most successful bowler, taking his third five-wicket haul in first-class cricket, while left-arm pacer Aniket Choudhary had figures of 4/33.

Singh's inability to stem the flow of runs, however, took the sheen away from his achievement.

Rajasthan openers Yash Kothari (9) and Sumit Godara (12) departed cheaply after struggling to negotiate the Saurashtra bowlers and collectively consuming 90-plus deliveries.

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At 59/3, Rajasthan were in a mess but a 66-run stand between captain Deepak Hooda (36) and Kunal Rathore (33) helped them cross the 100-run mark. The pair's dismissal later in the day virtually ended Rajasthan's hopes of taking a first-innings lead.

Vidarbha dominate Maharashtra ==================== In Pune, Vidarbha took a huge 231-run first-innings lead against Maharashtra after scoring 439 for 6 in 106 overs on day 2, with India player Karun Nair scoring an unbeaten 128 (18x4).

Maharashtra's first innings had folded at 208 on the opening day itself with Aditya Sarwate taking three wickets.

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Vidarbha opener Dhurav Shorey was unlucky to miss a century, getting caught by Kedhar Jahdav off Ashay Palkar at 92, though he and Yash Rathod (42) put together a 111-run partnership to set a solid foundation.

Another century partnership (149 runs) between Karun Nair and skipper Akshay Wadkar (90) for the fifth wicket, helped Vidarbha take a massive first-innings lead.

Brief Scores: In Jaipur: Saurashtra 228 in 116.5 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 110; Sheldon Jackson 116; K Ajay Singh 5/120, Aniket Choudhary 4/33) vs Rajasthan 159 for 6 in 61 overs (Deepak Hooda 36, Kunal Singh Rathore 33; Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 3/68, Yuvrajsinh Dodiya 3/62).

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In Pune: Maharashtra 208 all out vs Vidarbha 439 for 6 in 106 overs (Dhruv Shorey 92, Karun Nair batting 128, Akshay Wadkar 90; Ashay Palkar 2/100).

In Jamshedpur: Haryana 509 in 134.5 overs (Ankit Kumar 109, Himanshu Rana 82, Rahul Tewatia 144, Sumit Kumar 86; Anukul Roy 5/80) vs Jharkhand 119 for 9 in 38.2 overs (Jayant Yadav 4/35, Sumit Kumar 3/9).

In Ahmedabad: Manipur 67 and 51 for 6 in 32 overs (Arjun Sharma 2/5, Pulkit Narang 2/2) vs Services 333 in 106.1 overs (Ravi Chauhan 108, Rajat Paliwal 122; Bishworjit Konthoujam 3/97, Bikash Singh 3/95). PTI AM AM ATK

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