Seasoned campaigner Jaydev Unadkat broke a slew of records on his way to picking 7/56 as Saurashtra zoomed to their second consecutive Ranji Trophy final with a 92-run win over Gujarat in a frenetic final session on Day 5 on Wednesday.
Gujarat, chasing 327, seemed to have the game in their control at 221/5 at one stage with skipper Parthiv Patel (93) and Chirag Gandhi (96) threatening to take the game away from Saurashtra. However, Unadkat struck in the final session, taking four wickets in 3.2 overs to end Gujarat’s stirring resilience as they were bowled out for 234, thus bringing an end to what was an absorbing day’s play when fortunes of both teams ebbed and flowed.
Skipper Unadkat, who grabbed his 20th five-for, took 10 wickets in the match, having grabbed 3/86 in the first innings. This is Saurashtra’s fourth final in the last eight seasons and they will take on Bengal, who are making their first final appearance since 2006-07.
Unadkat, meanwhile, moved to 65 wickets in the season — the most by a fast bowler in one Ranji Trophy season. He also went past Bishan Singh Bedi’s tally of 64 wickets to be second on the all-time list.
Earlier, resuming at 7/1, Gujarat were quickly reduced to 63/5 as Unadkat wreaked havoc in the morning session. It looked downhill for Gujarat before Parthiv and Gandhi joined hands for a marathon 158-run stand. The second session belonged to Gujarat as the experienced duo looked set to achieve the target and pull off what would have been a record win.