Riding on an all-round show by Ravindra Jadeja when he was available, Saurashtra made to the quarter-finals of the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season from Group A. Jadeja has had an outstanding season so far with both bat and ball, smashing two triple-centuries to score 794 runs at 113.42 and picking up 24 wickets in just five matches. Saurashtra displaced Gujarat from No. 2 spot after their victory against Madhya Pradesh in the second last league match. The Jaydev Shah-led side will host Karnataka from January 6-9 in Rajkot.
Here, Cricketnext charts their course to the knockouts:
1st match (away, Nov 9-12): Saurashtra 716 for 3 (Ravindra Jadeja 303*, Sagar Jogiyani 282) drew with Gujarat 600 for 9 (Jadeja 4/125)
Making full use of a placid track in Surat, Gujarat piled up a huge 600, with Manprit Juneja (159) and Rujul Bhatt (160*) scoring big hundreds. But it was Jadeja who hogged the limelight, making his maiden triple-century, an unbeaten knock of 303. Sagar Jogiyani too made a big double ton (282) and with batsmen making merry, the match ended in a draw. Saurashtra took three points by taking the first-innings lead.
2nd match (away, Nov 17-20): Saurashtra 260 (Sheldon Jackson 67) & 270 for 6 (Jogiyani 69, Jaydev Shah 55) drew with Hyderabad 186 (Jadeja 6/71) & 232 for 6
Medium-pacer Ashish Reddy took 6 for 56 as the hosts bowled out Saurashtra for 260. But Jadeja, brimming with confidence after his triple-ton in the previous match against Gujarat, took a six-for to knock Hyderabad out for just 186, thus taking a valuable 74-run lead. The visitors declared their second essay at 270 for 6, giving Hyderabad a tough target of 344 on the last day. But despite fifties from Bavanaka Sandeep and Reddy, Hyderabad could only manage 230 for 6 as Saurashtra once again grabbed three points.
3rd match (away, Nov 24-26): Saurashtra 90 (Jogiyani 41) & 233 (Jogiyani 76) lost to Punjab 205 (Siddharth Trivedi 5/64) & 120 for 2 by eight wickets
This was one of the few matches this season that finished within three days. Punjab's swing bowler Sandeep Sharma wreak havoc, grabbing 7 for 25, as Saurashtra were bundled out for a paltry 90 on day one. In reply, the home team made 205, courtesy a gutsy knock of 61 by Jiwanjot Singh. The tourists did play better in their second innings, but a deficit of 115 proved decisive in the end. Punjab chased down the target with just two wickets down.
4th match (home, Dec 1-4): Saurashtra 576 for 9 (Jadeja 331, Kamlesh Makvana 100*) & 27 for 0 drew with Railways 335 (Makvana 6 for 102)
Jadeja smashed another mammoth triple ton - his second in four matches, and the first Indian to reach three - while Kamlesh Makvana made an unbeaten 100 as Saurashtra put on 576 for 9 in their first innings. Opener Shivakant Shukla made a fighting 82 for Railways but Makvana followed his century by picking up 6 for 102 to dismiss the visitors for 335. The docile wicket at Rajkot ensured that only two innings could be completed after four days of play.
5th match (home, Dec 8-11): Saurashtra 209 (Jadeja 70) & 333 for 8 (Jackson 118*) beat Bengal 112 (Jadeja 4/48) & 160 (Jadeja 4/50) by 270 runs
Left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena took 5 for 17 as Bengal bundled out the hosts for just 209, with only Jadeja contributing a fifty. But their visitors failed to make use of the platform as the visitors were rolled over by Jadeja and Nayan Doshi for a mere 112. Saurashtra amassed 333 in their second innings, with Sheldon Jackson making a century and taking an overall lead of 430. Like the first innings, the Jadeja-Doshi partnership once again combined to take another eight wickets to derail Bengal innings for 160, thus winning the contest by 270 runs.
6th match (home, Dec 15-18): Saurashtra 300 (Aarpit Vasavada 111*) drew with Mumbai 606 for 5 & 169 for 5
Although Saurashtra were bundled out for 300 on a batting paradise, the time Mumbai took to post 606 ensured that the match ended in a draw, with the hosts getting just one point. Aditya Tare compiled 222 while Rohit Sharma also made 166 in Mumbai's huge score. Aarpit Vasavada scored an unbeaten 111 for Saurashtra.
7th match (away, Dec 22-25): Saurashtra 228 (Jackson 54) & 217 for 5 (Shitanshu Kotak 54) drew with Rajasthan 299 & 234 for 9
After conceding the first-innings lead by getting out for 228 in response to Rajasthan's 299, Saurashtra made a good comeback to restrict the home team for 234 for 9 in their second innings. But despite the best efforts by their batsmen, Saurashtra couldn't chase the required 295 on the last day of the match, thus getting just one point from the outing.
8th match (home, Dec 29-Jan 1): Saurashtra 242 (Vasavada 54) & 303 for 4 (Cheteshwar Pujara 203*) beat Madhya Pradesh 135 & 183 (Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 6 for 51) by 227 runs
When it was thought that Saurashtra made a below-par score 242 in their first innings, their bowlers folded the Madhya Pradesh innings for just 135, getting an important 117-run lead. In their second innings, Cheteshwar Pujara cracked an stroke-filled, unbeaten double-century – it took him 17 balls to move from 150 to 200 - as they declared their innings at 303 for 4 and set the visitors a target of 421. MP, who were 152 for 3 at one stage, slumped to 183 all out, losing their last seven wickets for just 31 runs. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, a debutant left-arm spinner, took 6 for 51 in MP's second innings.