Priyank Panchal led Gujarat's gritty response to Saurashtra's 570, as the opener's 145 guided his team to 304 for four in their Ranji Trophy Group B match here today. At stumps on the third and penultimate day, Rujul Bhatt and Chintan Gaja were batting on 75 and 12 respectively, as Gujarat trailed by 266 runs with six first-innings wickets left. Resuming on 45 for no loss at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Gujarat lost captain Parthiv Patel (34) in the third over of the day after he was caught by wicketkeeper Snell Patel off left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat.
Unbeaten on 29 at close of play yesterday, Patel could add only four runs to his overnight score. Panchal then added 54 runs with Bhargav Merai (22) before the latter was dismissed by left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. Three balls later, Dharmendrasinh struck again to dismiss Manprit Juneja as Gujarat slipped to 109 for three. Panchal, however, stood firm and put on a 179-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Bhatt, who struck 10 boundaries during his stay in the middle. During his knock, Panchal found the fence 20 times before being dismissed by Jaydev Unadkat. Panchal, who had made half centuries in his last two matches, brought up his hundred before tea. Dharmendrasinh and Unadkat finished with two wickets each.
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