Goa battling to avoid defeat

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Porvorim: Hosts Goa were left battling for a draw after Chandigarh declared their first innings at 580 for 7, taking a mammoth 329-run lead on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Plate Group match, at GCA Academy ground in Porvorim on Tuesday.

At stumps on Day 3, Goa had reached 87 for 2 in their second innings, and trail the visitors by 242 runs with 8 wickets remaining.

Chandigarh started third day’s play with a clear intent to dominate the Goa bowlers and gather as many runs as possible. However, their plan suffered an early jolt when overnight unbeaten centurion Shivam Bhambri (157) departed soon after adding just 9 runs to his overnight score of 148. With their score reading 324 for 4, Bipul Sharma joined Ankit Kaushik and the duo made sure that they stick to their plan of playing aggressively. Bipul and Kaushik maintained a good run rate and added 123 runs for the fifth wicket in 30 overs before the latter lost his wicket, caught by Misal off the bowling of Amit Verma, for 83. Kaushik hit 11 fours and 2 sixes in his 120-ball knock. After the addition of another ten runs, Chandigarh lost their next batsman Jaskaranvir Singh, bowled by Amit Verma, for 6 with team’s score reading 457 for 6. Visitors’ next two batsmen Gurinder Singh and Jaskaran Singh gave good company to Bipul Sharma who was batting really well at the other end. While Gurinder hit a quickfire 34-ball 33, with hone hit to the boundary and one over it, Jaskaran Singh played an unbeaten cameo of 28 runs, which had 2 hits to the fence and 2 over it.

Chandigarh declared their innings once Bipul Sharma completed his well-deserved century. The former IPL star remained not out on 103 for which he played out 146 balls and hit 8 fours and 2 sixes.

Goa started their second innings rather cautiously, but lost their first wicket at 27 when opener Aditya Kaushik departed for 15. Smith Patel and Sumiran Amonkar then added 57 runs for the second wicket before the former was clean bowled by Gurinder Singh for 40.

At the close of third day’s play, the host had made 87 for 2 in 27 overs, with Sumiran Amonkar batting on 21 and giving him company was Amulya Pandrekar on 6.