Wriddhiman Saha
Bengal will be boosted by the return of India's Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for the Ranji Trophy final. Image Credit: AFP

Kolkata: Saurashtra edged past Gujarat on the fourth day of their semi-final encounter of the Ranji Trophy while Bengal beat Karnataka by 174 runs to make it to their first final in 13 years.

Aarpit Vasavada’s hundred, Chirag Jani’s fifty and Chetan Sakariya’s 45 guided Saurashtra to 274 in Rajkot to set Gujarat a target of 327 runs. Vasavada and Sakariya, who had joined forces when Saurashtra were reduced to 15/5 following Chintan Gaja’s fiery bowling display on Day 3, added 90 runs together before Gujarat managed to break the partnership, dismissing Sakariya.

However, Vasavada and Jani denied Gujarat any immediate success as the pair added 109 runs from 236 deliveries to push Gujarat past 210. While Saurashtra lost Jani and Prerak Mankad in quick succession, Vasavada and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja added 41 runs before Saurashtra’s innings came to an end with Vasavada’s dismissal.

For Gujarat, Gaja picked up seven wickets. Needing 327 runs to win, Gujarat lost Priyank Panchal and ended the day at 7/1.

Earlier, Mukesh Kumar ran through the Karnataka batting line-up, scalping a total of six wickets in the fourth innings to help Bengal to their first Ranji Trophy final since the 2006/07 season. He picked up five of the seven wickets which fell on the fourth day as Bengal bowled out Karnataka for 177 to complete a win.

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha was named in Bengal’s squad for their Ranji Trophy final beginning March 9. Stumper Saha was not included in the playing XI in India’s recent 0-2 defeat in New Zealand with Rishabh Pant playing over him.

Earlier, fast bowler Mukesh Kumar bagged his career-best six-wicket haul as Bengal defeated Karnataka by 174 runs to enter their first Ranji Trophy final in 13 years at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

Saha last played for Bengal in the 2017-18 Ranji season.