Gohel’s historic 359 not out takes Gujarat to Ranji Trophy semis

Jaipur, Dec 27 (IANS) Gujarat’s Samit Gohel crafted a world record in first-class cricket for the highest score by an opener remaining unbeaten as he smacked 359 not out against Odisha to help his team advance to the Ranji Trophy semi-final on the basis of the first innings lead here on Tuesday.

During his 723-ball marathon innings, the 26-year-old right-hander eclipsed English batsman Bobby Abel’s record of 357 not out for Surrey against Somerset in 1899.

Gohel’s knock, studded with 45 fours and a six, helped Gujarat post 641 all out in their second innings as they batted for the major part of the last three days after taking a 64-run lead after Odisha were bowled out for 199 in their first innings.

Odisha, already outbatted in the game, reached 81 for one when the match was declared a draw. Subhranshu Senapati remained not out on 59 from 57 deliveries, along with Ranjit Singh (18 not out).

Gujarat, resuming the day at 514-8 with Gohel on 261 and Hardik Patel not out on 11, were keen on adding more runs to the total despite having a 578-run lead at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Having added five runs to the total, Hardik was retired hurt. Gohel added a 50-run stand with Jasprit Bumrah (13) till the latter was dismissed with a LBW decision against spinner Dhiraj Singh.

With the score at 569-9, Hardik returned to bat, enabling Gohel to continue his marathon knock.

Finally, Biplab Samantray ended Odisha’s misery after removing Hardik (18), as Gohel carried his bat through remaining unbeaten on 359, with his team’s score 641 all out.

For Odisha, left-arm spinner Dhiraj was the most successful bowler, picking up six wickets for 147 runs.

Gujarat set an impossible target of 706 runs for Odisha with nothing to play for the result as the former was set to advance with them taking the first-innings lead.

Odisha batted for 22 overs, scoring 81-1 when the draw was agreed. Senapati made the most of the limited chance, hitting four fours and five sixes during an unbeaten knock of 59.

Brief Scores: Gujarat 263 and 641 all out (Samit Gohel 359 not out, Priyank Panchal 81; Dhiraj Singh 6-147) vs Odisha 199 and 81-1 (Subhranshu Senapati not out 59; Rujul Bhatt 1-23).