In a must-win match, Love Ablish gave hosts Punjab an upper hand against Gujarat with a superb bowling performance on the first day of the Ranji tie on Tuesday.
Medium pacers Love and Manpreet Gony bowled out Gujarat to just 160 in 45 overs. Love, who has been exceptional this season, ended the day with six wickets for 79 runs, his best ever. Gony’s attacking spell of 15 fetched him four for 38 runs. Playing on a green top that promised swing and bounce, Punjab skipper Pankaj Dharmani did not hesitate to put the visitors in to bat. Opener Rikin Chauhan was the first wicket to fall off Love.
Jay Desai and Niraj Patel rebuilt the innings with a patient 75-run partnership, before Rahul Sharma caught Patel at gully off Gony. Soon Gujarat were reduced to 79 for four.
In reply, Punjab were 77 for two with Uday Kaul (17) and Rahul Sharma (3) at the crease.