Skipper Manoj Tiwary showed the way as Bengal produced a much improved batting performance in the second innings against Mumbai in a group A encounter in Nagpur.
After Ashok Dinda's 22nd five wicket haul in first class cricket enabled Bengal to restrict Mumbai to 229, Bengal scored 198 for 3 in 61 overs.
Tiwary scored an unbeaten 85 off 123 balls with 11 boundaries and a six. Sudip Chatterjee was patience personified once again with undefeated 67 off 177 balls with seven fours.
The duo added 142 runs for the 4th wicket after Bengal were in trouble at 56 for 3 having conceded 130 run lead. Effectively Bengal are 68 runs ahead with seven wickets in hand and two full days of play left.
Mumbai certainly have the upper hand as both Dhawal Kulkarni (2/43) and first innings wrecker in chief Shardul Thakur can use the morning conditions pretty effectively.
Just like Dinda did today (Wednesday) morning by getting four out of the five wickets.
He now has 34 wickets this season and four more required to complete a career haul of 350 wickets.
Dinda's figures read 21-6-88-5 while rookies Mukesh Kumar (3/56) and Amit Kuila (2/55) were the other wicket takers. But highlight of the day was Tiwary' s 27th half century in first class cricket.
While Tiwary, who has always prove to be a thorn in Mumbai's flesh with his attacking batting. Strong off his pads, Tiwary was also in mood to play some good drives. Morning session on both days have proved to be productive and Bengal's best bets would like to put up a decent score in order to pose some challenge to the Ranji champions.
A defeat would all but end their chances of qualifying for knock-outs.
Brief Score: Bengal 99 and 198/3 (Manoj Tiwary 85 batting, Sudip Chatterjee 67 batting, Dhawal Kulkarni 2/43) vs Mumbai 229 (Kaustubh Pawar 78, Ashok Dinda 5/88).
Gujarat's Panchal on a roll, hits triple ton
Opener Priyank Kirit Panchal became the first cricketer from Gujarat to score a tripe century at the First Class level as he stayed unbeaten on 314 on day two of the Ranji Trophy Group A match in Belagavi on Wednesday.
Panchal played as many as 460 balls, collecting 32 fours in the process. With his marathon innings, he eclipsed Mukund Parmar's 283 to become the first triple centurion from the state.
Panchal has hit purple patch this Ranji season, having scored 232 and 56 in his last two innings against Mumbai.
Courtesy his monumental effort, Gujarat declared their first innings at 624 for six after starting the day at 281 for two.
Punjab face a huge task in their first innings and were 20 for one in six overs at stumps on day two with opener Jiwanjot Singh.
Bhargav Merai (65), Rijul Bhatt (60), Rush Kalaria (60 not out) and stand in skipper Axar Patel (65 not out) were the Gujarat batsmen who contributed to the massive total.
Brief scores: Gujarat 624/6 decl in 156.4 overs (Panchal 314 not out; Sandeep Sharma 3/126). Punjab 20/1 in six overs.
Odisha bowl Maharashtra out twice to notch up innings win
Odisha bowled Maharashtra out twice in a stunning fashion on the second day to win their Group B match by an innings and 118 runs.
Odisha collected seven points, inclusive of a bonus point, as they wrapped up the match with two days to spare at the Krishnagiri Stadium.
In total, 21 wickets fell on an eventful day.
Odisha batted for 2.4 overs today and folded for 319, having begun the day on 311 for 9.
Maharashtra's Anupam Sanklecha (5/75) took the last wicket to complete yet another five-wicket haul -- his fourth in three games.
Sanklecha fine efforts went in vain as his batting colleagues came a cropper in both the innings.
In reply, Maharashtra struggled against Odisha's medium-pacers -- Suryakant Pradhan (4/34) in particular – as they were bowled out within 26 overs for a paltry 94 in their first innings.
Number nine Sanklecha was the top-scorer for Maharashtra with a 33-ball 18 while the extras accounted for 19.
Basant Mohanty and Deepak Behera took three wickets each in the Maharashtra first innings.
Asked to follow on, Maharashtra were reduced to 45 for 7, before an eighth-wicket partnership of 55 between Vishant More and Sanklecha delayed the inevitable.
Maharashtra eventually folded their second innings for 107 to suffer an embarrassing defeat.
Brief Scores: Odisha: 319 all out in 84.5 overs. vs Maharashtra: 94 all out in 26 overs & 107 (f/o) all out in 36.4 overs.
Manan-Vikas duo ensures lead for Delhi vs Vidarbha
All-rounder Manan Sharma and tail-ender Vikas Tokas engaged in a 72-run stand for the ninth wicket to ensure first innings lead and atleast three points for Delhi against Vidarbha in a Group B encounter in Chennai.
With top guns like Shikhar Dhawan (6), Gautam Gambhir (22), Unmukt Chand (0) and Rishabh Pant (29) being dismissed cheaply, Delhi were down and out at 178 for 8 at the start of the 58th over.
In the next 23.5 overs, Manan and Vikas played with a lot of grit and determination to deny Vidarbha, what they saw as an opportunity to get three points and then push for victory.
Manan in fact surpassed his previous best score of 81. He has so far played 119 balls to hit 9 boundaries and a six off a half-tracker bowled by leg-break bowler Azhar Sheikh.
Credit to Tokas as he hung in there for 88 deliveries to give him the support that he needed.
Earlier, India discard Gambhir again paid price for his open chested stance as an incoming delivery from Rajneesh Gurbani found him plumb in-front.
Unmukt Chand only had some success during the Jharkhand game and he edged an angled delivery from left-armer Shrikant Wagh to glovesman Siddhesh Wath.
Flavour of the domestic season Rishabh Pant (29) showed some discretion initially by defending but even his 29 had 22 runs in boundaries -- four fours and a huge six over mid-wicket off Lalit Yadav's bowling.
En route his innings, Pant also crossed the personal milestone of 900 runs in a season and is ahead of his rivals with 903 runs in his kitty.
But Lalit, who can work up decent pace got better of the burly Pant when he tried to pull a short delivery which went up for glovesman Wath to complete an easy catch.
Delhi were 74 for 5 and one demanded a bit more caution from the India prospect.
Nitish Rana (27) and Milind Kumar (37) did the hardwork only to throw away their wickets.
But the knock was a timely one for former India cricketer Ajay Sharma's son, who has had a pretty ordinary season with the ball.
It is the paucity of quality spinners and Manan's ability to get a few runs down the order has been the reason for his extended run in the team. His innings has put Delhi right back in the game and Gambhir and his men would now like to go all out for another six points.
Brief Scores: Vidarbha 183 all out vs Delhi 1st Innings 250/8 (Manan Sharma 82, Rishabh Pant 29, Vikas Tokas 28, Rajneesh Gurbani 4/76).
Saurashtra take first innings lead vs Karnataka
Prerak Mankad hit his maiden first-class century to help Saurashtra take a first innings lead on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group match against Karnataka.
Mankad remained not out on 100 at stumps as Saurashtra recovered from a precarious 34 for three to end the day at 297 for 6, a lead of 97 runs with four first innings wickets in hand.
Table-toppers Karnataka had made 200 all out in their first innings.
Mankad's aggressive innings of 126 balls -- strike rare of nearly 80 -- was studded with 15 fours and a six. Kamlesh Makvana was the other not out batsman but in contrast to Mankad's brisk strike rate, his 30 came from 119 balls and was studded with just four boundaries.
Mankad and Makvana have added 101 runs so far for unbroken seventh-wicket partnership to put Saurashtra in the drivers' seat by reaching to 297 for 6 after starting the day at overnight 19 for 2.
Opener Snell Patel was the other main contributor for Saurashtra with a 155-ball 87 which was lashed with 13 fours. Patel was the last Saurashtra batsman out.
Karnataka removed Sheldon Jackson early in the day, reducing Saurashtra to 34 for 3. But overnight batsman Patel put on 72 runs with Jaydev Shah (39) to stabilise the innings.
Patel then put on 57 runs with Mankad, to bring Saurashtra to within five runs of taking the lead, before falling to Abrar Kazi (2/66) for 87.
For Karnataka, captain Vinay Kumar took 4 for 43.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 1st Innings: 200 vs Saurashtra 1st Innings: 297 for 6 in 94 overs (Prerak Mankad 100 batting, Snell Patel 87; R Vinay Kumar 4/43).
Ahmed fiver gives UP first innings lead
Imtiaz Ahmed produced an impressive pace-bowling show as his five-wicket haul helped Uttar Pradesh shot Railways out for 213 to take a crucial first innings lead on the second day of their Group B match.
Ahmed's 5 for 34 triggered Railways' collapse from 147 for 2 to 213 all out in 79.4 overs, giving Uttar Pradesh a 46-run first-innings lead at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.
Railways, who began the day on 18 for 1, were going strong with a 124-run third-wicket partnership between Saurabh Wakaskar (74) and Arindam Ghosh (58). But Ahmed bowled Ghosh to break that partnership and then ran through Railways' lower order with the help of Kuldeep Yadav (2/75).
Uttar Pradesh had scored 259 in their first innings on Tuesday.
In the second innings, Uttar Pradesh were 64 for 2 at stumps. They now have an overall lead of 110 runs with eight second innings wickets in hand.
Opener Shivam Chaudhary was batting on 36 while Kuldeep Yadav was the other not out batsman without scoring at the draw of stumps.
Brief Scores: Uttar Pradesh: 259 & 64 for 2 in 27 overs (Shivam Chaudhary 36 batting) vs Railways: 213 all out in 79.4 overs (Saurabh Wakaskar 74, Arindam Ghosh 58; Imtiaz Ahmed 5/34).
Jharkhand in control against Assam
Jharkhand were in command of their Group B clash against Assam after making 316 in their first innings and then dismissing the north-eastern side for 126 on the second day.
Overnight 251/4, Jharkhand suffered a collapse of their own and folded for 316 with Saurabh Tiwary (88) and Ishank Jaggi (93) being their top-scorers.
For Assam Krishna Das inflicted maximum damage with a haul of 4/65 in his 36 overs. In reply, Assam endured a batting collapse and opener
Pallavkumar Das was the top-scorer with a 68-ball 30. Rahul Shukla was the standout bowler for Jharkhand with figures of 4/48.
Brief Scores: Jharkhand: 316 all out vs Assam: 126 all out in 52.2 overs (Pallavkumar Das 30, Rahul Shukla 4/48).