New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir started his new season in the right earnest with a patient century as Delhi made a pedestrian Assam attack toil by reaching 269 for four at stumps on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group A encounter in New Delhi on Saturday.
Courtesy Gambhir's 40th first class hundred (136 not out from 245 balls) and his 207-run third-wicket stand with another centurion Nitish Rana (110 from 158 balls) Delhi put themselves in the driver's seat.
This was after Assam were all out for 258, having started the day at 224 for seven with skipper Ishant Sharma returning with best figures of five for 38 in 20 overs.
When Delhi started batting, it was yet another failure for Unmukt Chand (6), who was trapped leg before by right-arm medium pacer Krishna Das.
Dhruv Shorey's (1) stumps went for a walk off an Abu Nechim delivery.
However, Gambhir looked assured from the word go as he played some flowing off and cover drives. In all, he hit 21 boundaries.
When spinners were brought in, he showed his mastery with nimble footwork reaching to the pitch of the deliveries whenever Rahul Singh and Sarupam Purkayastha dropped short.
Young left-hander Rana, who had also hit a hundred against Assam last year, hit more boundaries square of the wicket.
His cut shots packed a real punch as he repeatedly pierced the off-side cordon.
Gambhir reached his hundred with two lofted boundaries off left-arm spinner Rahul Singh.
There was no celebration from the veteran southpaw, who was a picture of concentration. The best shot was a copybook straight drive off Krishna's bowling.
Rana reached 99 with a sweep shot and then completed his hundred off 150 balls with a single. He hit 18 boundaries before edging one off Abu Nechim's delivery.
Assam 258 all out in 95 overs (Sarupam Purakayastha 66, Gokul Sharma 51, Ishant Sharma 5/38)
Delhi 269 for four (Gautam Gambhir 136 no, Nitish Rana 110, Abu Nechim Ahmed 3/39).
Railways vs Uttar Pradesh:
Railways 1st Innings: 182 all out.
Uttar Pradesh 1st Innings: 250 all out (A Nath 75, RK Singh 42, A Singh 3/42).
Railways 2nd innings: 27/3 in 14 overs.
Saurashtra on verge of big win over Haryana
Saurashtra seamers Shaurya Sanandia, Jaydev Unadkat and Kushang Patel shared 14 wickets among them across two innings to put their side on the verge of a comprehensive victory over Haryana on the second day of their Group B Ranji Trophy match in Rohtak.
Saurashtra resumed their first innings at 271 for 7 but could only add seven runs to their overnight total with Ashish Hooda (6/61) cleaning up the tail.
Haryana's joy was, however, shortlived as Unadkat (3/35), Sanandia (4/44) and Patel (3/21) ran through their batting order to bowl them out for 107 in their first innings.
Saurashtra skipper Cheteshwar Pujara decided to enforce the follow-on and Haryana were reduced to 93 for 6 at stumps, still 78 short of making Saurashtra bat again at the Ch Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium.
Chaitanya Bishnoi was batting on 53 at the draw of stumps.
Saurashtra 278 (Prerak Mankad 68, Sheldon Jackson 51; Ashish Hooda 6/61) lead Haryana 107 (Rahul Tewatia 23; Shaurya Sanandia 4/44, Kushang Patel 3/21, Jaydev Unadkat 3/35) & 93/6
f/o (Chaitanya Bishnoi 53 batting; Shaurya Sanandia 2/15) by 78 runs.
Rajasthan vs Jammu & Kashmir:
Rajasthan 330 (Robin Bist 113, Ashok Menaria 69; Mohammed Mudhasir 5/81, Parvez Rasool 3/50) lead Jammu & Kashmir 150/1 (Ahmed Bandy 72 batting, Shubham Khajuria 53; Tanveer-Ul-Haq
1/18) by 180 runs.
Kerala vs Jharkhand:
Jharkhand 202 (Ishan Kishan 45; Jalaj Saxena 6/50) trail Kerala 250/8 (Mohammed Azharuddeen 51, Jalaj Saxena 47 batting; Sunny Gupta 6/94) by 48 runs.
Chopra hits 338 as HP score mammoth 729/8 decl vs Punjab
Opener Prashant Chopra hit the first triple hundred of the current first-class season as Himachal Pradesh piled up a massive 729 for 8 declared against Punjab on the second day of the Ranji Trophy group D encounter.
At stumps, Punjab were 110 for 1 with Jiwanjot Singh unbeaten on 34 in company of Uday Kaul (2 batting). Opener Pargat Singh scored an attacking 64 off 69 balls before being dismissed.
The match however belong to Chopra, who had scored in excess of 900 runs last season and was recently a part of the India ‘A’ team.
In another group ‘B’ match at the Palam Ground in Delhi, Bengal declared their first innings at 552 for 9, with top three players Sudeep Chatterjee (115), skipper Manoj Tiwary (69) and Wriddhiman Saha (55) amongst runs.
In reply, Services were 103 for 1 at stumps on the second day with Mohammed Shami (1/33) getting the only wicket.
The highlight of the second day's play was Ashok Dinda's 25-ball-55 with eight boundaries and two sixes.
With Mohammed Shami (23), the final wicket yielded 77 runs for Bengal to take their score past 550 runs.
Brief Scores (Group D)
Himachal Pradesh 729/8 dec(Prashant Chopra 338, Paras Dogra 99). Punjab 110/1 (Pargat Singh 64)
Bengal 552/9 decl (Sudeep Chatterjee 115, Manoj Tiwary 69, Wriddhiman Saha 55). Services 103/1.
Chattisgarh 458 all out (Manoj Singh 125, Mohammed Kaif 61, Jatin Saxena 82). Goa 28/0.
Sumath, Hebbar hand Andhra vital lead against TN
Half-centuries by B Sumanth and Ashwin Hebbar gave Andhra Pradesh a crucial lead on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group ‘C’ encounter against Tamil Nadu at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Their knocks helped Andhra wrest the initiative against the star-studded hosts after having been 64 for 5 at one point to end the day at 231 for 7, a lead of 55.
Tamil Nadu had been dismissed for 176 in the first innings on Saturday.
Resuming at the overnight score of eight without loss, the visiting side was in trouble almost immediately as opener D B Prashanth Kumar fell to L Vignesh.
When Ashwin had Bharat stumped by N Jagadeesan for 32, Andhra looked in trouble at 64 for 5.
The TN bowlers had done very well till that point and fielders had played their part too, taking the catches came their way.
Then came a vital moment in the game as M S Washington Sundar dropped Ashwin Hebbar (on 13) off Ashwin's bowling at deep mid-wicket.
From 95 for 5 at lunch, Sumanth, who showed great resolve to defy the bowling, took the fight to Tamil Nadu in Hebbar's company.
Sumanth didn't resume his knock after the tea interval owing to a hand injury, but Hebbar kept the scoreboard moving.
Sumanth, who returned at the fall of Bhatt, took the team to the close without any further damage and swelled the lead to 55 runs.
For Tamil Nadu, K Vignesh, L Vignesh and Ashwin bagged two wickets each.
Test all-rounder Ashwin, who bowled 23 overs, looked dangerous in the first session but couldn't make much of an impression in the post-lunch period.
Brief scores (End of day 2): Group ‘C’ Tamil Nadu 176 all out (Baba Aparajith 51, K Vignesh 25 not out, Bhargav Bhatt 4 for 52, Prithvi Raj Yarra 3 for 39) vs Andhra Pradesh 231 for 7 (B Sumanth 72 batting, Ashwin Hebbar 64, K S Bharat 32, K Vignesh 2 for 46, L Vignesh 2 for 36, R Ashwin 2 for 51) in Chennai.
Madhya Pradesh 551 for 8 declared in 164 overs (Devendr Bundela 99, Shubam Sharma 196, Ankit Sharma 104, Harpreet Singh Bhatia 32, A Sheth 2 for 90, Swapnil K Singh 3 for 136) vs Baroda 36 for 2 in 13 overs (Kedar Devdhar 20 batting) at Indore.
Tripura vs Odisha - Play on day two also washed out without a ball being bowled, at Cuttack.