Rajkot: Cheteshwar Pujara warmed up nicely for the Sri Lanka Test series with a record 12th first-class double hundred ensuring a huge first innings total of 553 for nine for Saurashtra against Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy Group B encounter.
En route his double hundred, Pujara surpassed Vijay Merchant's record for the most double hundreds by an Indian in first-class cricket -- a record that stood for almost 70 years.
At stumps on Day 2, Jharkhand were 52 for 2 with Jaydev Unadkat removing both openers Shasheem Rathour and Nazim Siddiqui.
The day once again belonged to Pujara, who scored 204 off 355 balls hitting 28 boundaries in the process. He was a picture of concentration batting close to nine and half hours (566 minutes) and was the ninth Saurashtra batsman to be dismissed.
Along with Chirag Jani (108), Pujara added 210 runss for the seventh wicket which knocked the stufing out of Jharkhand bowlers. Jani played 203 balls and hit 18 boundaries in the process.
The knock came at a good time for Pujara, who had gone without a half-century in his last 10 first-class innings.
At his home ground, where he has scored tons of runs, the India No. 3 was back in his element -- concentrating long and hard, punishing the loose deliveries and making a mockery of another domestic attack.
Group B Brief Scores:
In Rajkot: Saurashtra 553/9 (Cheteshwar Pujara 204, Chirag Jani 108, Prerak Mankad 85, Shahbaz Nadeem 2/183) vs Jharkhand 52/2 (Jaydev Unadkat 2/13).
In Valsad: Gujarat 236 and 110/2 (Priyank Panchal 61 batting, Amit Mishra 2/27) vs Haryana 157 (Rohit Pramod Sharma 65, Himanshu Rana 50, Piyush Chawla 4/48).
In Thumba: Kerala 219 and 45/1 vs Jammu and Kashmir 173 (Shubham Khajuria 41, Parveez Rasool 28, KC Akshay 4/37).
Gambhir, Shorey hit 50s before UP fight back
New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh fought back through left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar to reduce Delhi to 228 for six at stumps on day two of the Ranji Trophy Group A match.
UP, who resumed at 270 for eight, were all out for 291 in the morning.
In response, Delhi were looking good at 125 for one before Gautam Gambhir's dismissal triggered a middle order collapse, which saw the team in serious trouble at 187 for five.
After Gambhir (86), Dhruv Shorey hit an unbeaten 65 to keep the innings together but Delhi still need 63 runs to equal UP's first innings total.
While Delhi pacers reveled on a green surface on day one, UP spinner Kumar (3/74) came up with crucial breakthroughs.
He first removed opener Unmukt Chand, who is yet to fire in the tournament, before taking the prized wicket of Gambhir.
The former Delhi captain looked solid as he hit 13 fours during his 122-ball innings. Mlind Kumar was out for a duck, leaving Delhi at 127 for three before Shorey and Rishabh Pant (30) got together but were not able to build a big partnership that was needed to change the momentum of the game in the home team's favour.
Pant, playing his first game of the tournament, batted like he normally does hammering three fours and couples of sixes during his 23-ball cameo.
Last match's hero Manan Sharma too departed quickly and so did Nitish Rana.
Pretty much like on Wednesday, four dismissals out of the six were edges to wicketkeeper Upendra Yadav, who earlier in the day made an unbeaten 67 to take UP well past 250.
Bad light affected play for the second day in a row.
Group A Brief scores:
In Delhi: UP 291 all out in 89.5 overs (Mohd Saif 83, U Yadav 67 not out; Akshdeep Nath 59; Ishant 3/38) vs Delhi: 228/6 in 75 overs (G Gambhir 86, D Shorey not out 65; S Kumar 3/74).
In Delhi: Hyderabad 1st innings: 474/9 decl in 148.4 overs (Ambati Rayudu 112, BP Sandeep 82; Manish Rao 3/76) vs Railways 1st innings 35/1 in 13 overs.
In Pune: Maharashtra 1st innings: 245 all out vs Karnataka 1st innings: 461/2 in 125 overs (Mayank Agarwal 219 not out, Ravikumar Samarth 129).
Ton-up Tiwary gives Bengal edge over Himachal
Kolkata: Bengal pacers fought back in the final session after Manoj Tiwary's splendid century to leave Himachal Pradesh reeling at 163 for five in their Ranji Trophy Group D fixture at Eden Gardens.
Resuming at an overnight score of 78, Tiwary cracked 128 to guide Bengal to a healthy 419 in their first innings.
Profligate with the new ball initially, India pacer Mohammed Shami (2/74) got his sting back when the ball got old and ended Priyanshu Khanduri's 120-ball vigil at the crease for 52 runs.
In space of two balls, Ashoke Dinda (2/39) removed the in-form Nikhil Gangta for a cheap 24 before bad light stopped play at 39.3 overs with the Group D leaders trailing by 256 runs.
Resuming the day on 306/5, Bengal made steady progress as Tiwary notched up his 24th first-class century and first of this season.
Tiwary took 167 balls to get to his hundred and found a fine support in Shreevats Goswami as the duo looked in control in their 64-run partnership till the latter was trapped by Pankaj Jaiswal (3/83).
Bengal innings folded just after the lunch break as Rishi Dhawan (4/86) and Jaiswal wipped the tail but not before they crossed the 400-mark with Mohammed Shami hitting a 22-ball 26 that included two fours and two sixes.
"I am disappointed because I could not make it bigger. We had time in our hands," Tiwary said.
In reply, Himachal were reduced to nine for one with Dinda dismissing Prashant Chopra (6) in the third over but after that skipper Sumeet Verma (64) and Khanduri looked in control to lay a solid foundation.
Bengal bowlers struggled to get any help from the wicket as Verma and Chopra added 92 runs for the second wicket before Mukesh Kumar gave the breakthrough dismissing the Himachal captain caught-behind.
Shami looked lacklustre and got his first wicket -- Paras Dogra (7) -- in the ninth over and conceded 74 runs in his 13 overs.
But Khanduri looked dogged in his approach and completed his fifty in 107 balls with a fine support from Gangta, fresh from his consecutive centuries against Services and Goa.
The duo, however, could not consolidate as Shami trapped Khanduri before Dinda swung the match in their favour.
"They were in a comfortable position at one stage but bowlers did well to fight back. I'm really happy at getting five wickets at the end of the day. We are in a good position, the first aim is to secure three points then we will see how the match pans out," Tiwary said.
He further backed Shami and said: "He struggled initially with his rhythm but happy that they fought back. We hope to get early breakthroughs in the morning session tomorrow."
Group D Brief Scores:
In Kolkata: Bengal 419 in 121.3 overs (A Raman 176, M Tiwary 123; R Dhawan 4/86, P Jaiswal 3/83) vs Himachal Pradesh 163/5 in 39.3 overs (S Verma 64, P Khanduri 52).
In Nagpur: Vidarbha 385 in 124.5 overs (Faiz Fazal 136, Ganesh Satish 78, S R Ramaswamy 55) vs Services 141/4 in 53 overs (Rahul Singh 57 not out, Ravi Chauhan 44).
In Raipur: Punjab 481/6 in 103 overs (Anmolpreet Singh 171 not out, Gurkeerat Singh 111, Jiwanjot Singh 75; Shourabh Kharwar 3/90) vs Chhatisgarh 238
Mumbai seizes control as Odisha batsmen falter
Bhubaneshwar: Mumbai gained the upperhand against Odisha on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match as they dismissed Odisha for 145, thereby gaining a 144-run first innings lead.
At close on Day 2, Mumbai reached 58 for three in their second innings to stretch their lead.
Resuming at the overnight 264 for six, Mumbai could add only 25 runs but hit back strongly to dismiss the rival for 145. For Odisha,Basant Mohanty bagged four wickets.
In response, Odisha started disastrously and lost three wickets without a run on the board. Dhawal Kulkarni dismissed Sandeep Pattanaik off the fourth ball of the innings, having him caught by Surya Kumar Yadav.
Shardul Thakur struck with his first delivery, sending back Natraj Behera and followed it up by scalping Subhransu Senapati off the next. Shantanu Mishra, who came in next, however, denied Thakur a hat-trick.
Things got worse for Odisha when skipper Govind Poddar, who made a ton in the previous match against Andhra Pradesh, fell for 2 to leave the team at four down for just two runs.
Shantanu Mishra (36) and Biplab Samantaray (72 not out) repaired the damage with a 93-run partnership.
Mumbai bowlers ran through the lower order to dismiss Odisha for 145 in 50.5 overs as Vijay Gohil and Abhishek Nayar scalped three wickets each.
First innings centurion Prithvi Shaw played positively even as fellow opener Akhil Herwadkar (3) was content to play second fiddle before falling with the total at 36.
Ajinkya Rahane did not last long and leg-before to Basant Mohanty for a duck.
Odisha struck late in the day to remove Shaw for 46 to leave Mumbai at 58 for 3 at stumps, an overall lead of 202 runs.
Group C Brief scores:
At Bhubaneshwar: Mumbai 289 all out (P Shaw 105, B Mohanty 4 for 51) and 58 for 3 in 16 overs (Pr Shaw 46) vs Odisha 145 all out in 50.5 overs (Biplab Samantaray 72 not out, Vijay Gohil 3 for 26, Abhishek Nayar 3 for 27).
At Vizianagaram: Madhya Pradesh 321 all out in 122.5 overs (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 88, Shubam Sharma 60, Prithvi Raj Yarra 4 for 56) vs Andhra Pradesh 177 for 5 in 56 overs (G Hanuma Vihari 77, B Sumanth 57, Mihir Hirwani 2 for 33).
At Vadodara: Baroda 521 all out in 152.2 overs (Vishnu Solanki 116, A Sheth 95 not out, Abhijit Karambelkar 86, A S Sarkar 3 for 88) vs Tripura 63 for 1 in 25 overs (S M Singha 41).