Gujarat's Manprit Juneja made a memorable debut, scoring an unbeaten double century, but Tamil Nadu still emerged with three points by virtue of the first innings lead on the fourth and final day of their Ranji Trophy match in Ahmedabad, on Friday.
Thanks to Juneja's monumental knock of 201 not out, Gujarat posted a strong 539 all out after Tamil Nadu had piled up a mammoth 698 for eight declared at the at Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera.
In their second essay, Tamil Nadu were 100 without losing a wicket.
The 22-year-old right-hander's knock was laced with 26 boundaries and three sixes.
He faced 324 deliveries and spent 427 minutes during his mammoth effort.
Resuming at their overnight score of 293 for 4, with Juneja on 84 and and Pratheresh Parmar on 45, Gujarat rode on the duo's 189-run partnership for the fifth wicket to frustrate the visitors.
After Parmar was dismissed by Jannagathan Kaushik for 65, Juneja added 113 runs for the sixth wicket with Jesal Karia, the partnership coming in just 22.1 overs.
By the time Yo Mahesh had Karia caught behind by Dinesh Karthik, the batsman had already scored 72 off 74 balls.
Karia hit 12 fours and two sixes during his 88-minute stay at the crease.
Kaushik, R Aushik Srinivas and Sunny Gupta finished with three wickets each for Tamil Nadu.
When they came out to bat the second time, Murali Vijay and first-inning double centurion Abhinav Mukund were unbeaten on 57 and 42 respectively.
Tamil Nadu: 698-8 decl & 100-0 in 14 overs.
Gujarat: 539 (Juneja 201 not out, Priyank Panchal 80, Jesal Karia).
Powar's five-wkt haul gives Mumbai first innings lead
Spinner Ramesh Powar captured five wickets to help Mumbai dismiss Uttar Pradesh for 312 and take a valuable 102-run first innings lead, as the Elite Group A match ended in a draw in Lucknow.
Resuming at 166-2, Uttar Pradesh lost opener Bhuvneshwar Kumar (62) in the third over, while overnight batsman Parvinder Singh (51) completed his fifty before being cleaned up by Powar, who claimed his second wicket.
Skipper Suresh Raina (58) tried to steady the ship but could add just 23 runs with A Alam (4) as the latter was bowled by Powar at the team's score of 238.
Three overs later, Kaustubh Pawar ran Raina out, and soon Piyush Chawla (6) was also dismissed by Dhawal Kulkarni.
P Gupta too did not stay long, dismissed by Powar.
ER Dwivedi and RP Singh hung around for some time, adding 54 in 15.5 overs, but it was not enough as UP handed Mumbai a 102-run lead.
Mumbai then scored 11 for 2 in their second essay by the time stumps were drawn.
Mumbai registered three crucial points on the basis of the first innings lead, while Uttar Pradesh bagged one.
Mumbai: 414 & 11-2 (Iqbal Abdulla 6; I Ahmed 1-2).
Uttar Pradesh: 312 in 95.5 overs (B Kumar 62, P Singh 51, S Raina 58; R R Powar 5-69).
Tiwary, Veer Pratap ensure Bengal three points
Manoj Tiwary played the innings of his life while debutant Veer Pratap Singh showed maturity beyond his age as Bengal logged three points against Delhi from their penultimate Elite Group B match at the Eden Gardens.
Tiwary's 187 (380 balls, 24x4) played over nine hours helped Bengal to a slender, yet important, three-run lead against Delhi, which took their points tally to eight.
Even though they remain at the bottom, they have a realistic chance of beating the drop if they can at least manage three points against Baroda in their concluding match.
For Delhi, it was yet another disappointing campaign as they couldn't qualify for the knock-outs for the second successive year.
Resuming the day precariously placed at 358-8, 35 runs short of the first innings lead, Tiwary again shielded Singh, refusing easy singles while adding another two fours to his kitty of 22.
However, it was debutant Veer whose copybook cover drive off Rajat Bhatia ensured Bengal reached the magic figure of 393.
The youngster was applauded by Tiwary, who, for the first time removed his helmet to acknowledge the crowd, something he did not even do when he reached 100 and 150.
Veer, who played 51 balls, has now ensured that veteran Ranadeb Bose may just have to sit out of the next match unless the selectors decide to drop spinner Iresh Saxena.
There was no stopping Veer, who followed it up with a square cut for a boundary over point region as he showed amazing temperament in his maiden first-class match.
Soon after Singh ensured the three points of the first delivery of the 118th over, Tiwary mistimed one Pradeep Sangwan delivery for a simple catch to the bowler and was out having done the hard work.
Dinda faced two balls before skipper Sourav Ganguly made the declaration.
Sangwan took a five-wicket haul, having toiled for 35.4 overs in absence of senior pro Ashish Nehra.
In their second essay, Delhi replied with 186-3 as they batted two sessions before calling it off after 57 overs.
Puneet Bisht (57), Mithun Manhas (52 not out) and Yogesh Nagar (50 not) scored half-centuries each.
Delhi: 392 & 186-3; 57 overs (Puneet Bisht 57, Mithun Manhas 52 not out, Yogesh Nagar 50 not out; Ashok Dinda 2-43)
Bengal: 397-9 decl in 124.4 overs (Manoj Tiwary 187, Veer Pratap Singh 15 not out; Pradeep Sangwan 5-107).
Kaul hits 100 as Punjab-Karnataka match ends in draw
Uday Kaul's unbeaten century was the highlight of the final day's proceedings in the drawn Elite Group A match between Punjab and Karnataka at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
Thanks to the 76-run first innings lead, Punjab collected three points that took their tally to 15 from six outings.
They are placed third, behind Karnataka (21) and Mumbai (20) in Group A.
Resuming at the overnight score of 119 for 3, Punjab declared their second innings at 274 for 8, moments after Uday Kaul completed his hundred.
Kaul scored 100, consuming 248 deliveries. He struck eleven boundaries.
Mayank Sidhana scored 73, while Amitoze Singh chipped in with 31.
Needing to make 351 for an improbable victory in the last session, Karnataka scored 157 for 1 before stumps were drawn for the day.
Robun Uthappa scored a blistering 65-ball 68 in an opening partnership of 104 with K B Pawqan (57 not out, 9 fours).
Uthappa smashed five sixes and two fours during his mayhem.
Punjab: 357 & 274-8 in 87.2 overs (U Kaul 100; NC Aiyappa 4-70)
Karnataka: 281 & Karnataka 157-1 in 34 overs (R Uttappa 68, KB Pawan 57; R Sharma 1-42).
Railways keep knock-out hopes alive
Hosts Railways kept their chances of making it to the knock-out stage of the Ranji Trophy alive after securing three points against Orissa by virtue of the first innings lead of 48 runs.
Pacer Krishna Kant Upadhyay (2-69) and India discard Murali Kartik (3-73) played a leading role as Orissa were all out for 331 in pursuit of Railways' first innings total of 379, in New Delhi, on Friday.
Orissa, with only two points from six games, will be playing in the Plate group next year, as even six points from their last fixture against Rajasthan can only take them to a maximum eight points.
Railways have 13 points, and an outright victory against Saurashtra in their last game can ensure a safe passage to the last eight.
Starting the day on 294 for 5, the overnight not out pair of Abhilash Mullick (51, 198 balls, 4x4) and Govind Poddar (44, 139 balls, 4x4) added 93 runs before the latter was cleaned up by Upadhyay, who then dismissed Lagnajit Samal (0).
Kartik, who has always bowled well against tail-enders then bowled Basant Mohanty. Mullick was then run-out as Orissa's chances of making a match of it ended.
The Railways batsmen got some batting practice, as out-of-form Shreyas Khanolkar helped himself to a half-century.
Railways: 379 & 113-2 (Shreyas Khanolkar 50 not out).
Orissa: 331 (Paresh Patel 95, Subhrajit Sahoo 70, Murali Kartik 3-74, KK Upadhyay 2-69).
Mathur bowls Rajasthan to 229-run victory
A sensational display of pace bowling by Sumit Mathur (6-33) helped Rajasthan crush Saurashtra by 229 runs in their Elite division match at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur.
Chasing a victory target of 373, the visitors could not cope with the deadly bowling of veteran medium pacer Mathur and were bundled out for a modest 143 in their second essay.
Pankaj Singh (2-49) and Rituraj Singh (2-44) ably supported Mathur in the massive win.
Rajasthan earned five points from the outing, taking their tally to 10, to rekindle hopes of a knock-out berth.
Saurashtra returned empty-handed. They are stranded with 11 points from six matches, making the race for knock-out berths in Group A interesting.
Resuming their second innings on Friday on 169 for 1, Rajasthan declared at 241 for 4 soon after former India opener Akash Chopra (98; 208 balls, 12 x4, 1x6) fell two short of his hundred and Hrishikesh Kanitkar (52) reached his half century.
Saurashtra, set a difficult target of 373, had a good start, but lost three quick wickets before lunch Rajasthan medium pacers Mathur, Pankaj and Rituraj struck once each before the break.
With the top order of Chirag Pathak (17), Bhushan Chouhan (20) and Sagar Jogiyani (16) back in the dressing room it was a test of character for the remaining batsmen.
Skipper Jaidev Shah (35), Sitanshu Kotak (28 not out) offered brief resistance but that was never going to be enough as Mathur ripped through the lower order.
Rajasthan skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar was a happy man with the performance if his team.
"Everything went according to our plans. It was also because our boys got a very good wicket to bowl on and they bowled at right areas. If we can manage an outright victory over Orissa in our last match we can hope for a berth in the knock-out round," he said.
Rajasthan: 396 & 241 for 4 decl.
Saurashtra: 265 & 143 in 56.5 overs (Jaydev Shah 35; Sumit Mathur 6-33).
Harayna save match against MP after following on
Haryana's batsmen fought back in style with three half centuries after following-on as their Ranji Trophy Elite division match against Madhya Pradesh in Rohtak ended in a draw.
Prateek Pawar (84) and Sachin Rana (64) defied the Madhya Pradesh bowling attack for 49.5 overs while adding 132 runs for the fourth wicket after Sunny Singh (76) could add just one run to his overnight score before being out.
Resuming at 147 for 2, Haryana scored 346 for seven from 135 overs before the umpires decided to declare the Group B match as drawn, at Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium.
Harshal Patel (3) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4) were unbeaten at close.
Haryana had earlier conceded a huge 361-run first innings lead to Madhya Pradesh, who asked the visitors to follow-on.
The home side was to blame for not going on to win the match as they had enough overs to bowl the visitors out.
Pacer TP Sudhindra bagged two more wickets on Friday to end with innings figures of 3-83. Jalaj Saxena, Rameez Khan and Asif Ali grabbed a wicket each.
Madhya Pradesh bagged three points for taking the first innings lead while Haryana got one after saving the match.
Madhya Pradesh have already qualified for the knock-out round. They have 16 points from five matches.
Haryana are in danger of being relegated as they have just one point more than bottom-placed teams Gujarat and Bengal, who have nine after five matches.
Madhya Pradesh: 487
Haryana: 126 &d 346-7 in 135 overs (Sunny Singh 76, Prateek Pawar 84, Sachin Rana 64; TP Sudhindra 3-83).