The spin duo of Iqbal Abdulla and Vishal Dabholkar shared nine wickets between them as Mumbai registered a 27-run victory over Gujarat to sail into the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy in Valsad on Thursday.
The 40-time champions, with 29 points, join Group ‘A’ table-toppers Karnataka (38) and Punjab (30) in the knock-out round.
Also making the last eight stage were Railways, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh from Group 'B', and Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir from Group 'C'.
Jammu and Kashmir created history by entering the quarter-finals for the first time after drawing their Group C match against Tripura, in Agartala, on Thursday. Parvez Rasool led the way with a superb all-round show. He
Rasool was the J&K's top scorer with 83, lifting them to 325, which secured the crucial first innings.
He then destroyed Tripura with the ball, claiming seven for 87 as the hosts were dismissed for 272.
Chasing 228 for an unlikely victory, J&K had a few nervy moments after losing two early wickets, but Rasool again came to the party with a quickfire 35 not out from 27 balls.
At the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stadium in Valsad, Mumbai, after conceding the first innings lead, recovered amazingly to bowl out Gujarat for 147 in 56 overs in the second innings on the final day.
Left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar picked four wickets for 33 runs, while Abdulla, who was included in the side for this crucial encounter, ended the second innings with figures of five for 44 in addition to the 6-42 he had from the first innings.
He also scored 68 runs (30 in the first innings and 38 in the second) in the low-scoring match.
Starting the day at 67 for 3 and needing another 108 runs to win the match, overnight batsmen Askhar Patel and Bhargav Merai took Gujarat to 104 without further loss. But then Dabholkar got the breakthrough, claiming the wicket of Merai (36), and when Patel was bowled by Suryakumar Yadav for 65 Mumbai got a sniff of a victory.
Gujarat's last six wickets fell for just 12 runs in 11.2 overs as Abdullah and Dabholkar polished off the tail.
While Patel hit 10 fours in his 99-ball knock, Merai had four boundaries in their 76-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Mumbai: 154 & 273
Gujarat: 253 & 147 all out in 56 overs (Askhar Patel 65, Bhargav Merai 36; Iqbal Abdulla 5-44).
Karnataka thrash Delhi by eight wickets
New Delhi: Karnataka crushed Delhi by eight wickets to end their Ranji Trophy group league engagements as table toppers with 38 points from eight games.
The visitors got some nice match practice ahead of their quarter-final match, as they chased down a paltry victory target of 115 in 29 overs after dismissing Delhi for 201 in 77.4 overs.
This was Karnataka's fifth outright victory this season.
Opener Mayank Agarwal clobbered the Delhi spinners, scoring 68 off 96 balls, as the match finished well before tea.
Agarwal, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, hit six fours and three sixes.
Delhi will surely like to forget this season, as senior players like Virender Sehwag became a liability to the team, failing to make any significant contribution throughout the league stage.
Youngsters like Vaibhav Rawal and Unmukt Chand weren't consistent enough and the bowling was largely dependant on Ashish Nehra (28 wickets), while the other bowlers couldn’t complement the veteran pacer as they ideally should have.
Fittingly, Karnataka outbatted, outbowled and outfielded Delhi in the match to show why they are one of the most consistent domestic teams this season. Even without the services of Robin Uthappa, KL Rahul, Abhimanyu Mithun, they looked a formidable force.
It was a matter of time on the final day for Karnataka to seal victory. The wickets were shared by pacers Ronit More (3-39), HS Sharath (3-35) along with leggie Shreyash Gopal (3-23) and left-arm spinner Abrar Kazi (1-18).
Starting the day at 132 for 6, Delhi lost their seventh wicket when Sharath cleaned up Varun Sood (0).
Although Milind Kumar (31 not out off 100 balls) and Sumit Narwal (21) added 40 runs for the eighth wicket, they did not show any positive intent dead-batting anything and everything.
Finally, Kazi got one to just roll down as Narwal was bowled. Nehra hit some lusty blows before he was stumped going for a slog sweep off Gopal's bowling. Gopal then claimed his third wicket when he got Manoj Chauhan to glove one to Manish Pandey at first slip.
Karnataka skipper R Vinay Kumar felt while the wicket was a difficult one but it was not under prepared.
"Pitch was difficult to bat on but certainly not under prepared. Delhi didn't play badly but we played better than them," said Vinay Kumar.
Delhi: 202 & 201 (Virender Sehwag 11, Gautam Gambhir 26, Mithun Manhas 32).
Karnataka: 289 & 115 for 2 (Mayank Agarwal 68 not out).
Rajasthan sign off campaign with win over Baroda
Jaipur: Rajasthan ended their Ranji Trophy campaign on a winning note after defeating Baroda by six wickets in their final Group B league match in Jaipur on Thursday.
Baroda needed a victory to advance to the quarter-final stage, but were simply outplayed by Rajasthan’s better pace attack, led by Chahar Singh and Pankaj Singh who took nine and seven wickets respectively in the match, at the Sawai Mansingh stadium.
The visiting side had lost the plot on Wednesday after being reduced to 112 for 6 and was ahead by just 15 runs with four second innings in hand when play resumed on Thursday.
Irfan Pathan, 52 overnight, was the lone batsman offer resistance but failed to get any assistance from the other end. His brother and captain Yusuf, who did not take the field for two days due to a bout of fever, was forced to come out and bat but could score just seven.
Irfan (84) was the last man out, as Baroda were dismissed for 167 from 48.2 overs, midway into the morning session.
Chahar added three more wickets to the one he took on Wednesday to dash Baroda's hopes of saving the match. He scalped Gagandeep Singh (7), Yusuf Pathan (7) and Murtuja Vahora (3) before Aniket Choudhary ended the match by dismissing Irfan, who hit eight fours and five sixes from 118 balls by then.
Rajasthan needed 13.4 overs to chase down the small target of 71 and wrapped up the match before lunch, although their top order batsmen fumbled in eagerness to finish early. They lost four wickets in the process.
Rajasthan, who had won the title in successive years in 2010-11 and 2011-12, ended their campaign with two outright victories to finish sixth in the nine-team table with 20 points, the same as Baroda, who finished a rung higher only because they had three wins.
Rajasthan: 333 and 74 for 4 in 13.4 overs
Baroda: 236 and 167 all out in 48.2 overs (Irfan Pathan 84, Deepak Chahar 4-40).
Haryana-Odisha in tame draw
Bhubaneswar: The Group ‘A’ Ranji Trophy match between Haryana and Odisha ended in a tame draw, with the visitors saving themselves from relegation.
Haryana had already ensured themselves another season in the top tier of the Ranji Trophy on Wednesday by securing a first-innings lead of 384, and with Jharkhand losing heavily to Punjab, the final day was a mere formality for both teams.
Odisha, who began at 33 for no loss, were buoyed by a 120-run partnership for the second wicket between Govind Podder and Niranjan Behera, who scored 79 and 64 respectively.
Odisha lost quick wickets following Niranjan's dismissal in the 54th over, but the result of the game was never really in question.
Joginder Sharma and Jayant Yadav picked two wickets each, as Odisha ended on 228 for 6 in 97 overs.
Odisha finished sixth in Group A with 12 points while Haryana ended at eighth in the nine-team table with 10 points.
Both the teams have failed to make it to the quarterfinals.
Odisha: 242 and 228-6 in 97 overs (Govind Podder 79, Niranjan Behera 64).
Haryana: 626-4 decl (Rahul Dewan 273, Sachin Rana 157, Nitin Saini 102 not out).
Goa: 267 and 43 for 2 beat Andhra: 148 and 160 by eight wickets in Porvorim
Image: Iqbal Abdulla