Talented Mumbai batsman Rohit Sharma made full use of three missed catches by Bengal fielders as he slammed an unbeaten 200 to help defending champions Mumbai pile up a mammoth 621 for eight against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on Thursday.
At stumps on the second day, Bengal were 28 for one having lost Arindam Das who edged one to Omkar Gurav behind stumps off Avishkar Salvi.
However, the day undoubtedly belonged to Rohit who made amends for missing out on a three-figure mark during Mumbai's opening encounter against Saurashtra when he was out for 93 in the first innings. It was Rohit's ninth first-class double hundred. He faced 257 deliveries hitting 23 boundaries and three sixes during his six-hour and 23 minute stay at the crease.
The youngster was lucky when he was dropped thrice before his score reached 40. After debutant Writam Porel dropped him on Wednesday off Ashok Dinda, Rohit was dropped twice on day two off Ranadeb Bose's bowling. The catching of the hosts has been atrocious this season having already dropped seven catches in two matches so far.
While Abhishek Nayar (19) and Ajit Agarkar (4) were quickly dismissed within the first seven overs with scoreboard reading 313 for six, it was Iqbal Abdulla (81, 95 balls, 12x4) who stepped up the tempo with some lusty hitting.
Abdulla along with Rohit added 144 runs for the seventh wicket and scored 163 runs in the first session. It was poor bowling from left-arm spinner Shib Sagar Singh who mostly bowled a negative line and was punished badly.
After Abdulla was dismissed by Sourashis Lahiri, Ramesh Powar smashed a quickfire 38 off 34 balls to take the score past 500 before Shib Sagar dismissed him. However, Rohit found an able ally in Dhawal Kulkarni (37 not out) as they together put on 115 runs for the ninth wicket to take the score past 600. In the process. Rohit reached his personal milestone of adding another first-class double hundred to his kitty.
Uthappa ton gives Karnataka lead
Robin Uthappa scored a brilliant 149 to power Karnataka to 346 for six to take a crucial 106-run first innings lead over Punjab on the second day of the Super League Group B Ranji Trophy match at the PCA stadium in Mohali, on Thursday.
Uthappa tore apart the Punjab bowling attack as the hosts toiled hard to take wickets.
He also weaved important partnerships of 130 and 89 for the third and fourth wicket with Ganesh Satish (55) and Manish Pandey (49) respectively.
The right-handed batsman Uthappa whose knock of 149 came from 182 balls that included 16 hits to the fence and two sixes, was unlucky to be dismissed run out late in the day.
Earlier, in reply to Punjab's modest 243 in the first innings, Karnataka did not get off to a good start. They suffered an early blow when opener K B Pawan was adjudged caught behind off Manpreet Gony's bowling, a decision which looked doubtful.
KL Rahul, making his Ranji debut, also failed to impress as he was caught and bowled by Sidhu.
With Karnataka struggling at 52 for two, Satish and Uthappa steered the visitors out of trouble.
Then after the fall of Satish's wicket, Uthappa, who hit a boundary of Karan Goel to bring up his hundred, got valuable support from Pandey.
Pandey played an useful knock before lobbing a catch to Punjab skipper Pankaj Dharmani of the bowling of N T S Sidhu (2-86), who proved expensive.
At the end of the day's play, Amit Verma (21) and skipper R Vinay Kumar (7) were at the crease.
On day one, Karnataka pacers R Vinay Kumar and Sreenath Aravind helped their team bundle Punjab out for a mere 243.
While this is Karnataka's first match of the season, Punjab have already conceded the first-innings lead in their opening game against Uttar Pradesh that earned them just one point.
TN struggling against Delhi
Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra scalped three wickets to leave Tamil Nadu tottering at 122 for five chasing Delhi's first innings total of 318 all out on the second day of a Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match in Chennai, on Thursday.
At one stage, Tamil Nadu were 82 for 5 but the unbroken sixth wicket stand between S Badrinath, who is unbeaten on 45 and C Ganapathy (14) repaired the damage as they added 40 runs in 23 overs.
Earlier, Delhi could add just 60 runs to their overnight first innings score of 258 for three, courtesy R Ashwin's brilliant spin bowling as he completed a five-wicket haul, taking four scalps on Thursday.
Delhi lost the wicket of Virat Kohli in the 15th over of the day. Kohli, who made 139 pushed off-spinner Ashwin to short mid wicket but ended up offering a simple catch to R Satish.
Ashwin, who came on to bowl at the 13th over of the day, held on to his end in enabling Delhi's dismissal before lunch. Ashwin claimed four wickets in 8.1 overs conceding 19 runs and this was also his first five wicket haul for this season.
Commencing their reply, the hosts had the shock of losing dependable opener Abhinav Mukund (2) as medium pacer Pawan Suyal gave the breakthrough for Delhi when he took a return catch in the second over of the innings.
Then on, Anirudha Srikkanth looked to settle down but played an uppish shot to be caught at silly point by Chetan Sharma off Mishra for 28 (40b, 3x4) and Tamil Nadu were 48 for 2 in 14.1 overs.
Anirudha put on 45 runs for the second wicket with K B Arun Karthik, who also made his exit for an addition of two runs. Karthik (6) snicked a Parvinder Awana delivery to give a catch to wicket keeper Puneet Bisht.
Tamil Nadu lost two more quick wickets -- captain Dinesh Karthik (6) and R Satish (2), both falling prey to Mishra, who ended the day with an impressive analysis of 19-7-22-3.
Goswami leads Assam's fightback
Assam fought their way back splendidly through Dhiraj Goswami's four-wicket haul and put themselves in contention for a first innings lead against Railways in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match in New Delhi, on Thursday.
Assam were on the backfoot, having lost seven wickets on the opening day, and then folding for 187 early but they reduced the Railways to 164 for eight.
Railways are still trailing by 23 runs and if Assam manage to get the remaining two wickets within that deficit, they will get the first innings lead, which will fetch them three points in case of a draw.
At stumps, Jai P Yadav (30) and Kulamani Parida (3) were at the crease for the hosts.
Assam began day two at 174 for seven and lost the three wickets after adding another 13 runs at the Karnail Singh stadium.
The script changed after that as paceman Goswami took four wickets to plot the Railways' fall.
But it was Ranjitkumar Mali (2/31) who drew first blood by accounting for Faiz Fazal (4).\
Goswami (4/43) claimed his first wicket in V Cheluvaraj (2) and then dismissed Yere Goud (4), T P Singh (41) and M Suresh (16).
Singh was the highest scorer for Railways. He faced 91 balls and struck five fours.
Suresh defied the attack for some time, facing 72 balls for his 16 but eventually became the fourth victim of Goswami.