Riding on fine performances from veteran Ajit Agarkar and left-arm spinners Iqbal Abdulla and Harmeet Singh, Mumbai staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Himachal Pradesh by 85 runs in a Group A Super League Ranji Trophy match in Mumbai on Friday.
The hosts, who were bundled out for a paltry 162 in the first innings, thereby conceding an 84-run lead, dismissed Himachal for 166 in 67 overs, 13 minutes before tea, after setting the visitors a target of 252 to win.
It gave the defending champions their first outright win in the tournament.
The architects of the victory were Agarkar, who top-scored for the hosts with 45 and 102 not out, and the duo of Iqbal and Harmeet, both claiming seven wickets in the match, the former also scoring a priceless half century in the second innings.
Himachal began the day on four without loss, needing another 248 runs to win. However, chances of an upset vanished in the first hour itself as their two openers were dismissed within the first 10 overs.
Sangram Singh (2) was the first to go, losing his wicket to some good fielding by Rohit Sharma, while Bhavin Thakkar, who scored a gritty 84 in the first essay, was caught behind off pacer Aavishkar Salvi.
Vikramjeet Malik (16), who received surprise promotion up the order, struck a few lusty blows but was dismissed by Dhawal Kulkarni, as Himachal went for lunch on 66 for 3.
Paras Dogra (34: 134 balls, 4x3) and Vinit Indulkar (19: 80 balls, 4x3) held on for a while, but the former's dismissal triggered a collapse as Himachal slumped from 78 for three to 87 for seven, with both the left-arm tweakers sharing the spoils.
Sarandeep Singh (39: 39 balls, 4x7) and Abhinav Bali (34: 68 balls, 4x6) threw their bats around, adding 67 runs for the eighth wicket in the process, but that only delayed the inevitable.
Iqbal (3 for 61) and Harmeet (3 for 38) finished with match figures of 7 for 109 and 7 for 127 respectively.
Mumbai, who collected five points from the game, next face Railways in Delhi, while Himachal will play their match at home against Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka grab three points against Bengal
Mysore: Hosts Karnataka salvaged three points by virtue of the first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match against Bengal.
With a first innings lead of 199 runs, Karnataka pocketed three points and took their tally to 11 from three games, while Bengal, with one point from the encounter, have seven points from three matches.
Coming in to bat this morning, Karnataka declared their first essay at the overnight score of 523 for nine with the hope of forcing an outright win.
But Bengal, adrift by 199 runs, batted with gumption to play out a draw at the Gangotri Glades Platinum Jubilee grounds.
Deep Dasgupta (54) and Arindam Das (31) provided a sound start, posting 64 runs for the first wicket.
The twosome batted with circumspection to frustrate Karnataka's pace trio of R Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and S Arvind in the first session.
Though Abhishek Jhunjunwala (17) and Wriddhiman Saha (14) fell in quick succession, Manoj Tiwary dropped anchor to steady the rocking Bengal boat.
At 145 for 3, the match was heading for a draw when R Vinay Kumar dismissed Sayan Mondal (11) and first innings centurion Rohan Banerjee (3) to infuse some life into the game.
Tiwary, who batted close to four hours, remained unbeaten with 65, while Sourasish Lahiri was unconquered on six.
Jadhav's gritty ton saves Maharashtra
Rajkot: Kedar Jadhav scored a gritty unbeaten 111 to help Maharashtra avoid an innings defeat and salvage a draw against Saurashtra in a Ranji Trophy Super League Group 'B' match.
Resuming at the overnight score of 266 for 7, the last three Maharashtra batsman added just 23 runs as Saurashtra enforced the follow-on after bundling out the visitors for 289 runs.
But Maharashtra again displayed poor batting, losing half their side for 162. Had Jadhav not scored a hundred they would have certainly lost.
For Saurashtra, Sandip Jobanputra was the wrecker-in-chief, cleaning up the Maharashtra tail, with figures four for 55 in the first innings. The left-arm spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Rakesh Dhruve shared two wickets each, conceding 47 runs and 49 runs respectively.
Maharashtra resumed their second essay on a disastrous note, losing openers Harshad Khadiwale (3) and Rohan Bhosale (1) cheaply to Jobanputra and Jadeja respectively.
But Jadhav stepped in and made the most of the opportunity. He scored his fifty in 88 balls, inclusive of ten fours, and completed his century by lifting Rakesh Dhruve straight over his head for a six. The hundred came off 177 balls and was studded with 17 boundaries and a six. He, however, did not get support from the other end, as Ankit Bawane (12) and Rohit Motwani (7) fell cheaply.
Jadhav's knock was enough to drag the match towards a draw. He remained unbeaten on 111 in the company of Ganesh Gaikwad (17).
For Saurashtra, Rakesh Dhruve was the most successful bowler, taking three wickets for 71 runs, while Jobanputra and Jadeja took a wicket apiece for eight and 22 runs respectively.
Saurashtra secured three points from the match, while Maharashtra opened their account with one point.
UP take three points after draw with Baroda
Meerut: Uttar Pradesh secured three points by virtue of their slender six-run first innings lead against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match that ended in tame draw on Friday.
Chasing an impossible 334 for victory with five overs left in the day, UP scored eight runs for the loss of one wicket.
UP lost opener Tanmay Srivastava for a duck as he sneaked one to wicketkeeper Pinal Shah off Irfan Pathan (1/3) in the opening over. Shivkant Shukla (5 not out) and Mohammad Kaif (3 not out) were at the crease when stumps were drawn.
UP scored 240 runs in their first essay in reply to Baroda's 234, thereby getting the vital lead and three points, while Baroda pocketed one.
With an outright result out of question on the final day, Baroda skipper Conor Williams (96), Rakesh Solanki (42) and Yusuf Pathan (78) made full use of the opportunity and got vital batting practice after resuming at 60 for three.
Williams struck a sedate 96 from 230 balls while Pathan made a fiery 78 off 79 balls as Baroda were all out for 331.
Praveen Kumar picked four wickets while Bhuvneshwar Kumar got three for the hosts.
Baroda's innings rotated around Williams, who played a watchful knock that had 11 fours. In contrast, Yusuf's stay at the crease was entertaining as he hit six fours and two huge sixes to somewhat liven up the boring encounter.
TN maul Punjab by innings & 45 runs
Amritsar: Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets on the final day as Tamil Nadu crushed Punjab by an innings and 45 runs in their Ranji Trophy Super League match to earn six points, including one bonus, at Gandhi Sports Complex Ground.
Pankaj Dharmani waged a losing battle, hitting the only half-century for the hosts in their second essay, but the effort only delayed the inevitable.
Punjab needed an extraordinary display of batting to save the match after trailing by a huge 179-run margin at the start of the day with only five wickets in hand.
They added 134 runs on the last day and were bowled out for 248.
Dharmani, who resumed on his overnight score of 14, played aggressively during his 56-run knock that came off 88 balls and had nine boundaries.
Suresh Kumar scalped the other overnight batsman, Gaurav Gambhir (19) and Bharat Loomba (1), in quick succession and then Ashwin claimed the last three wickets.
The Punjab tail-enders batted well as Love Ablish (29) and Varun Khanna (30 not out) frustrated the Tamil Nadu bowlers.
Ashiwn trapped Dharmani and then bowled Ablish but the last-wicket pair of Khanna and S Ladda (15) delayed Tamil Nadu's celebrations by raising a 39-run stand.
Bhatt scores 186 as Gujarat take three points
Hyderabad: Rujul Bhatt (186) missed out on a double hundred but his team, Gujarat, ran away with three points as their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match against Hyderabad ended in a draw.
Gujarat, who began the day on a solid 263 for four, overcame three early jolts to score a huge 536 in reply to Hyderabad's
first innings total of 236.
Bhatt and Ashraf Makda (53) raised a gritty 128-run stand for the eighth wicket to help their team consolidate the first innings lead to 300.
Hyderabad played just two overs in their second essay and survived both without any loss.
Gujarat earned three points on the virtue of their first innings lead while Hyderabad had to be content with one.
Orissa-Railways match ends in draw
Bhubaneswar: The rain-marred Ranji Trophy Super League match between Railways and Orissa ended in a dull draw at the Railway stadium, with both teams earning a point each.
Railways, whose first innings was halted by rain at the score of 297 for eight in the post-lunch session on Wednesday, declared their innings on 307 for eight on Friday.
In reply, the Orissa batsmen mustered 132 for four.
Not a single ball was bowled on Day 3, Thursday, due to wet outfield.
The visitors added ten runs to their total before declaring, with wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat (39) and debutant Krishnakant Upadhyay (49) remaining unbeaten.
Veteran medium pacer Debasish Mohanty (3/42) was Orissa's most successful bowler while Debutant Alok Sahoo and Basanta Mohanty claimed two wickets each.
Orissa needed to bat fast to overhaul their opponent's first innings total and earn bonus points but a disastrous start poured water on their hopes.
Opener Bikash Pati (10) was the first to go when he edged one off S G Gehlot to stumper Rawat in a total of 22. Niranjan Behera (7) followed him when Sanjib Sanyal castled him.Skipper and former Indian opener Shiv Sundar Das batted for nearly two-and-half hours to score 41 before edging Sanjay Bangar to the wicketkeeper.