Stuart Binny celebrated his maiden call-up into the Indian team with a scintillating 88 as table toppers Karnataka asserted their supremacy with a solid performance, scoring 226 for 5 at stumps on the second day of their final Ranji Trophy match against hosts Delhi, who are almost out of the race for a quarter-final berth.
Karnataka have a lead of 24 runs and assured of three points from the game.
After the match started an hour-and-a-half late due to bad light, Karnataka opener Karun Nair batted well for a patient, unbeaten 92 while Binny attacked the spinners, hitting some effortless sixes to score 88 off 94 balls.
The Binny-Nair duo added 127 runs in quick time, especially after Karnataka were reduced to 73 for 4, with Mayank Agarwal (2), R Samarth (13), Manish Pandey (8) and Abrar Kazi (11) all back in the hut.
It was Binny who brought some life into the match as he hit Varun Sood for three sixes - two over long-on and another over long-off.
Another six came off Manoj Chauhan, who rarely got his length right. In all, he faces 94 balls and hit four fours.
While Nair was content in taking singles and hitting the odd boundary in between, Binny was his free-flowing self. During the tea-break, he got the news of his selection and post the break completed his 50.
As if to celebrate the selection, he hit Manan Sharma over extra cover for a fifth six as they completed their century partnership in the 62nd over.
With Delhi’s bowlers getting very little assistance from the track, Karnataka’s batsmen had little difficulty in negotiating the bowling. Initially, the umpires did not allow the pacers to bowl with the new ball, which meant spinners operated at the beginning. This also released a bit of pressure.
The talk about having a rank turner turned out to be false as hardly a couple of deliveries turned and most of them kept low. Left-arm spinner Sood got Kazi and Pandey with two such deliveries that kept low.
However, once Binny came into the picture, he changed the course of the game with his hard hitting. Within no time, he was into the forties and suddenly the pressure was back on Delhi.
Karnataka: 226-5 (Karun Nair 92, Stuart Binny 88).
Dewan's ton puts Haryana in command vs Odisha
Bhubaneswar: Opener Rahul Dewan smashed an unbeaten century to put Haryana in command against hosts Odisha on Day 2 in an inconsequential Group A Ranji Trophy match.
Placed seventh and last in the nine-team Group A, Odisha and Haryana are already out of quarter-finals reckoning but both teams are hoping to end their campaign this season on a positive note.
Dewan scored an unconquered 136 off 253 balls with the help of 19 boundaries, while Sachin Rana was unbeaten on a strokeful 83 off 103 balls and Avi Barot scored 60 off 91 balls as Haryana took the vital first innings lead over Odisha.
Replying top Odisha's 242 all out, Haryana were 294 for two at stumps, at the East Coast Railway Sports Association ground.
Dewan and Barot made a strong start to Haryana's reply, stitching 143 runs for the opening stand before Rana joined hands with Dewan and the duo shared an unbroken 141-run third-wicket partnership to take the visitors forward.
For Odisha, off-spinner Niranjan Behera (2-48) accounted for both the Haryana wickets to fall today.
Earlier, resuming their innings at the overnight score of 221 for 9, the last wicket pair of Odisha added 21 more runs before being bowled out.
Odisha: 242 in 100.3 overs (Girja Rout 94; Amit Mishra 4-83, Jayant Yadav 3-51).
Haryana: 294 for 2 in 77 overs (Rahul Dewan 136 not out, Sachin Rana not out; Niranjan Behera 2-48).
Gujarat take an upper hand against Mumbai
Valsad: Gujarat placed themselves in a strong position as they first took a 99-run first innings lead over Mumbai and then reduced the visitors to 76 for four in their second essay on day two of their Ranji Trophy Group A match.
In reply to Mumbai 154, Gujarat posted 253 all out in their first innings to take a solid lead.
At stumps, Mumbai were struggling with their top four batsmen back in the pavillion. Hiken Shah and Iqbal Abdulla, both unbeaten on four each, were at the crease.
Earlier, resuming on 90 for two, Gujarat lost their overnight batsman Parthiv Patel, who added just one more run to his overnight score of five, early.
But the other overnight batsman in Samit Gohel, resuming on 36, went on to complete his half century. He scored a fine 58 off 171 balls, laced with five hits to the fence.
Y Venugopal Rao (39), Akshar Patel (36) and Chirag Gandhi (26) also chipped in with valuable runs but none of them could convert their scores into a big one.
For Mumbai, Iqbal Abdulla was the the pick of the bowlers with figures of six for 42, while Shardul Thakur (3/54) claimed three.
In their second innings also, Mumbai got off to a poor start as they were straightaway reduced to 18 for two.
Although skipper Wasim Jaffer (16) and Suryakumar Yadav (34) steadied the boat, putting on a 33-run stand for the third wicket, they failed to see the day off.
Gujarat's medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah (3/12) chipped in with three important wickets to give the hosts an upper hand at the end of the second day.
Mumbai: 154 & 76 for four in 33 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 34; Jasprit Bumrah 3/12).
Gujarat: 253 (Samit Gohel 58, Y Venugopal Rao 39, Akshar Patel 36; Iqbal Abdulla 6/42, Shardul Thakur 3/54).
Punjab in complete control against Jharkhand
Dhanbad: Punjab's Rajwinder Singh and Gurkeerat Singh claimed four wickets each to put Jharkhand on the mat in their Ranji Trophy Group A match, after their batsmen put on a mammoth 516 in the first innings.
Jharkhand, in reply, were struggling at 210 for nine after getting off to a decent start.
The hosts lost the last seven wickets for just 29 runs to give Punjab complete control of the match at the end of day two at the Railway stadium here.
Jharkhand were 173 for two when opener Rameez Nemat (81) was run out by Yuvraj Singh.
Spinners Rajwinder (4/66) and Gurkeerat (4/36) wreaked havoc as Jharkhand batsmen failed to negotiate the two. The duo produced a fine spell of spin bowling in the closing overs of the day t leave Jharkhand reeling at 202 for nine.
Ishank Jaggi (51) and Rameez, who hit 11 boundaries, put on a 91-run stand for the second wicket, while Saurabh Tiwary made 30.
Earlier, Siddarth Kaul (50) scored a half-century to guide his side over the 500-run mark after starting the day on 380 for four.
For Jharkhand, spinner Shahbaz Nadeem picked four scalps while Samar Quadri and Varun Aaron finished with three and two wickets respectively.
Punjab 1st innings: 516 all out in 117.5 overs (Manan Vora 187, Jiwanjot Singh 78; Shahbaz Nadeem 4/165)
Jharkhand 1st inings: 210/9 in 58 overs (Rameez Nemat 81, Ishank Jaggi 51; Gurkeerat 4/36).
TN sniff at knock-out berth
Chennai: Tamil Nadu batsmen led by senior batsman Dinesh Karthik batted responsibly in the second innings as they are on the verge clinching a knock-out berth of the Ranji Trophy requiring only 83 runs to win against Bengal in Group B encounter.
Tamil Nadu, who were shot out for 85 in their first innings conceding 45 run first innings lead came back strongly to again decimate Bengal for 139 in their second essay.
Needing 185 runs to win, Karthik remained unbeaten on 56 and added 72 runs with Mukund to lay the foundation of an improbable win which looked a distant reality when they were shot out for 85 in the morning.
The win which will probably be achieved by Tamil Nadu in the first session tomorrow will take their points tally to 24 and will see them through as the third team from group B.
Saurashtra despite their win are on 22 points and Baroda will need an outright win as they are in a position to concede three points to Rajasthan.
In the morning, Tamil Nadu starting their day at 66 for six, were all out for 85 with offie Arnab Nandi taking four for 9 and left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena getting three for 33.
However Bengal's batting flopped once again as Malolan Rangarajan and Rahil Shah again wreaked havoc. This time Shah got six wickets (6/64) while Rangarajan took four (4/48).
Interestingly both spinners completed their 10-wicket hauls in the match.
Only skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who smashed 46 off 25 balls with five fours and two sixes used his feet to perfection while dealing with a square turner. Left-handed Sudeep Chatterjee also batted responsibly scoring 39 off 82 balls with three boundaries.
While the two scored 85 runs between them and also added 58 runs for the fifth wicket, the others like Subhamoy Das, Abhimanyu Easwaran failed to make any impact. Nine Bengal batsmen scored 54 runs between them with eight of them gailing to reach double figures. When Tamil Nadu wins, it will be a good comeback for a deserving team.
Bengal 130 & 139 (LR Shukla 46, Malolan Rangarajan 4/48, Rahil Shah 6/64)
Tamil Nadu 85 (Arnab Nandi 4/9) & (target 185) 102/1 (Dinesh karthik 56 batting).
Saurashtra win, but unlikely to make knock-out stage
Rajkot: Saurashtra crushed a hapless Services by nine wickets on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group B final league match, but the victory may not be enough for them to remain in contention for a berth in the knock-out stage.
Saurashtra needed not just an outright victory but also a bonus point to keep their chances of making the quarter-finals alive. But the hosts missed out on gaining the bonus point as they lost opener Chirag Pathak (14) while chasing 31 run for victory.
A fighting knock of 85 by Anshul Gupta of Services went in vain as Saurashtra finished the four-day match on the second day itself at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium at Khandheri.
With this victory, last year's finalist finished the Ranji season on 22 points from eight matches.
Earlier resuming on 176 for nine in their first innings, Saurashtra could add just one run to their overnight score before being all out for 177.
But that was enough for them to take a healthy 105-run lead over Services, who were bundled out a a mere 72 in their first essay.
For Services, Yashpal Singh grabbed five for 41, while Rajat Paliwal accounted for four for 22.
The visitors, in the second innings, continued their lacklustre performance and were bundled out for just 135, thereby setting Saurashtra a target of 31 runs.
Anshul Gupta was the only batsman to offer some resistance as he stood tall among the ruins. His gritty 122-ball knock was punctuated with eight fours and a six. His effort helped the Services cross the three-figure mark.
Yashpal Singh (11) was the only other batsman to reach double digits, while the rest of Services players seemed in a hurry to go back to the hut.
For Saurashtra, Nayan Doshi was the pick of the bowlers with figures of four for 31, while Kamlesh Makwana and Dharmendra Jadeja finished with three wickets each, giving away 48 and 50 runs, respectively.
Services: 72 & 135 (Anshul Gupta 85, Yashpal Singh 11; Nayan Doshi 4-31, Kamlesh Makwana 3-48, Dharmendra Jadeja 3-50).
Saurashtra: 177 & 33 for 1 (Chirag Pathak 14, Sagar Jogiyani not out 15).
Saxena, Suryaprakash lead Rajasthan’s strong reply vs Baroda
Jaipur: Vineet Saxena and Suryaprakash Suwalka hit unbeaten half centuries as Rajasthan made a strong reply after bowling Baroda out for 236 on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match.
Saxena and Suwalka were batting on 54 and 70 respectively as Rajasthan ended the day at 155 for 1 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Rajasthan trail by 81 runs with nine first innings wickets in hand.
Opener Siddharth Saraf (23) was the lone Rajasthan batsman out on Day 2, off pacer Munaf Patel.
Earlier in the day, Aditya Waghmode (114) hit a century to take Baroda to 236 all out after resuming the day at 163 for 6.
Waghmode added 35 more runs to his overnight 79 and was the last Baroda batsman out as the visitors added 73 runs at the expense of the four wickets. Waghmode faced 216 balls and hit 17 fours and a six.
Rajasthan pacer Deepak Chahar grabbed all the four Baroda wickets that fell on Tuesday, to finish with figures of 5-58. He had taken one Baroda wicket on Day 1.
Baroda: 236 in 69.1 overs (Aditya Waghmode 114, Deepak Chahar 5-58, Pankaj Singh 4-60).
Rajasthan: 155 for 1 in 54 overs (Vineet Saxena batting 54, Suryaprakash Suwalka batting 70).
Maharashtra take first innings lead over Assam
Guwahati: Left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar scalped six wickets to help Maharashtra bundle out Assam for a meagre 152 and take a massive 209-run first innings lead in their Ranji Trophy Group C match.
In reply to Maharashtra's first innings total of 361, the hosts fell for 152, as Darekar finished with impressive figures of six for 53, while Shrikant Mundhe chipped in with three for 17.
Assam kept losing wickets at regular intervals even as Darekar and Mundhe wreaked havoc. Niraj Patel was the only batsman who showed some resistance, top-scoring with 40.
Maharashtra, in their second innings, were 16 for no loss with openers Harshad Khadiwale (0) and skipper Rohit Motwani (10) at the crease when the stumps were drawn.
Earlier, resuming on 343 for eight in their first innings, Maharashtra could add just 18 runs in the morning by losing two wickets in the process.
Maharashtra: 361 & 16 for no loss (Rohit Motwani batting 10).
Assam: 152 all out (Niraj Patel 40, Amit Sinha 20; Akshay Darekar 6/53, Shrikant Mundhe 3-17).
Image: Stuart Binny during the IPL for Rajasthan Royals