After a disappointing start to the season, defending champions Railways hit top form and pressed on for victory against Mumbai in their Elite group 'A' match at the Karnail Singh stadium at New Delhi on Saturday.
Having restricted the visitors to a modest 248 in the first innings yesterday, Railways put up a professional display to make 282 for eight before declaring their innings an hour after tea.
By close on third day, they had already dismissed Amit Velaskar and Mumbai were 10 for one with Vinayak Mane on six and Wasim Jaffer on four at the crease.
The positive influence of the tournament's new format was evident in Railways making a prompt declaration. In the old
format, they might have been content with the first innings lead but their lowly position in the group - facing relegation
prospects with just one point before the start of the match - combined with victory of Delhi against Andhra in another group 'A' match, forced them to go for all out victory.
"We have no other option except to go for an outright win. The bowlers have to bowl the visitors out second time,"
said captain Abhay Sharma, sitting out of this match due to an injury.
Powering the Railways cause were the top order batsmen J P Yadav, Amit Pagnis and Tejinder Pal Singh.
While Yadav blasted a quickfire 60 off 57 balls to take the match quickly out of Mumbai's hand, the left-handed Pagnis
scored a well compiled 116 that came off 268 balls from 315 minutes and contained 13 fours.
Delhi win by seven wickets
An unbeaten 93 by opener Akash Chopra guided Delhi to an emphatic seven wicket victory over
Andhra Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'A' match in New Delhi on Saturday.
Delhi recorded their first win of the season and have now accumulated four points from as many matches. They had drawn their earlier games with Himachal Pradesh and defending champions Railways and had lost to Mumbai.
The hosts, needing 128 runs for an outright victory at the start of play, lost overnight batsman Sohail Rauf cheaply.
But Akash Chopra and first innings top-scorer Mithun Manhas (53) ensured that there were no further hiccups as they
put up a partnership of 104 runs to take the match away from the visitors. The latter was trapped right in front of the wicket by D Suresh, with his team requiring only 15 more to win.
Chopra, who hit 11 boundaries and a six in his 240 minutes stay at the crease, guided his team to victory in the
company of Pradeep Chawla at the stroke of lunch on the penultimate day.
For Andhra Pradesh, D Kalyan Kumar took 2-48, while Suresh claimed one wicker for 24 runs.
Balaji excels as Tamil Nadu win against Orissa
Paceman L Balaji's fine haul of six wickets for just 26 runs helped hosts Tamil Nadu record an innings and 36 run victory over Orissa on the third day of the four day Elite group Ranji Trophy cricket match in Chennai.
Orissa, overnight on 78 for 4, managed to add just 78 runs today and were all out for 156 in 46.1 overs. K K Parida was
the only one to cross the half century mark, making 61 with six hits to the fence, before finally falling to Vignesh.
Sujan Mohanty was the first of Balaji's four victims today, departing for just one, caught by Dinesh Karthik. P
Jayachandran fared no better and fell for two, caught by C Dhanda Pani.
Next to go was Gautam Gopal, who was bowled by Balaji for nought. Sanjay Satpathy offered some resistance to the Tamil
Nadu pace attack, scoring 19 before he was out to Vignesh.
Tamil Nadu have earned three points with this win, taking their total to four. Orissa still do not have any points.
Orissa 122 all out and 156 all out (K K Parida 61, P Mallik 35, Sanjay Satpathy 19) lost to Tamil Nadu 314 (S
Sriram 9mang K Badani 86 - L Balaji 6/26, Vignesh 3/50).
Vidarbha record their biggest win in Ranji Trophy
Registering their biggest ever victory in the Ranji Trophy, Vidarbha defeated Tripura by an innings and 173 runs with a day to spare in their plate 'B' match at the VCA ground at Nagpur.
Resuming at their overnight score of 52 for one, Tripura, who were trailing by 343 runs, struggled throughout the
morning and were reduced to 161 for eight wickets at lunch.
Lanky left-arm seamer Chandrashekhar Atram began the slide with two quick wickets in the morning and later spinners
Preetam Gandhe (3 for 63), Samir Khare (2 for 19) and Madhusudhan Acharya (2 for 32) sealed the visitors' fate.
The post-lunch session lasted barely 16 minutes and the Tripura team was bowled out for 170 runs in 59.4 overs.
Vidarbha collected three points from the match and increased their tally to six with one match against Kerala remaining while Tripura are still to open their account.
Vidarbha will meet Kerala in their last match to be played at VCA ground here from December 28.
Hyderabad claim first innings lead
Hosts Hyderabad dismissed Bengal for 313 to claim a 82-run first innings lead and were 127 for one in their second essay at close on penultimate day of the four day Elite group Ranji Trophy match at Gymkhana grounds.
Bengal, in reply to hosts total of 395, resumed their innings at 122 for three with overnight batsmen Deep Dasgupta and Rohan Gavaskar (20) trying to stabilise the innings before speedster Vishnuvardhan's inswinger uprooted Rohan's stumps.
The duo had added 72 runs for the fourth wicket and visitors crumbled to a disciplined bowling attack of hosts.
Later, Lakshmi Shukla frustrated bowlers with his elegant shots and scripted a superb unbeaten innings of 84 adding 68
runs to eighth wicket in the company of Utpal Chattejee (36) before the latter perished to a Vishnuvardhan deliviery.
Shukla's 84 was the result of his 160 minute stay at the wicket with 13 hits to the fence off 125 balls he faced and could not find a reliable companian to steer the score to safety as Bengal ended up at 313 just 30 minutes before tea
giving hosts a 82-run lead.
Haryana strengthen hold over Bihar
Sumit Narwal scored a strokeful century and put on more than 200 runs for the last three wickets, as hosts Haryana posted an imposing 491 in their first innings on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy league match against Bihar here today.
The score gave Haryana a huge 266-run lead over Bihar who were 136 for two in their second innings at stumps.
Narwal, coming at number nine, cracked 137 runs from only 146 balls, hitting 12 boundaries and five sixes. He was
associated in a 168-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Dharmender Phagna who made 54 with seven fours.
Haryana, who resumed at their overnight score of 292 for seven in reply to Bihar's 225, lost Sumit Sharma for 37 early
in the morning. Sharma was caught by Manish Kumar off Nikhilesh Ranjan, who claimed three wickets for 52 runs.
But Narwal and Phagna frustrated the Bihar bowlers with their defiant stand that saw Haryana progress from 311 to 479. Nikhilesh Ranjan finally dismissed Phagna and Narwal added another 12 runs to the score before being the final
wicket to fall.
Bihar lost an early wicket in their second innings with Nikhilesh Ranjan being dismissed by Joginder Sharma for six. M
S Dhoni (40) put on 60 runs for the second wicket with Rajiv Kumar before being caught by Shafiq Khan off Amit Mishra. At stumps, Rajiv Kumar was batting on 53 with seven fours while Tariqur Rehman was on 27.
Gagandeep Singh claims hat-trick as Punjab wins
Powered by Gagandeep Singh's hat-trick including dismissal of well set batsman Nikhil Chopra (64), Punjab managed to register a 47 run victory over Uttar Pradesh on the penultimate day of the four day Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B'
match played at PCA stadium.
Chasing 296 after Punjab were dismissed for 199 in their second innings, U.P. were all out for 249.
Gagandeep Singh becomes the first Punjab bowler to achieve this feat. His victims, all claimed in his 18th over, also
included Javed Anwar and M B Tripathi. Gagandeep finished with a haul of four for 69.
He was well supported by the star of first innings Vineet Sharma (five for 22) who claimed three wickets in the second
U.P. were in the driver's seat cruising along well at a score of 228 for six when Gagandeep claimed the wicket of Chopra thus breaking the 50-run sixth wicket partnership Mohammed Saif (41) and Chopra. Jyoti P Yadav also chipped in with 39 while R Shamshad scored 29.
Resuming at an overnight score of 158 for four, Punjab's batsmen could add just 41 runs losing six wickets. Tripathi ran
through the Punjab side claiming six wickets in the second innings while A W Zaidi took three.
With this win, Punjab bagged two points.
Goa takes 60-run first innings lead over Saurashtra
Goa took a 60-run first innings lead over Saurashtra but were tottering at 138 for eight in their second knock on the third day of their four-day Ranji Trophy plate 'B' match.
Saurashtra, resuming at their overnight score of 189 for five, lost their remaining wickets at regular intervals with only Rakesh Dhruv facing the rival attack with confidence.
Dhruv made 65 with eight fours and remained not out as the hosts were bowled out for 251 in 102.5 overs.
For Goa, Faisal Shaikh was the most successful bowler claiming five wickets for 52 runs while A Dani got two for 48. S Dahad, Khalid and S Jakati chipped in with one wicket each.
However, the visitors were off to a shaky start and were 138 for 8 in their second innings.
Goa lost both their openers for duck in first over but Jakati and Shaikh added 68 runs for fifth wicket before the former was trapped leg before by Nilesh Odedara. He made 47 with five fours and a six while Shaikh made 30.
At close of play, A Dani was batting on 14 with Abbasu, who was yet to open his account. Rakesh Dhruv claimed three
wickets for 24 and was well supported by Jolly Jobanputra who took two for 40.