Goa top table with unassailable 50 points to secure the lone knock-out berth from Plate Group.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Narayan Jagadeesan came up with a gritty 183 to help Tamil Nadu post a competitive 424 on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B game against Saurashtra, in Rajkot, on Thursday.
Tamil Nadu then hit back to reduce Saurashtra to 107 for 3. The hosts are still adrift by 317 runs.
After Saurashtra, led by skipper Jaydev Unadkat, took the honours on the opening day by restricting Tamil Nadu to 250 for 7, it was Jagadeesan, who pulled the side out of trouble, by notching up his fourth first-class 100.
The 24-year-old right-hander, who was unbeaten on 61, added 122 runs to his overnight score as his knock ensured that the visitors crossed the 400-run mark.
The usually aggressive Jagadeesan buckled down and added 115 runs for the eight wicket with M Mohammed (42 off 121 balls), who played second fiddle perfectly and held one end up.
Jagadeesan hammered 22 fours and five sixes in his 256-ball knock. He also added 66 runs for the last wicket with K Vignesh and, in the process, took the Saurashtra attack to the cleansers.
For Saurashtra, Unadkat (6-73) grabbed another five-wicket haul and emerged the most successful bowler.
The result of the game will not affect Saurashtra as they have already qualified for the quarter-finals, while it will have a bearing on TN's prospects, as nothing less than a victory will give them an outside chance of making it to the final eight.
In reply, the hosts, playing at the SCA stadium in Khandheri, lost opener Harvik Desai (12) cheaply.
Lanky left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore dismissed the other opener, Kishan Parmar (24), a little later, as Saurashtra were reeling at 45/2.
Avi Barot (38 not out) and Vishvarajsinh Jadeja (16) tried to rally the innings, but the latter was dismissed when he gave a sitter to R S Jaganathsinivas off a delivery from spinner M Siddharth, as Saurashtra lost their third wicket at 87.
Barot and Arpit Vasavada (11 not out) ensured no further damage till stumps were drawn.
Saurashtra have a mountain to climb and with two days remaining, Tamil Nadu can go in for the kill.
Meanwhile at the Wankhede, in an inconsequential game, Mumbai posted a massive 427 in their first essay against Madhya Pradesh.
Both teams are out of the reckoning in the coveted domestic tournament.
Sarfaraz, who has had a dream run this season, however, fell 23 runs short of a double hundred. He already has a triple, double and now a hundred to his name this season.
Mumbai’s bowlers reduced Madhya Pradesh to 200 for 7, still adrift by 227 runs.
In Bengaluru, Baroda are marginally ahead by 60 runs, but hosts Karnataka can sniff victory having taken five Baroda wickets in their second essay and still two days left.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 424 (N Jagdeesan 183; Abhinav Mukund 86; Jaydev Unadkat 6-73) vs Saurashtra 107/3. Saurashtra trail by 317 runs.
At Mumbai: Mumbai 427 (Sarfaraz Khan 177; Aakarshit Gomel 122; Gourav Yadav 4-101) vs Madhya Pradesh 200/7 (Venkatesh Iyer 87 not out; Royston Dias 2/38, Deepak Shetty 2/43). Madhya Pradesh trail by 227 runs.
At Bengaluru: Baroda 85 and 208/5 (A Pathan 90, Deepak Hooda 0; M Prasidh Krishna 2-29) vs Karnataka 233 (Karun Nair 47, Abhimanyu Mithun 40; S Sopariya 5-83). Baroda lead by 60 runs.
At Lucknow: Himachal Pradesh 220 and 182/3 (R Thakur 73, A P Vashisht 51 not out; Saurabh Kumar 2/48) vs Uttar Pradesh 119 (Aksh Deep Nath 46; R R Dhawan 5-32, Vaibhav Arora (3-34). Himachal Pradesh lead by 283 runs.
Mujtaba Yousuf helps J&K seize advantage against Haryana
Jammu: A six-wicket haul by debutant left-arm medium-pacer Mujtaba Yousuf helped Jammu and Kashmir gain the upper hand against Haryana, despite a fighting ton by Pramod Chandila, on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group C match.
Replying to J&K's first innings score of 340 all out, Haryana were dismissed for 291 in 89.1 overs, conceding a 49-run lead.
Resuming at 2 for 1, Haryana slipped to 66 for four as Yousuf (6/49) and Aquib Nabi (2/49), dismissing Ajit Chahal (16), Chaitanya Bishnoi (4) and Y R Sharma (18).
Opener Ankit Kumar (63) and Chandila came together to steady the ship and put on 120 runs for the fifth wicket. The two mixed caution with aggression and defied the J&K attack, playing some superb shots.
Left-arm mediumpacer Abid Mushtaq (2/66) broke the stubborn partnership, trapping Ankit Kumar leg-before wicket for 63.
Chandila then found an able partner in wicketkeeper Rohit Sharma, who scored 41 (85 balls, 4 fours). The duo forged a 73-run partnership to push the score along.
Aquib Nabi got the breakthrough, dismissing Sharma, caught by substitute Henan Nazir, before Yousuf had Chandila caught by Waseem Raja to end his stay.
Yousuf then ran through the lower order, getting the last three wickets, including that of captain Harshal Patel (0), to hand the home team the advantage going into day three of the contest.
At Jammu: Jammu & Kashmir 340 all out in 87 overs (Shubham Singh Pundir 84, Shubham Kajuria 62, Parvez Rasool 49, Ram Dayal 43; Rahul Tewatia 7/98) vs Haryana 291 all out in 89.1 overs (Pramod Chandilla 119, Ankit Kumar 63, R P Sharma 41; Mujtaba Yousuf 6/49).
At Guwahati: Tripura 497 all out in 117.4 overs (M B Mura Singh 118, AA Sinha 90, Pratyush Singh 63, Milind 53, Harmeet Singh 41; Ranjeet Mali 5/114) vs Assam 162 for 1 in 59 overs (Rishav Das 88 batting, Gokul Sharma 39 batting).
At Baramati: Maharashtra 207 all out in 49.4 overs (A Palkar 60, V V More 59, N S Shaikh 47; Agrim Tiwari 3/49, Pradeep Chamoli 3/52) and 140 for 2 in 46 overs (Ankit Bawane 50 batting, Swapnil Fulpagar 40 batting) vs Uttarakhand 251 all out in 38 overs (Kamal Singh 101, Saurabh Rawat 49, Vaibhav Bhatt 33; Satyajit Bachhav 4/71).
At Cuttack: Odisha 436 all out in 146.2 overs (Debasish Samantray 156, Biplab Samantaray 74, Anurag Sarangi 65; Ashish Kumar 6/79) vs Jharkhand 71 for 2 in 24 overs (Kumar Suraj 42 batting).
At Raipur: Chhattisgarh 179 all out in 52.1 overs (Amandeep Khare 97; Raushan Raj 4/53) and 17 for no loss vs Services 398 all out in 107 overs (Rahul Singh Gahlaut 115, Rajat Paliwal 91; Puneet Datey 5/60).
Sharma, Bidhuri power Delhi to 623
New Delhi: Kshitiz Sharma, whose place in the playing eleven was questioned, silenced his critics with a gritty 103 that helped Delhi post a mammoth 623 in the first innings of their Ranji Trophy match against Rajasthan.
Sharma, who played for Arunachal last season, stitched a 196-run stand with Kunwar Bidhuri, who too reached the three figures scoring 115 off just 135 balls.
Sharma's innings was a complete contrast to Bidhuri's blistering knock as he consumed 212 balls for his second first-class ton. It was a maiden ton for Bidhuri, who hit 12 fours and a couple of sixes.
Delhi resumed on Day 2 at 389 for six and ended up adding 234 runs. The hosts maintained a decent run rate of 4.23 in the innings lasting 147 overs. Opener Hiten Dalal had scored his maiden first-class ton on Day 1.
In response, Rajasthan were under the pump at 115 for four, trailing Delhi by 508 runs at close of play. They clearly have a mountain to climb in their last league game.
Ashok Menaria (38) and Rajesh Bishnoi (23) were at the crease at the draw of stumps.
Leggie Rahul Chahar (5/161) picked a five-wicket haul for Rajasthan.
Virtually out of the quarter-final race, Delhi need other results to go their way and a big win over Rajasthan to remain in the hunt for a knockout berth.
With just 18 points from seven games, Delhi are currently languishing at the 10th spot in the 18-team Group A and B cross pool and are virtually out of the reckoning, but a bonus point win over Rajasthan and some favourable results can still keep them in the fray.
In Patiala, Punjab, resuming the day at 93 for three, just about managed to take a 13-run first innings lead against Bengal after being bowled out for 151. Bengal were bundled out for 138 on Day 1.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed wreaked havoc on Day 2, running through Punjab’s batting to bring his team back into the game.
At stumps, Bengal were 199 for nine, leading Punjab by 186 runs.
Goa in Ranji quarters after trouncing Mizoram inside two days
Kolkata: Goa cantered into the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals with an innings and 211-run win over Mizoram in their Plate Group clash at the CC&FC ground.
All-rounder Amit Verma again led by example. He followed up his century with figures of 5 for 39 in the second innings of Mizoram, who folded for 170 after following-on and suffered defeat inside two days.
Nineteen wickets tumbled on the extended second day, with Mizoram skipper KB Pawan waging a lone battle and remaining unbeaten on 111, even as seven of their batsmen failed to reach double digits in their second innings.
Lakshay Garg and Amulya Pandrekar claimed three wickets each, while Verma was at his tidy best with figures of 2/2 from 4.2 overs as Mizoram's first innings succumbed to 109 inside 41 overs.
Goa topped the table with an unassailable 50 points to secure the lone knock-out berth from the Plate Group.
Goa had declared their first innings on 490/4, with Smit Patel slamming a career-best 236, while man-of-the-match Verma scored 148.
Goa 490/4 decl vs Mizoram 109 in 40.2 overs (Taruwar Kohli 50 not out; Amulya Pandrekar 3/17, Lakhshay Garg 3/18) and 170 in 65 overs (Pawan KB 111 not out; Amit Verma 5/39). Goa won by an innings and 211 runs.
Points: Goa 7, Mizoram: 0.