A fighting century by middle order batsman Rajiv Kumar (124, 11 fours) and his 117-run seventh-wicket partnership with M Dhoni (68) gave Bihar a vital 93-run first innings lead over Vidarbha on the second day of the Plate 'B' Ranji Trophy match at the VCA ground in Nagpur on Wednesday.
Tailender Shahid Khan (49) and Sunny Gupta (16) were associated in an unfinished tenth-wicket stand of 40 runs as the visitors reached 337 for nine off 118 overs at draw of stumps.
Overnight 54 for four, Bihar were piloted by Rajiv Kumar's responsible innings. Kumar and Dhoni led a spirited fightback to put the visitors in command after the loss of two quick wickets early this morning which saw the side tottering on 81 for six wickets.
The host bowlers lacked penetration. That coupled with shoddy ground fielding, they let slip a good opportunity to gain the vital lead.
Madhusudhan Acharya (4-81) was the pick of the bowlers for the home team.
Vidarbha (1st innings):
AV Deshpande c Dhoni b Diwakar 2
VC Naidu lbw b Diwakar 0
AS Naidu lbw b Shankar Rao 37
RS Paradkar c Dhoni b Shankar Rao 56
RS Jadhav c Jha b Shankar Rao 0
NS Gawande c Dhoni b Shankar Rao 6
SA Khare c Dhoni b Shankar Rao 65
M Acharya c Dhoni b Shankar Rao 3
CE Atram c Dhoni b Shahid Khan 44
PV Gandhe c Panda b Diwakar 4
AM Piprode not out 15
Extras: (b-4, w-1, nb-7) 12
Total: (all out, 61.1 overs) 244
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-5, 3-77, 4-77, 5-100, 6-111, 7-123, 8-188, 9-210, 10-244.
Bowling: Panda 10-1-58-0, Diwakar 22-2-82-3, Shankar Rao 15.1-2-58-6, Ratan Kumar 4-1-9-0, Shahid Khan 7-3-22-1, Sengupta 3-1-11-0.
Bihar (1st innings):
Ratan Kumar run out (Acharya) 15
A Prakash c Acharya b Gandhe 16
CM Jha c Paradkar b Atram 0
Rajiv Kumar c Khare b Acharya 125
M Goel c Gawande b Acharya 0
S Shankar Rao lbw Atram 2
S Panda c Deshpande b Acharya 9
MS Dhoni c AS Naidu b Acharya 68
M Diwakar c Gawande b Gandhe 9
Shahid Khan not out 49
M Sengupta not out 16
Extras: (b-4, lb-7, w-2, nb-15) 28
Total: (for 9 wickets, 118 overs) 337
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-22, 3-51, 4-54, 5-63, 6-81, 7-198, 8-230, 9-297.
Bowling: Atram 26-5-77-2, Piprode 14-3-51-0, AS Naidu 3-0-7-0, Gandhe 30-9-64-2, Acharya 28-6-81-4, Khare 11-2-35-0, Jadhav 6-0-11-0.
Maharashtra well-placed against Goa
Maharashtra were sitting pretty at 121 for one after their bowlers skittled out Goa for 326 runs on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group B match played at the Nehru stadium in Pune on Wednesday.
Dhiraj Jadhav (38 not out) and Kaushik Aphale (30 not out) were at the crease at the draw of stumps.
Earlier, resuming at their overnight score of 200 for three, Goa were all out at 326.
Barring Mandar Phadke, who scored 78 runs, the other Goa batsmen could not stay at the crease for long.
For Maharashtra, K Khadkikar sent four batsmen back to the pavilion while R Khirid and K Adhav took three and two wickets respectively.
Orissa skittle out Himachal for 116
Fiery bowling by debutant Deepak Mangaraj (7 for 42) helped Orissa skittle out Himachal Pradesh for a meagre 116 and seize control of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group B match at close on day 2, at the the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Wednesday.
Mangaraj's fine performance helped the hosts gain a first innings lead of 130. They were 121 for two in their second innings at the end of the day for an overall lead of 251 runs, with eight wickets standing.
Resuming at their overnight score of 29 for one, Himachal were in trouble right away as Mangaraj had overnight Vishal Bhatia (3) caught behind by Sukhwinder Singh with a rising ball.
Extracting disconcerting bounce, Mangaraj then sliced through the batting as the visitors slid to 44 for six with the debutant scalping four of the wickets.
Most of the batsmen were caught behind the wicket, either by the wicket-keeper (three catches) or slip fielder Pravanjan Mallick, who took four catches.
For Himachal, only number eight batsman Amit Sharma put up some resistance by making 34 in 83 minutes while hitting six boundaries.
Sharma and Ajay Mannu (19) shared a 58-run partnership for the seventh wicket which enabled Himachal to reach three digits.
Speedster Debashis Mohanty picked two wickets, conceding 23 runs.
Services 138 for five on second day
After being restricted to 214 in their first innings, Saurashtra bounced back, reducing hosts Services to 138 for 5 on the second day of the Plate division Ranji Trophy match in Delhi on Wednesday.
Saurashtra, starting the day at 187 for six, finished at 214 all out, with Prakash Bhatt hitting a gutsy 93 that included 13 hits to the fence.
Bhatt, who pulled the visitors out of the woods with his fine knock, faced 192 balls before returning to the pavilion after being run-out.
For Services, Fazil Mohammed captured five wickets, giving away 58 runs, while Sudhakar Ghagh finished with three for 64.
In reply, the home team started shakily and lost wickets at regular intervals before an unbeaten 59 by Yashpal Singh gave the score some respectability.
MP struggle against Haryana
Madhya Pradesh were struggling at 88 for five in their first innings on the second day of the four-day Ranji Trophy match against Haryana, who scored 278 in their first essay at the Roop Singh stadium in Gwalior on Wednesday.
Half of Madhya Pradesh's team collapsed for a paltry 34 runs as Haryana medium pacer Joginder wrecked havoc, capturing four wickets for 18 runs in 12.1 overs.
Anup Mishra took the other wicket to fall.
At close of the day's play, Devendra Bundela and Nikhil Patwardhan were at the crease with 27 and 23 respectively.
Madhya Pradesh are still 190 runs behind with five wickets in hand.
Earlier, resuming at their overnight score of 156 for 5, Haryana were all out for 278 with captain Ajay Ratra scoring 49 and Joginder hitting 56.
Narendra Hirwani captured seven of the Haryana wickets, giving away only 66 runs in 35.2 overs.