Openers Prabhsimran Singh and Naman Dhir struck sparkling centuries to give Punjab the upper hand on the second day of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final match against Saurashtra in Rajkot on Wednesday.
Resuming the day at 3 for no loss in reply to Saurashtra's first innings total of 303 all out, Punjab were 327 for 5 from 91 overs at the close of second day for a lead of 24 runs with Prabhsimran and Naman scoring 126 and 131 runs respectively.
Prabhsimran faced 158 balls from which he struck 13 fours and three sixes, while Naman hit nine fours and seven sixes during his 180-ball knock.
Prabhsimran was the first to go at the team score of 212 in the post-lunch session while Naman stayed a little longer and was the third Punjab batsman to get out.
One-down Pukhraj Mann (1), Anmolpreet Singh (9) and Nehal Wadhera (4) did not contribute much but captain Mandeep Singh and wicketkeeper Anmol Malhotra took Punjab past Suarashtra's first innings total.
Mandeep was unbeaten on 39 off 120 balls, while Malhotra was giving him company on 16 off 57 deliveries when the stumps were drawn.
For Saurashtra, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Yuvrajsinh Dodiya took wickets apiece while Parth Bhut got one.
On the opening day on Tuesday, left-arm spinner Parth Bhut shone with the bat and saved Saurashtra with a gritty 111 not out off 155 balls.
Coming out to bat at number nine, Bhut struck 11 fours and four sixes during his 155-ball unbeaten knock to help Saurashtra post 303 all out in 87 overs after electing to bat at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Saurashtra 1st innings: 303 in 87 overs vs Punjab 1st innings: 327 for 5 in 91 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 126, Naman Dhir 131).
Batters put Karnataka in command against Uttarakhand
Karnataka, riding on veteran all-rounder Shreyas Gopal's unbeaten 103, took a massive 358-run lead against Uttarakhand on day two of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final match in Bengaluru.
On a day when runs flowed freely for the hosts, skipper Mayank Agarwal (83) was involved in a 159-run opening partnership with Ravikumar Samarth (82) before Devdutt Padikkal (69) and Nikin Jose (62) too scored half centuries as Karnataka ended the day at 474 for five.
None of the Uttarakhand bowlers seemed effective against the batter-heavy Karnataka side at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, with pace bowler Deepak Dhapola, who had career-best figures of 8/35 in an innings during the Ranji Trophy group phase this season, returning empty-handed on Wednesday.
With the Uttarakhand strike bowler seemingly ineffective, there were four half-centurions and a century-maker in Karnataka's lineup.
Commencing day two at 123 for no loss, overnight batters Agarwal and Samarth, who were on 65 and 54 respectively on Tuesday, flourished in favourable home conditions.
However, the pair departed in quick succession with Uttarakhand pacer Abhay Negi accounting for both in the first session of play.
Their departure, however, didn't end Uttarakhand's misery with Padikkal and Jose guiding the hosts past the 300-run mark. Their partnership yielded 118 runs and broke the back of the visitors' bowlers.
But more misery was about to unfold for the visitors later in the day as veteran all-rounder Gopal struck his fifth first-class century and, in the process, crossed the 3,000-run mark to put Karnataka in an almost invincible position.
Going by Uttarakhand's capitulation in the first innings, Karnataka could declare their innings in the first session and finish the contest on day three itself.
Uttarakhand 116 vs Karnataka 474/5 in 116 overs (Ravikumar Samarth 82, Mayank Agarwal 83, Devdutt Padikkal 69, Nikin Jose 62, Shreyas Gopal 103 not out; Mayank Mishra 3/31).
Bengal grab lead against Jharkhand
Skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sudip Gharami struck half-centuries to give Bengal the upperhand against Jharkhand on Day 2 of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final in Kolkata on Wednesday.
After bowling Jharkhand out for 173, Bengal were comfortably placed on 238/5 at the end of the second day with a crucial 65-run first innings lead.
Abhimanyu (77) and Gharami (68) displayed a dominant show with the bat after rookie opener Kazi Junaid Saifi (1) was adjudged LBW off Ashish Kumar in the ninth over of the day.
From there on, Abhimanyu and Gharami added 136 runs for the second wicket to put the home side to touching distance of claiming a first innings lead.
But Bengal suffered a mid-innings collapse after the duo fell in quick succession as the home side went on to lose four wickets for the addition of 60 runs to be reduced to 207/5.
Just when Bengal were staring at a batting debacle, the left-handed duo of Abhishek Porel (25) and and Shahbaz Ahmed (17) took control of the proceedings in an entertaining unbroken partnership.
The wickekteeper-batter Porel struck some delightful cover drives and the sloppy fielding by Jharkhand also helped Bengal's cause.
For Jharkhand, Supriyo Chakraborty bagged two wickets while Ashish, Anukul Roy and Shahbaz Nadeem took one each.
Jharkhand: 173 all out in 66.2 ovs (Kumar Suraj 89; Akash Deep 4/46, Mukesh Kumar 3/61) vs Bengal 238 for 5 in 81 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 77, Sudip Gharami 68; Supriyo Chakraborty 2/68).