Bhut strikes century batting at No. 9, saves Saurashtra the blushes
Batting at number nine, bowler Parth Bhut shone with the bat and saved Saurashtra the blushes with a gritty century on the first day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Punjab in Rajkot on Tuesday.
Bhut was yet to open his account when Saurashtra lost their eighth wicket for 147 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
However, thanks to the 25-year-old left-arm spinner's unbeaten knock of 111 and his last-wicket partnership of 95 runs with Yuvrajsinh Dodiya (17), the hosts could stretch their total to 303 before getting bowled out with three overs still remaining in the day.
In reply, Punjab faced just one over and were three for no loss when the stumps were called on Tuesday.
Prabhsimran Singh (2) and Naman Dhir (1) were at the crease.
In all, Bhut struck 11 boundaries and four sixes while scoring his runs at a fairly decent strike-rate of 71.61.
Earlier, Saurashtra's decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired as the Punjab bowlers left the home team reeling at 147 for eight.
Opener Snell Patel was the only specialist batter to show a semblance of resistance as he laboured his way to a fighting innings of 70 off 131 balls, hitting 11 fours in the process.
Even as Patel fought, the others failed to put up a challenge. Wicketkeeper Harvik Desai was the first to go, caught by Naman Dhir off the bowling of Baltej Singh. Desai was out even before Saurashtra could open their account.
Vishvaraj Jadeja (28) and Sheldon Jackson (18) got starts but failed to carry on, falling to Mayank Markande and Baltej respectively.
Leg-spinner Markande was the most successful bowler for the visitors, returning with figures of 4/84, while there were three and two wickets for pacers Baltej (3/60) and Siddarth Kaul (2/81) respectively.
Bhut added 61 runs for the ninth wicket with Chetan Sakariya (22) before Dodiya joined the former.
Saurashtra 1st innings: 303 all out in 87 overs (Parth Bhut 111 not out, Snell Patel 70; Mayank Markande 4/84, Baltej Singh 3/60)
Punjab 1st innings: 3/0 in 1 over.
Bengal pacers make merry as Jharkhand dismissed for 173
Pacer Akash Deep led Bengal's impressive show with a four-wicket haul as Jharkhand failed to last three full sessions and folded for a paltry 173 in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The Bengal pace trio of Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar (3/61) and Ishan Porel (1/26) claimed seven wickets between them to revel in bowling-friendly conditions after the home team skipper Manoj Tiwary won a good toss.
More than half of Jharkhand's score was made by their No 3 batter Kumar Suraj, who looked composed and elegant en route to a gritty 89 not out.
The lefthander struck some elegant cover drives, scored on both sides of the wickets using his wrists beautifully but only to be stranded 11 runs shy of a third first-class hundred.
Suraj batted deep into his crease to negate the pace threat by the Bengal pacers and carried his bat through but wickets kept on falling at the other end.
Jharkhand No 11 batter Ashish Kumar (12 off 8 balls) was one of the four Jharkhand batters to get to a double digit as he lent fine support to brighten Suraj's century prospects.
But Ashish fell after a mix-up as Bengal ended their innings in 66.2 overs. The duo put together 20 runs for the last wicket.
Bad light meant that Bengal could not come out to bat in the first innings as day one ended with 21 overs in arrears.
Opting to bowl, Bengal got a perfect start with Akash Deep cleaning up Kumar Deobrat with an incoming delivery.
He bowled with brisk speed and accurate line, making it difficult for Jharkhand who lost half of their side for 77 runs.
Akash Deep got his fourth victim with a yorker that trapped Shahbaz Nadeem plumb in front. Mukesh Kumar at the other end bagged his third victim in Rahul Shukla (0).
Jharkhand 173; 66.2 overs (Kumar Suraj 89 not out; Akash Deep 4/62, Mukesh Kumar 3/61) vs Bengal.
Bhui, Shinde put Andhra on top despite Vihari injury
A fluent century by Ricky Bhui and his association with Karan Shinde helped Andhra overcome the blow dealt by skipper Hanuma Vihari's injury on day one of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against defending champions Madhya Pradesh in Indore.
Thanks to Bhui's unbeaten 115 and Shinde's 83 not out, Andhra ended the day at a strong 262 for two.
Sent in to bat by MP captain Aditya Shrivastava, the visiting team got off to a brisk start with C R Gnaneshwar (24) and Abhishek Reddy (22) adding 37 runs.
Reddy was the first to fall, trapped LBW by medium-pacer Gaurav Yadav (2/53), the only MP bowler to pick up wickets on the day.
Skipper Vihari joined Gnaneshwar and the two added 21 runs before the latter was dismissed by Yadav.
Vihari and Bhui played cautiously before the pacy Avesh Khan struck the former with a bouncer. Andhra were 72 for two at that stage.
The blow left Vihari in some discomfort and he subsequently decided to retire hurt. Later, scans revealed that the Andhra captain had suffered a wrist fracture.
The batters though recovered after Vihari's injury and frustrated the MP attack. Bhui, a key member of the visiting team's batting unit, played with a lot of determination, and in Shinde's company, kept the scoreboard ticking.
The duo did not mind playing out a few quiet overs in between but picked up runs when the bowlers erred in line and length. Avesh Khan worked up some pace but sprayed the ball around at times. He conceded 12 boundaries in the 19 overs he bowled on the day.
Yadav bowled steadily and was rewarded with the scalps of Gnaneshwar and Abhishek Reddy. The 190-run stand between Bhui, who helped himself to 12 fours and a six and Shinde ensured that Andhra moved to a position of strength at stumps.
Andhra 262 for 2 in 88 overs (Ricky Bhui 115 batting, Karan Shinde 83 batting) vs Madhya Pradesh.
Venkatesh takes five wickets as Karnataka blow away Uttarakhand on Day 1
Medium-pacer M Venkatesh sizzled with a five-wicket haul as Karnataka produced a sensational bowling effort to bundle out Uttarakhand for a paltry 116 on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal in Bengaluru.
Karnataka were 123 for no loss at stumps.
The 22-year-old Venkatesh justified captain Mayank Agarwal's decision to field after winning the toss as he rocked the top-order, removing Avneesh Sudha (17) and Dikshanshu Negi (9) early after Vidhwath Kaverappa (2/17) drew the first blood, dismissing opener Jiwanjot Singh (1).
Vijaykumar Vyshak (1/25) then had Swapnil Singh (0) caught by Samarth R, while Kaverappa cleaned up Aditya Tare (14), as Uttarakhand lost half their side for only 64 in 27.4 overs.
Kunal Chandela (31) tried to hold one end but wickets continued to tumble, with Venkatesh returning to strike twice in the 47th over, sending Akhil Rawat (14) and Abhay Negi (1) back to the dressing room.
The Mysore pacer also had Chandela caught by Manish Pandey to put the final nail in Uttarakhand's coffins as spinner K Gowtham mopped up the tail with two wickets.
In reply, Karnataka seemed to be batting on a different track as both the openers -- Ravikumar Samarth (54) and Mayank Agarwal (65) -- looked in full flow during their unbeaten fifties.
While Samarth cracked seven boundaries, Agarwal had nine hits to the fence besides a maximum.
Uttarakhand 1st innings: 116 allout in 55.4 overs (Kunal Chandela 31; M Venkatesh 5/36)
Karnataka 1st innings: 123 for no loss in 26 overs (R Samarth 54 not out, Mayank Agarwal 65 not out;Deepak Dhapola 0/32).