A round-up of Ranji matches played across India on Saturday
Defending champions Mumbai edged out Tamil Nadu by two wickets, on Saturday, in a low-scoring thriller as the opening round Ranji Trophy encounter between the two heavyweights ended in less than two and half days.
While BCCI has decided on having neutral venues so that home advantage is wiped out, the character of the track at the Bansi Lal Stadium remained as it has been for over the seasons as there was only single batsman in Abhinav Mukund (56) getting a 50 plus score in the match.
After being dismissed for 87 in the first innings, Tamil Nadu did a shade better in the second essay scoring 185, which left Mumbai with a target of 97.
They were reeling at 60 for seven at one stage when veteran Abhishek Nayar, whose oodles of experience at this level came in handy, struck a quickfire 45 off 56 balls.
Nayar's knock negated the threat created by seamers Aswin Crist (4/43) and Krishnamoorthy Vignesh (4/29), who had put the Ranji champions on the mat.
Nayar added an invaluable 30 runs with Balvinder Singh Sandhu (Jr) for the eighth wicket to take the team total to 90 before he was sent back by Crist.
But Nayar kept his cool in a tense situation to hit a lusty blow as the 41-time champions logged home full points from the encounter.
Tamil Nadu started the day at 153 for six -- enjoying a lead of 64 runs but could add only 32 more runs as they lost the final four wickets in only 8.4 overs.
Dhawal Kulkarni, who would soon be donning the India ODI colours once again, polished off the tail finishing with 6 for 47 as he ended with match-haul of 10 for 88 on a pacer friendly wicket. It was his 14th five-for in first-class cricket.
The target of 97 would have been a cakewalk on any other wicket but Lahli, which is an open ground is a different proposition.
Mumbai lost their top five for only 35 runs in 17 overs but it was Nayar, who again bailed them out as he has done it innumerable times for the title favourites over the years.
Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu: 87 and 185 (Abhinav Mukund 56, Dhawal Kulkarni 6/47)
Mumbai: 176 & (target 97) 97/8 (Abhishek Nayar 45 batting, A Aswin Crist 4/43, K Vignesh 4/29). Mumbai won by 2 wkts.
Points: Mumbai 6; Tamil Nadu 0.
Hyderabad take 224 runs first innings lead over Goa
Hyderabad gained a 224-run first innings lead over Goa in their Ranji Trophy match even as B Sandeep slammed 108 (4x11) to become the second centurion for his team on Saturday.
The Hyderabad side were dismissed at 388 at the VCA civil lines ground.
Hyderabad resumed the third day on 188 for four wickets. They lost centurion Akshay Reddy (128) early in the day as play resumed half an hour late following overnight rains.
Sandeep was ably supported by Mehadi Hasan, who made 62, hitting 10 boundaries and six, on a decent batting track.
Goa spinner Amit Yadav (3/73) showed some penetration but could not restrict the Hyderabad batsmen.
Goa, who scored 164 in their first innings, were five without loss as rain stopped play for the day.
Goa: 164 all out and 5/0
Hyderabad: 388 all out off 130 overs (Akshay Reddy 128, B Sandeep 108; Amit Yadav 3/73, R R Singh 2/55.
Kerala eyeing first innings lead vs Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir pacer Samiullah Beigh returned with a six-wicket haul but the team found itself on the backfoot as Kerala remained in the hunt for a first innings lead in a rain-interrupted Ranji Trophy group C match in Kalyani, West Bengal on Saturday.
In reply to Kerala's 306 in the first innings, Jammu and Kashmir were 106 for five in 29 overs, trailing by 200 runs on the penultimate day when rain halted the proceedings at 12.59pm.
J and K responded in an aggressive fashion with Adil Reshi's 40 from 38 balls (6x4). He along with Shubham Khajuria (12) put up 57 runs from 62 balls before left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla struck.
The signing from Mumbai finished with 3/32, while another left-arm spinner K Monish also joined in the act in a tidy 2/6 from his four overs as the duo took regular wickets before rain played halted their march for a second successive day.
Only 34.5 overs could be possible on day three which was called off at 2.30 as the match headed for a draw.
Wet outfield following Friday’s downpour had delayed the start of the day for 30 minutes as Kerala resuming on 282 for seven were bundled out in 102.1 overs with Sanju Samson's
154 being the highlight of the morning.
The 21-year-old Sanju hit 24 boundaries and one six in his patient knock spanning seven hours and 10 minutes stretching three days.
Earlier, J and K pacer Beigh (6/82) gave the breakthrough dismissing Manu Krishan (18) in the third over of the day to snap his brilliant 52-run eighth wicket partnership with Sanju.
Unbeaten on his overnight score of 142, Sanju got to 150 in 286 balls before becoming seamer Ram Dayal's third victim.
Kerala: 1st Innings 306; 102.1 overs (Sanju Samson 154; Samiullah Beigh 6/82, Ram Dayal 3/88).
Jammu and Kashmir: 1st Innings 106/5; 29 overs (Adil Reshi 40, Iqbal Abdulla 3/32, K Monish 2/6). Match to continue.
Vidarbha in command against Odisha
Vidarbha declared their innings for 272 for six with a healthy first innings lead of 122 runs to take firm control of their Ranji Trophy group B match against Odisha.
Odisha responded positively with 74 for no loss from 22 overs in their second innings when bad light stopped play on the penultimate day.
Debutant opener Sandeep Patnaik was unbeaten on 40 (7x4), while Ranjit Singh was batting on 27 (3x4). Odisha still needed 48 runs to avoid a defeat.
Earlier, Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal, who was unbeaten on his overnight score of 74, got out on 99 with Biplab Samantray taking the prized scalp.
The left-handed opener was caught behind by Haladhar Das as Vidarbha lost two overnight batsmen with addition of nine runs.
Resuming on 182 for two after a rain delay, Vidharbha lost their first wicket of the day when Aditya Shanware (9) got out in the 12th over of the day.
Deepak Behera (3/35) broke the overnight partnership before Fazal missed the century by one run.
Vidarbha stepped up the run-rate towards the end with Aditya Sarwate playing a cameo of 17 not out from 28 balls (2x4, 1x6).
Wicketkeeper batsman Jitesh Sharma also chipped in with 24 (5x4) before becoming Behera's third victim as Fazal made a spirited declaration.
Odisha: 1st Innings: 150 and 2nd Innings: 74 for no loss; 22 overs (Sandeep Patnaik 40 batting, Ranjit Singh 27 batting).
Vidarbha 1st Innings: 272/6 declared; 102 overs (Faiz Fazal 99; Deepak Behera 3/35).
Jharkhand close in on victory against Maharashtra
Jharkhand closed in on victory on Saturday, requiring just 37 more runs against Maharashtra in a Group B Ranji Trophy fixture.
Having already taken a 96-run lead first innings lead, Jharkhand bundled out Maharashtra for a meagre 188 in their second essay.
Needing just 93 runs for victory, Jharkhand reached 56 for four in their second innings with Virat Singh unbeaten on 16 and Anand Singh on eight at stumps on the penultimate day.
Earlier, resuming on 293 for seven in their first innings replying to Maharashtra's 210 all out, Jharkhand scored 306 to take a healthy lead.
Jharkhand bowlers -- Ashish Kumar (3/44) and Shahbaz Nadeem (3/43) -- then shared six wickets between them, while Varun Aaron (2/37) also chipped in with two scalps to restrict Maharashtra below 200 in their second innings.
Maharashtra skipper Kedar Jadhav top scored with 56.
Chasing a modest target, Jharkhand lost both their openers for a duck each to be struggling at zero for two but Virat Singh and Saurabh Tiwary steadied the boat for a while.
Tiwary, however, got out after a quickfire 20-ball 22 but Virat held on to his wicket. Ishank Jaggi (4) was another Jharkhand wicket to have fallen before the close of play.
For Maharashtra, Anupam Sanklecha (2/20) and Shrikant Mundhe (2/22) took two wickets each.
Maharashtra: 210 & 188 (Kedar Jadhav 56; Shahbaz Nadeem 3/43, Ashish Kumar 3/44)
Jharkhand: 306 & 56 for four in 13 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 22; Anupam Sanklecha 2/20, Shrikant Mundhe 2/22).
Delhi hammer Assam bowling, in sight of innings victory
Delhi sent the Assam bowlers on a leather-hunt with as many as three batsmen hitting tons as the Unmukt Chand-led team are looking good to notch up a facile innings victory in opening group league encounter of the Ranji Trophy.
Starting the day at 241 for 3, Delhi plundered their way to declare at 589 for eight in 128.1 overs. The north zone state added 348 runs on the day in only 57.1 overs. At stumps, Assam were 100 for 3 in their second essay still needing 296 runs to avoid innings defeat.
Left-handed Rishabh Pant, touted as an India prospect, began his season with a bang as he smashed 146 off only 124 balls with 13 boundaries and eight huge sixes.
100 runs in Pant's 146 came in boundaries off 21 scoring strokes. This was former India U-19 stumper's first century in first-class cricket in his very third match.
The other young left-hander Nitish Rana also scored 146 but it was a contrasting knock that came off 222 deliveries with 19 boundaries and two sixes.
The duo, who came together at 103 for three on the second day put on 220 runs in 43.2 overs.
Not to be left behind, right-handed Milind Kumar hit 92 off 114 balls while Pradeep Sangwan, who now plays as an all-rounder, also made merry with a 87-ball hundred that had eight boundaries and four sixes.
Having conceded a huge lead of 396 runs, Assam found it difficult to negotiate left-arm spinners Varun Sood (1/17) and Manan Sharma (2/45). Rahul Hazarika (40) was well set before he was holed out by Sangwan off Manan.
Brief Scores:Assam 193 & 100/3 (Rahul Hazarika 40, Manan Sharma 2/45)
Delhi 589/8 decl (Nitish Rana 146, Rishabh Pant 146, Pradeep Sangwan 100 no, Milind Kumar 92).
Rajasthan 62/1 in rain-hit clash against Saurashtra
Weather played spoilsport and only 17.2 overs were possible as Rajasthan reached 62/1 in reply to Saurashtra's mammoth first innings total of 430 on the third day of their Group B Ranji Trophy clash in Vishakapatnam.
Overnight 12/0 in 1.4 overs, Rajasthan lost one wicket -- opener Vineet Saxena (12) -- today while adding 50 runs to their total.
Leg-spinner Samarth Vyas was the lone wicket-taker for Saurashtra.
Manender Singh (44) and K Ajay Singh (4) were at the crease for Saurashtra when play was halted for the day.
Rajasthan: 62/1 in 19 overs (Manender Singh 44 batting, Samarth Vyas 1/5). PTI PM
UP captain Raina indisposed, his side forced to follow-on
Uttar Pradesh captain Suresh Raina, who made a comeback into the India ODI squad after more than a year, did not bat today as he was indisposed as his side was forced to follow-on in their Ranji Trophy match against Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.
Resuming the third and penultimate day at 131 for 5 in reply to MP's first innings 465 all out, UP folded at 176 in 63.2 overs and Raina did not come out to bat and his side were told to follow on at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal.
Raina is also unlikely to bat when UP resume on the final day on Sunday in their bid to get past the MP total and get one point.
After following-on, UP ended the day on 118 for 2 in 53 overs, with Tanmay Srivastava (60 batting) and Sarfraz Khan (18 batting) at the crease. UP still trail by 171 runs with 8 second innings wicket in hand.
For UP, wicket-keeper Eklavya Dwivedi top-scored in their first innings with 37, while Kuldeep Yadav made 36.
MP's new ball pair of Ishwar Pandey (3 for 65) and Gourav Yadav (4 for 44) did bulk of the UP's damage.
Madhya Pradesh: 465
Uttar Pradesh: 176 all out in 63.23 overs (Eklavya Dwivedi 37; Gaurav Yadav 4/44) & 118 for 2 (f/o) in 53 overs (Tanmay Srivastava 60 batting).
Chhattisgarh win big vs Tripura on Ranji Trophy debut
Ranji Trophy debutants Chhattisgarh notched up an easy nine-wicket victory against tournament's perennial whipping boys Tripura, on Saturday.
Having taken a vital 137 run first innings lead, the Mohammed Kaif-led side bundled out Tripura for 149 in the second innings with left-arm spinner Ajay Mandal grabbing 4 for 55. Pacer Pratik Sinha got two wickets while only Smit Patel and Gurinder Singh scored 26 and 20 respectively.
Needing only 13 runs to win, Chhattisgarh missed a golden opportunity to get a bonus point as they lost a wicket in the process knocking off runs in 3.5 overs.
Brief Scores: Tripura 118 & 149 (Smit Patel 26, Gurinder Singh 20, Ajay Mandal 4/55)
Chhattisgarh 255 & 13/1. Chhattisgarh won by 9 wkts.
Points: Chhattisgarh 6; Tripura 0.
Haryana take 51-run first innings lead against Services
After Haryana took a 51-run first innings lead, Services reached 148 for two in their second essay, riding on wicketkeeper-batsman Nakul Verma's unbeaten 54 on the third day of a Group C Ranji Trophy encounter.
Resuming the day on 117 for three, Haryana added 131 runs to their tally before ending their first innings on 248 in reply to Services total of 197.
The chief architect of the Haryana innings was Shubham Rohilla, who missed out on a century by just eight runs, as he was run out on valiant 92.
Services spinners -- Khalid Ahmed (4/86) and Vikas Yadav (4/80) -- took four wickets each and were very impressive.
Trailing by 51 runs at the Brabourne Stadium, Services openers gave the team a good start as Anshul Gupta (40) and skipper Shaumik Chatterjee (33) shared a 50-run first-wicket stand on a pitch where the ball was nicely coming on the bat.
But both Chatterjee and Gupta got out before the stumps were drawn. However, Nakul Verma, who walked one down, played a responsible knock, hitting five boundaries and two sixes during his unbeaten 54. Giving him company at the other end at the close of play was Ravi Chauhan on 15.
Services: 197 & 148 for two in 44 overs (Nakul Verma 54 batting, Anshul Gupta 40, Shaumik Chatterjee 33).
Haryana 1st innings: 248 (Shubham Rohilla 92; Khalid Ahmed 4/86, Vikas Yadav 4/80).
Merai, Juneja hit fifties in Gujarat's strong reply
Riding on half centuries from Bhargav Merai (70) and Manpreet Juneja (66 batting), Gujarat made a strong reply to Baroda's first innings 544/8 declared as their Ranji Trophy Group A match headed for a draw on the third and penultimate day here today.
Gujarat made a slow progress, adding 243 runs from the 90 overs bowled today, but Merai and Juneja made sure that they were still in the fight for the first-innings lead at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
They were 277 for 4 at stumps, after resuming the day at 34 for no loss, still trailing by 267 runs with six first innings wickets in hand.
Gujarat's hopes of a first innings lead (and three points) will hinge largely on Juneja and Rujul Bhatt (38 not out), who shared an unbroken 100-run stand after the Pandya brothers -- Krunal and Hardik -- removed Merai and captain Parthiv Patel (20) in quick succession to leave Gujarat in choppy waters at 177 for 4.
The foundation for Gujarat's strong reply was laid by Merai and opener Samit Gohel (43) as the duo shared 97 runs for the second wicket. Merai hit 10 fours in his knock of 134 deliveries while Gohel played an agonisingly slow 178-ball innings which had five fours.
Juneja has so far faced 129 balls from which he had hit nine fours.
Baroda captain Irfan Pathan used as many as eight bowlers, including himself. Krunal Pandya took two wickets, while Hardik Pandya and Munaf Patel had one. Irfan was wicketless.
Baroda: 544 for 8 declared.
Gujarat: 277 for 4 in 105 overs (Bhragav Merai 70, Manpreet Juneja batting 66; Krunal Pandya 2/50).
Andhra reach 47/1 vs Himachal as 27.2 overs bowled on Day 3
Andhra Pradesh reached 47 for 1 in 14 overs after Himachal Pradesh scored 357 in their first innings at the end of third day of the Ranji Trophy group league encounter between the two teams.
Only 27.2 overs of play was possible on the third day as Himachal added 39 runs to their first day's total of 318 for seven.
Sumeet Verma top scored with 142 while CV Stephen took 3/74. In reply, Andhra scored 47 for one as Hanuma Vihari and DB Prasanth were batting on 20 and 21 respectively.
Brief Scores: Himachal Pradesh 1st Innings: 357 (Sumeet Verma 142, CV Stephen 3/74) Andhra 1st Innings 47/1 (DV Prasanth 21 batting, G Hanuma Vihari 20 batting)
Railways in command against Punjab
Manjeet Singh took a four-wicket haul as Railways bundled out Punjab for 215 in their first innings to take a 116-run lead before ending the penultimate day at a commanding 180 for two in their Group A Ranji Trophy match on Saturday.
Railways have already extended their lead to 296 runs.
Railways' opener Shivakant Shukla, who made 128 in the first innings, put on a crucial first-wicket stand of 111 runs with Saurabh Wakaskar, who got retired hurt on 56.
Shukla, however, ended the day on an unbeaten 83 with Mahesh Rawat giving him company on 34.
Earlier, Punjab, who resumed on 154 for four in reply to Railways' first innings total of 331, could add only 61 more runs to their overnight total with medium-pacer Manjeet wreaking havoc by picking up three of the six wickets that fell today.
He ended with impressive figures of four for 56 from his 15 overs that included key wickets of Gurkeerat Singh Mann (66) and Uday Kaul (61).
Besides Manjeet, Anureet Singh, Deepak Bansal and Karn Sharma also contributed to the team's success with two wickets each.
Railways 331 & 180 for two in 67 overs (Shivakant Shukla 83 batting, Saurabh Wakaskar 56).
Punjab 1st innings: 215 all out (Gurkeerat Singh Mann 66, Uday Kaul 61; Manjeet Singh 4/56).