A round-up of Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final matches on Friday.
Karnataka in control against Mumbai
Nagpur: Karnataka took control of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Mumbai by taking a commanding 222-run lead over the 41-time champions on day two of the five-day game at the Vidharbha Cricket Association stadium in Jamtha.
Half-centuries by opener Mayank Agarwal, M Kaunain Abbas, C M Gautam and Shreyas Gopal helped Karnataka to the dominating position as they closed the second day on 395 for six in 122 overs with Shreyas Gopal unbeaten on 80 off 151 balls along with skipper R Vinay Kumar (31 not out).
On Day 1, Karnataka had bundled out Mumbai for a partly 173 and finished the opening day at 115 for one.
Agarwal, who is the top run getter this Ranji season, made 78 off 104 balls, striking 11 fours and a six while one down Abbas (50), Gautam (79) and Gopal played their roles to perfection.
Debutant medium pacers Shivam Malhotra, who grabbed the wicket of Agarwal this morning, and Shivam Dube, who picked up five for 79, were the wicket takers for Mumbai.
In fact, the two first-timers took four wickets in good time to leave Karnataka at 218 for five and the game in balance before the batting side recovered through two big partnerships for the sixth and seventh wickets, with Gopal involved in both of them.
Shreyas put on 103 runs with wicketkeeper Gautam to steady the innings.
Later, he added 74 runs with skipper Vinay Kumar, who took six wickets on Thursday including a hat-trick, for the unfinished seventh wicket to put his team on top and for Karnataka to press on further on the third day.
For Mumbai, Dube caught the eye in his first Ranji game and his victims included opener R Samarth (40), Abbas, Karun Nair, Pavan Desphande and Gautam.
Senior pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, youngster Akash Parkar and left-arm spinner Karsh Kothari were unsuccessful.
Mumbai 1st inns: 173 all out
Karnataka 1st inns: 395 for 6 (M Agarwal 78, K Abbas 50, S Gopal 80 not out, CM Gautam 79, R Vinay Kumar 31 not out; S Dube 5-79).
Amit, Aamir put Bengal on top
Jaipur: Boddupalli Amit's all-round prowess and Aamir Gani's useful contribution at the end propelled Bengal to a commanding position against defending champions Gujarat after the second day of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final.
In reply to Bengal's respectable first innings score of 354, beefed up by Aamir (49) and Amit (34), Gujarat were in a spot of bother at 180 for six at stumps.
After his contribution with the bat, Amit picked up three for 46 with his medium pace bowling to put the Ranji champions on the mat. He was ably supported by India Under-19 player Ishan Porel, who took two for 55.
Gujarat lost their dependable opening duo of Priyank Panchal (4) and Samit Gohil (0) to Porel and Ashok Dinda, respectively, with only 17 runs on the board, before Parthiv Patel (47) and Bharghav Merai (67) rallied the defending champions.
The duo added 107 runs for the third wicket in only 30 overs as Patel hit seven boundaries in 95 balls while Merai faced 116 balls for his eight fours.
But things went downhill after Parthiv got dismissed as Gujarat lost four wickets for 20 runs during that phase of play.
Porel induced an edge off Parthiv to be caught behind, while Manprit Juneja (10) was deceived by an incutter from Amit and trapped leg before.
Merai was bowled by Amit and he also removed Chirag Gandhi, who nicked an outswinger and was caught behind.
Gujarat face an uphill of scoring 175 runs more to get a first innings lead with just four wickets in hand.
The experienced pair of Rujul Bhatt (13 batting) and Piyush Chawla (22) were at the crease at stumps on day two.
With three days left, the defending champions still have a good chance of making a comeback, considering that Bengal batting in the past have faltered in big games despite getting first-innings lead.
Bengal 1st inns: 354 in 111.5 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 129, Anushtup Majumdar 94, Aamir Gani 49, B Amit 36, Ishwar Chaudhary 5/87)
Gujarat 1st inns: 180/6 in 59 overs (Bharghav Merai 67, Parthiv Patel 47, B Amit 3/46).
Chandela leads Delhi's strong reply after Harpreet ton
Vijaywada: Harpreet Singh struck a gritty hundred to lead Madhya Pradesh's fightback before Delhi came up with a strong reply to leave the Ranji Trophy quarter-final nicely poised at stumps on day two.
MP, resuming the day at 223 for six, did extremely well to reach 338 with Harpreet scoring an unbeaten 107 off 200 balls with the tailenders giving him good support, especially Puneet Datey (35).
Frustrated with MP's late resistance, Delhi batsmen came out to bat a determined lot and finished the day at 180 for two.
Rookie Kunal Chandela, a product of university cricket, gave a good account of himself with an unbeaten 73, his second half-century plus score in only his second first-class game.
Chandela and Dhruv Shorey (78) shared a 145-run stand for the second wicket after senior batsman Gautam Gambhir fell in the first over of the innings.
Chandela hit five fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 154-ball effort while Shorey smashed 10 boundaries before falling to Ankit Sharma in the 43rd over.
Nitish Rana (17) was batting alongside Chandela at close of play and the duo will look to get as close as possible to MP's first innings total on Day 3.
Earlier, Manan Sharma cleaned up the tail taking four wickets after Harpreet's hundred took MP towards a competitive total.
MP 1st inns: 338 all out in 124.1 overs (Harpreet Singh 107 not out; Manan Sharma 4/46).
Delhi 1st inns: 180/2 in 51 overs (Kunal Chandela 73 not out, Dhruv Shorey 78).
Vidarbha fight back with late wickets
Surat: Vidarbha stage a late comeback with two wickets after being bowled out for 246 on the second day of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final match against Kerala.
Overnight 45 for three, Vidarbha lost wickets at regular intervals, and wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar top-scored with 53 off 147 balls. He struck seven boundaries during his stay in the middle.
Aditya Sarwate (36) and Karn Sharma (31) hung in there for a while, while Akshay Wakhare and Lalit Yadav chipped in with 27 and 24 runs, respectively.
Left-arm spinner K C Akshay did bulk of the damage for Kerala with impressive figures of 5/66, and he was ably supported by Jalaj Saxena (3/52), at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium.
In reply, Kerala lost Mohammed Azharuddeen (8) early, to Lalit Yadav, while S Sandeep Warrier was bowled by medium pacer Rajneesh Gurbani before he could open his account.
At stumps on the second day, Kerala were 32 for two, with Saxena (13) and P R Prem (5) at the crease.
Kerala trail Vidarbha by 214 runs with eight wickets remaining in the first innings.
Only 24 overs of play was possible on a truncated first day owing to a wet outfield.
Vidarbha 1st innings: 246 all out in 105.3 overs (Akshay Wadkar 53; K C Akshay 5/66).
Kerala 1st innings: 32 for two in seven overs.