Reigning champions Vidarbha thrashed Mumbai by an innings and 145 runs in a lop-sided Ranji Trophy Group A game in Nagpur on Tuesday.
Mumbai needed an outright win to stay alive but it was their batting that let them down not once but twice at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. The hosts scripted a memorable win and even gained a bonus point, courtesy of their crushing win.
The 41-time Ranji champions' hopes of making it to the quarter-finals are all but over, while the defending champions became the first team to qualify for the last eight.
Even if Mumbai win against Chattisgarh in their last league game, mathematically also it will not be possible for them to make the last eight as only five teams from combined A and B groups can make it to the quarters.
Resuming on 169 for six, Mumbai's batsmen, except for Dhurmil Matkar (62 not out), perished cheaply as they were bowled out for a paltry 252.
Off-spinner Akshay Wakhare (5-85) emerged as the hero for Vidarbha in the first essay as the hosts imposed the follow-on.
If Wakhare emerged as Mumbai's nemesis in the first essay, then slow left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate sliced through the Mumbai batting in the second innings.
Sarwate returned with splendid figures of 6-48 as he proved to be Mumbai's wrecker in chief in the second essay. He had claimed three wickets in the first innings also.
The 29-year-old was well complemented by Akshay Wakhare, who took two wickets in the second innings.
For Mumbai, in the second innings, Matkar showed some resistance with a 36-run knock.
Shreyas Iyer failed to convert his start after he walked back to the pavilion after scoring just 22.
The other batsmen Jay Bista (0), Vikrant Auti (1), skipper Siddesh Lad (6), Shubham Ranjane (1), Aditya Tare (15), Shivam Dubey (6) made a beeline to the pavilion as Mumbai began the new year on a disastrous note.
Veteran Wasim Jaffer, who laid foundation of Vidarbha's massive score with his 178, was adjudged the man of the match.
This is Mumbai's third largest innings defeat in domestic cricket the other two being -- innings and 168 runs versus Rest of India in the Irani Cup in 1977-78 and innings and 166 runs versus Gujarat in 1950-51 season.
Meanwhile, at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi, Baroda defeated Railways by 164 runs with Krunal Pandya starring with both the bat and ball.
At Alur in Karnataka, hosts Karnataka secured the crucial first-innings lead against Chhattisgarh with Ronit More taking a five-wicket haul.
At Pune, visitors Gujarat, after securing the first-innings lead are poised for a big win as they have reduced Maharashtra to 137/6 in their second essay. The hosts are behind by 178 runs.
At Nagpur: Vidarbha 511 vs Mumbai 252 (Jay Bista 64,Dhurmil Matkar 62 not one, Shubham Ranjane 52, Akshay Wakhare 5-85) and 114 (Dhurmil Matkar 36, Shreyas Iyer 22, Aditya Sarwate 6-48).
At Pune: Maharashtra 230 and 137/6 (Naushad Shaikh 40) vs Gujarat 545/8 dec (Priyank Panchal 141, Kathan Patel 107, Manprit Juneja 87).
At Alur (Karnataka): Karnataka 418 and 113/4 (Manish Pandey 57 not out) vs Chhattisgarh 283 (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 120, Ronit More 5-48).
At New Delhi: Baroda 313 and 157 (Krunal Pandya 104, Yusuf Pathan 13, Amit Mishra 7-50) defeat Railways 200 and 106 (Bhargav Bhatt 5-43, Krunal Pandya 2-19) by 164 runs.
Tons by Bharat, Bhui put Andhra in command
Centuries by K S Bharat (178 not out) and Ricky Bhui (129) helped Andhra take control against Hyderabad at stumps on day three of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match in Vizianagaram.
Talented young wicketkeeper-batsman Bharat hit 22 fours and two sixes in his 277-ball knock of 178 while Bhui struck 14 fours and two sixes in his 248-ball innings as Andhra scored 502 for 7 declared in 154 overs in reply to Hyderabad's 271.
At end of the day's proceedings, Hyderabad were 33 for no loss, still trailing by 198 runs.
Resuming at 207 for 3, Andhra dominated proceedings as Bhui and Bharat piled on the runs even as the Hyderabad bowlers wilted.
The fourth-wicket partnership between the two produced 234 runs.
Bharat led the run-scoring and was the more aggressive of the two, hitting shots all round the wicket.
The pair took the total from 350 to 400 before the visiting side broke through when T Ravi Teja dismissed Bhui, having him caught behind by K S K Chaitanya.
Bharat continued to pile on the runs and took the score past 500 before the team declared at 502 for 7.
At Mohali, Punjab thrashed Kerala by 10 wickets and took their points tally to 20, thereby brightening their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
At Vizianagaram: Hyderabad 271 all out and 33 for no loss in 10 overs vs Andhra 502 for 7 declared in 154 overs (K S Bharat 178 not out, Ricky Bhui 129, C R Gnaneswar 65).
At Mohali: Kerala 121 and 223 all out in 73.1 overs (Mohammed Azharudeen 112, Mayank Markande 4 for 56) lost to Punjab 237 all out in 75.2 overs and 131 for no loss (Shubman Gill 69 not out, Jiwanjot Singh 48 not out)
At Indore: Madhya Pradesh 265 and 193 all out in 58.5 overs (Rajat Patidar 54, Gurvinder Singh 6 for 53) beat Himachal 127 all out in 55.3 overs and 191 all out in 44.4 overs (PP Jaiswal 44, Kumar Kartikeya Singh 3 for 58) by 140 runs.
Delhi eye outright win against Bengal
Subodh Bhati top-scored with a lightning 62 down the order in Delhi's second innings to help the visitors take firm control over hosts Bengal in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match in Kolkata.
Bhati, who had shown his batting exploits with an astounding 57-ball 207 in a Goa League T20 match in March this year, smashed six sixes and five fours en route to his maiden first-class fifty.
The Delhi frontline pacer, who claimed three wickets in the first innings, added 80 valuable runs for the last wicket with his bowling partner Kulwant Khejroliya (21 not out) before being run out by Ashok Dinda.
Bhati's powerplay propped Delhi to 301 in their second essay, setting Bengal an improbable 322 target on the final day.
"It was the last wicket, and I just wanted to capitalise. Their plan was to bowl short. But I was confident that the ball would either hit the helmet or I would clear the rope. We were ready," Bhati said as he hit two sixes each against Bengal pacers Dinda and Mukesh Kumar.
"I take my batting seriously. I opened in club cricket and batted higher up the order for Delhi initially but after flopping, I returned to concentrate on my bowling," a modest Bhati added.
Returning to bowl, Bhati almost claimed Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran for duck when he induced an outside edge to be caught by a composed Kunal Chandela at first slip but the umpired ruled it not out.
"It's part of game. Only third umpire could see. There's a bit of help from the wicket. 300 runs would not be easy," Bhati said as Delhi looked to bag six points, virtually shutting Bengal's aspiration on the final day.
Having survived a tricky phase of three overs, Bengal were 18 for no loss at close on the penultimate day.
In a wishful thinking, Bengal pacer Dinda however said their batsmen, who have been struggling to put together a collective effort, would easily chase down 322.
"I have bowled the maximum (52 overs) on this wicket. I know the wicket inside out. You have to see through the morning session, then it would be a pure batting wicket. Our batsmen should easily chase it down," Dinda said.
"We always knew that we would have to chase 300 runs. We will go for six points," Dinda said, recollecting their semifinal ouster by Delhi last season.
"It's still fresh in our minds. So, this is our match to win." he said.
Delhi: 240 and 301 in 96.4 overs (Subodh Bhati 62, Himmat Singh 51; Ashok Dinda 5/88) vs Bengal 220 and 18 for no loss in 3 overs.