Punjab beat Delhi by 10 wickets for season's maiden win
Punjab pummelled Delhi by 10 wickets for their maiden win of the season on Friday while handing the hosts their first Ranji Trophy loss at home in five years.
With Punjab controlling the game from day one, it was only a matter of time before they scored an outright win, fetching seven points.
Delhi, who were gasping at 106 for six in their second innings and trailing Punjab by 69 runs at stumps on day two, ended up with 179 courtesy Pulkit Narang (31) and Pulkit Sood (25).
Punjab needed just five runs for a big win and and they knocked it off in 2.1 overs with Jiwanjot Sharma and Abhishek Sharma in the middle.
With the emphatic win, Punjab have revived their Ranji campaign after having collected just two points from the previous two games.
On the other hand, Delhi's troubles have increased with their first loss of the season. They had conceded the first-innings lead against Hyderabad and could not dismiss Himachal Pradesh in their opener for an outright win.
Delhi's batting let them down again though they did a tad better than the first innings, in which they were bundled out for 107.
In the first innings, they surrendered to Punjab's Siddharth Kaul while in the second, they were done in by spinners Vinay Choudhary and Mayank Markande.
Punjab had made 282 in the first innings, thanks to a captain's knock by Mandeep Singh (90).
Yuvraj Singh, playing his first game of the season, made 24 off 88 balls.
Mumbai earn first innings lead; Tare, Dubey lead fight back
Hosts Mumbai eked out a crucial 16-run first innings lead after they bundled out Gujarat for 281 in their Elite Group A Ranji Trophy game in Mumbai.
Mumbai had posted 297 in their first innings at the Wankhede Stadium.
Gujarat resumed the penultimate day of the four-day match on 232/8 with wicket-keeper Dhurv Raval unbeaten on 60.
Raval added 39 runs to his tally, but missed out on a deserving hundred after he fell on 99 and was the last man to be dismissed.
Raval briefly raised hopes of the visitors taking the first innings lead, but it all ended when he was caught by wicket-keeper Aditya Tare off Shivam Dubey.
For Mumbai, Shivam Dubey (3-50), Dhawal Kulkarni (3- 71) and Royston Dias (3-74) shone with the ball.
However, Mumbai had a disastrous start in their second essay as Gujarat bowlers lead by medium pacer Chintan Gaja (4-50) wreaked havoc.
At one stage, Mumbai were reeling at 6-66 as Akhil Herwdkar (10), Jay Bista (0), Siddesh Lad (17), Surya Kumar Yadav (1), Arman Jaffer (5) and Dhawal Kulkarni (6) fell in quick succession.
But then Aditya Tare (59) used his experience as he and first innings centurion Shivam Dubey (40 not out) rebuild the innings.
The two pulled Mumbai out of trouble in their 57-run stand before Tare was dismissed.
Dhurmil Matkar (12 not out) was holding the fort along with Dubey as Mumbai ended the day at 157/7, taking their overall lead to 173 runs.
Also, batting great Sunil Gavaskar watched the proceedings along with Mumbai chief selector and former India pacer Ajit Agarkar.
Meanwhile, at Raipur, Vidarbha, riding on hundreds by skipper Faiz Fazal and Akshay Wadkar, took the first innings lead against Chhattisgarh.
And after that, the visitors reduced the hosts to 28/4 in their second innings and in all probability go for a win on the final day on Saturday.
At Rajkot, Baroda opener Kedar Devdhar remained unbeaten on 171 as the visitors reached 268/1, but still trailed Saurashtra by a massive 253 runs.
There will be a close fight between the two sides for taking the first-innings lead.
At Mysuru, hosts Karnataka need another 130 runs to register outright victory against Maharashtra and have all 10 wickets in hand.
Brief scores: At Mumbai: 297 and 157/7 (Aditya Tare 59, Shivam Dubey 40 not out, C T Gaja 4-50 ) versus Gujarat 281 (Dhruv Raval 99, R H Bhatt 41, Shivam Dube 3-50). Mumbai lead by 173 runs.
At Raipur: Chhattisgarh 232 and 28/4 (Ashutosh Singh 12, Lalit Yadav 2-21) versus Vidarbha 332/6 declared (Faiz Fazal 146, Akshay Wadkar 144 not out, Sumit Raikar -46). Chhattisgarh trail by 72 runs.
At Rajkot: Saurashtra 521 versus Baroda 268/1 (Kedar Devdhar 171 not out, Vishnu Solanki 58 batting, Prerak Mankad 1-16 ). Baroda trail by 253 runs.
At Mysuru: Maharashtra 113 and 256 (Ruturaj Gaikwad 89, Naushad Shaikh 73, Shreyas Gopal 4-64) versus Karnataka 186 and 54/0 (Devdutt Padikkal 33 not out). Karnataka need 130 runs to win.
Rajasthan secure 1st innings lead; Assam rout Haryana
Rajasthan secured a crucial first innings lead against Uttar Pradesh after bundling out the hosts for 214 in their Elite Group C match in Kanpur.
The visitors rode on splendid performance by left-arm pacer Aniket Choudhary (5-64) at the Green Park Stadium after posting 311 in their first essay.
Thus, the visitors took 97-run first-innings lead and then extended it to 233 runs as they ended the penultimate day of the four-day game at 136/4.
Choudhary got excellent support from co-pacers T M Haq (3-55) and Nathu Singh (2-47).
For Uttar Pradesh, only wicket-keeper Upendra Singh showed some resistance with a valiant knock of 67, But he was devoid of partners.
Rajasthan have won all their three games so far and would be hoping to record their fourth successive victory when they take the field on Saturday.
In the second innings, Rajasthan opener Amitkumar Gautam continued his good form as he remained unbeaten on 66 at close of play.
Gautam had missed a century by just seven runs in the first innings.
Meanwhile at Guwahati, Assam thrashed Haryana by an innings and 35 runs as Arup Das and Mukhtair Hussain picked four wickets each in the second innings to bowl out the visitors for 178.
At Cuttack, Odisha need another 104 runs for an outright victory against Tripura, but have only five wickets in hand.
At Palam in New Delhi, Services are on the brink of a win against Jammu and Kashmir as they require another 38 runs with five wickets in hand.
Brief scores: At Kanpur: Rajasthan 311 and 136/4 (Amitkumar Gautam 66 not out, Robin Bist 32, Ankit Rajpoot 2-31) versus Uttar Pradesh 214 (Upendra Yadav 67, Suresh Raina 33, Aniket Chaudhary 5-64). Rajasthan lead by 233 runs.
At Guwahati: Assam 310 versus Haryana 97 and 178 (Chaitanya Bishnoi 78, Poonish Mishra 70 not out, Arup Das 4-37). Assam won by an innings and 35 runs.
At Cuttack: Odisha 212 and 111/5 (Subranshu Senapati 43 not out, Rajesh Dhuper 37, Manisankar Murasingh 4-37) versus Tripura 122 and 304 (M B Mura Singh 75, Basant Mohanty 4-53). Odisha need 104 runs to win.
At New Delhi (Palam): Jammu and Kashmir 95 and 261 (Parvez Rasool 115, Waseem Raza 30, Arun Bamal 4-93) versus Services 252 and 67/5 (Aanshul Gupta 21, Parvez Rasool 2-11). Services need 38 runs to win.
At Porvorim: Goa 364 and 10/1 versus Jharkhand 390 (Anukul Roy 127, Utkarsh Singh 75, Amulya Pandrekar 3-78). Goa trail by 16 runs
Offie Bijoy Chatterjee spins Bengal back into contention
Off-spinner Writtick Bijoy Chatterjee Friday bowled Bengal back into contention in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B' match against Tamil Nadu with a five-wicket haul at the M A Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.
Trailing by 74 runs in the first innings, Chatterjee's efforts (5 for 22) helped Bengal dismiss Tamil Nadu for 141 in 62.5 overs, leaving the visitors a target of 216 to secure its first win of the season. Chatterjee removed the first innings centurion Baba Aparajith (21) and N Jagadeesan (38) while fellow spinner Pradipta Pramanik dismissed captain B Indrajith (4).
Some late order resistance by J Kousik (10) and M Mohammed (23 not out) helped the home team stretch the lead.
Bengal began the chase cautiously with left-handed opener Abhishek Kumar Raman, who made 98 in the first knock and Kousik Ghosh (13) seeing off the early threat from T Natarajan and Mohammed.
Rahil S Shah struck the first blow, getting Ghosh caught by Indrajith.
Abhishek Raman and captain Manoj Tiwari (13 batting) added 35 runs before the former fell to Kousik for 53 (58 balls, 7 fours).
Bengal requires 129 more runs on the final day Saturday to secure a much-neeed win.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 263 all out in 106 overs (B Aparajith 103, M Kaushik Gandhi 51, Ishan Porel 5 for 48, Pradipta Pramanik 3 for 82) and 141 all out in 62.5 overs (N Jagadeesan 38, Writtick Bijoy Chatterjee 5 for 22) vs Bengal 189 all out in 63.5 overs (Abhishek Raman 98, Rahil Shah 5 for 46, M Mohammed 4 for 39) and 87 for 2 in 30 overs (Abhishek Raman 53).
At Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala 62 and 390 for 8 in 102 overs (Sachin Baby 143, Vishnu Vinod 155 batting, Kuldeep Sen 3 for 63) vs Madhya Pradesh 328 all out in 120 overs (Rajat Patidar 73, Naman Ojha 79, Jalaj Saxen 4 for 120).
At Hyderabad: Himachal Pradesh 351 all out in 126.4 overs (P S Chopra 110, M J Dagar 61, Tanay Thyagarajan 4 for 86) vs Hyderabad 352 all out in 130.5 overs (Akshat Reddy 99, T Ravi Teja 75, Arpit Gulera 3 for 64).