Young batter Sarfaraz Khan continued his purple patch, slamming an unbeaten century to put Mumbai in the driver's seat in their Ranji Trophy elite group D match against Odisha, in Ahmedabad, on Friday.
Sarfaraz smashed 11 fours and a six in his 117-ball 107 not out and he was ably supported by Armaan Jaffer (77 not out) and opener Prithvi Shaw (53 off 64 balls) at the top as Mumbai reached 259 for 3 after dismissing Odisha for 284 on the second day.
Sarfarz and Jaffer were at the crease at the draw of stumps with table toppers Mumbai, who need an outright win to stay in contention for the knockouts, just 25 runs behind Odisha's first innings total.
Resuming at 250 for 6, Odisha could add just 34 runs as the experienced Dhawal Kulkarni (2/42) and in-form Shams Mulani (2/53) picked up two wickets each, while Mohit Avasthi added another one to the two he had taken on day one at Narendra Modi Stadium B Ground.
Kulkarni was in action in the morning session as he had overnight batter Abhishek Raut (39) caught by Ajinkya Rahane in the 95th over, while Avasthi cleaned up Jayant Behera for a duck next.
Rajesh Mohanty added 29 runs to his overnight individual score before becoming the first victim of Mulani, who returned to wrap up the innings by bowling out Pappu Roy (2).
Shaw then gave Mumbai a rollicking start, cloberring six fours and two sixes, as he along with Sachin Yadav (19) shared a 73-run opening stand.
Odisha pacer Mohanty produced a sensational spell to snap up Shaw first and then returned to dismiss Sachin and Rahane (0) as Mumbai suddenly slipped to 76 for 3 in the 25th over.
However, it was a Sarfaraz and Jaffer show after that as the duo kept the Odisha bowlers at bay.
Sarfaraz, who had slammed a 275 against Saurashtra in the first Ranji game, dealt in boundaries to score the runs quickly, while Jaffer played second fiddle.
In another group D match at Narendra Modi Stadium A Ground, Goa produced a solid batting display to reach 239 for 4 after dismissing Saurashtra for 347 in their first innings.
Suyash Prabhudessai (64), Shubham Ranjane (59 not out) and Eknath Kerkar (52 not out) scored fifties, while Amogh Sunil Desai (47) hit a 105-ball 47 at the top.
For Saurashtra, Parth Bhut (2/69) picked up two wickets, while Chetan Sakariya and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja accounted for one wicket.
Saurashtra could add just four runs to their overnight score as both Sheldon Jackson (97) and Jadeja were run out, while Unadkat couldn't open his account.
Odisha 1st innings: 284 all out in 107.1 overs (Shantanu Mishra 89; Mohit Avasthi 3/66, D Kulkarni 2/42).
Mumbai 1st innings: 259 for 3 in 70 overs (Sarfaraz 107 not out, Armaan Jaffer 77 not out, Prithvi Shaw 53; Rajesh Mohanty 3/64).
Goa 1st innings: 239 for 4 in 85 overs (Suyash Prabhudessai 64, Shubham Ranjane 59 not out, Eknath Kerkar 52 not out; Parth Bhut 2/69).
Saurashtra 1st innings: 347 allout in 87.4 overs (Chirag Jani 140, Jackson Sheldon 97; Suyash Prabhudessai 2/36).
Dubey's unbeaten double ton floors Kerala; takes MP to 474/5
Yash Dubey continued his onslaught and reached an unbeaten 224 to guide Madhya Pradesh to an imposing 474/5 on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match against Kerala in Rajkot.
Dubey was unbeaten on 105 and he continued to take apart a listless Kerala attack on a track conducive for the batters at the Saurashtra Cricket Association ground C.
He and seasoned campaigner Rajat Patidar, who was unbeaten on 75, made the opposition attack toil hard.
The 28-year-old Indore-born Patidar also notched up his hundred and then went on to make 142 off 327 balls even, hammering 23 boundaries.
Dubey, a right-handed batter, was also playing shots at will, as he struck 29 fours and one maximum in his unbroken 526-ball knock.
He converted his hundred into a double century and ensured that the side neared the 500-run mark.
Dubey and Patidar forged a mammoth 277-run stand for the third wicket to take the game away from Kerala.
But when it looked like Patidar also would go on to score big, Jalaj Saxena trapped him in front of the wicket, as Madhya Pradesh lost its third wicket for 365.
MP skipper Aditya Shrivastava (9) was also dismissed cheaply as Kerala tried to make a comeback.
But the fall of wickets did not deter 23-year-old Dubey from playing his shots.
He found an able ally in Akshat Raghuwanshi (50), who had made a century on debut, and the duo kept frustrating the Kerala bowlers.
Raghuwanshi also reached his half century, but soon after, he was run-out. He and Dubey added 84 runs for the fifth wicket.
When stumps were drawn, Dubey had Mihir Hirwani (0) for company.
For Kerala, Jalaj Saxena (2/83) was the pick of the bowlers.
MP came into the game after beating Gujarat and Meghalaya and have 13 points. Kerala are also placed at 13 points, and so whoever wins or takes the first innings lead goes to the knockouts.
Madhya Pradesh 474/5 (Yash Dubey 224 not out, Rajat Patidar 142; Jalaj Saxena 2/83, Basil NP 1/71) versus Kerala
Gujarat 555/8 declared (Bhargav Merai 223, Het Patel 154; Chirag Khurana 5/151, Dippu 1/37) versus Meghalaya 99/6 (Punit Bisht 54 not out, Dippu 9; Chintan Gaja 3/21, Arzan Nagwaswalla 1/19).
Meghalaya trail by 456 runs
Mondal's all-round show puts Bengal on top
Comeback man Sayan Sekhar Mondal dished out a solid all-round show to put Bengal in a commanding position in their Ranji Trophy Group B match against Chandigarh at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.
Resuming day two on 329 for six, Bengal rode on Mondal's sublime 97 not out from 142 balls to post 437 runs in their first innings.
In reply, Chandigarh ended the day at 133 fo six as Mondal also chipped in with his medium pace bowling to return with figures of 8-2-10-2.
Opening the bowling, Nilakantha Das, who replaced injured Akash Deep in the playing eleven, was impressive with figures of 14-4-25-3 while Mukesh Kumar (1/46) also picked up a wicket.
Chandigarh trail Bengal by 304 runs with the latter eyeing at least three points from the match to confirm their place in the knockout stage.
Bengal lead Group B standings with 12 points, six points clear of Hyderabad before the ongoing final round clash.
Batting at no 8, left-handed Mondal ended day one on 33 in the company of senior partner Manoj Tiwary.
Returning to cricket after his foray into politics, Tiwary, who is the deputy sports minister of West Bengal, completed his 38th first class fifty before getting out for 53.
But Mondal carried on, with Mukesh Kumar (28) giving a fine support at the other end as the duo put together 72 runs for the eight wicket to take Bengal past 400-mark.
Eyeing his second first-class century, the 32-year-old, who was brought into the side in the last match against Hyderabad, did not get any fruitful support at the other end to be left stranded three runs short of the milestone.
"Feeling wonderful to get back for Bengal, very happy to contribute for my team and we are focused to win," Mondal said.
"Initially today the ball was moving and Manoj da (Tiwary) guided me throughout."
"He asked me to be patient, take my time to get set on the wicket and runs will come. Not thinking much about missing the hundred. Happy to contribute for Bengal," he added.
For Chandigarh, Jagjit Singh returned with figures of 5 for 87, while Gurinder Singh and Gaurav Gambhir claimed two wickets each.
At Barabati Stadium: Bengal 437 in 115.3 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 114, Sayan Sekhar Mondal 97 not out, Anustup Majumdar 95, Manoj Tiwary 53; Jagjit Singh 5/87) vs Chandigarh 133 for 6 in 52 overs (Manan Vohra 35, Ankit Kaushik 30 batting; Nilakantha Das 3/25, Sayan Mondal 2/10). Chandigarh trail by 304 runs.
At Vikas Cricket Ground: Hyderabad 197 and 169 for 6 in 59 overs (Chandan Sahani 54, Rohit Rayudu 49 batting) vs Baroda 163 in 47 overs (Abhimanyusingh Rajput 32, Vishnu Solanki 32; B Punnaih 4/35, Ravi Teja 4/50). Hyderabad lead by 203 runs.
Khare, Singh hit tons as Chhattisgarh in firm control against Delhi
Amandeep Khare and Shashank Singh struck fine centuries to dash Delhi's slim quarterfinal hopes as Chhattisgarh posted a mammoth 482 for nine declared in their first innings on the second day of their Ranji Trophy elite group H match in Guwahati.
Coming into the contest, Delhi were all but out of the quarterfinal race, languishing at the last spot in the four-team group H with just one point from two games.
To have any slim chances in theory, Delhi needed seven points (including a bonus point) from the ongoing tie, but overnight unbeaten batters Khare and Singh batted Delhi out of that equation.
Resuming at his overnight score of 75, Khare remained unbeaten on 156 off 318 balls, while Singh (122 off 177 balls) hit his maiden first-class century to take Chhattisgarh to a comfortable position.
Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra (6/124) was the pick of the bowlers for Delhi.
In reply, Delhi scored 108 for three in 30 overs at the close of play on day two.
India's U-19 World Cup-winning skipper Yash Dhull and Kshitiz Sharma made 29 each. Nitish Rana was batting on 20 while Jonty Sidhu (8 not out) was giving him company.
An uphill task awaits Delhi as they still trail Chhattisgarh by 374 runs with two days of play remaining.
Chhattisgarh are leading Group H with seven points from two games.
Tamil Nadu take crucial first innings lead against Jharkhand
In the second Group H match, Tamil Nadu took the crucial first innings lead over Jharkhand as they bowled their opponents out for 226 in reply for 285.
Resuming at 256 for seven, the remaining Tamil Nadu batters could add just 29 runs.
But Tamil Nadu bowlers, led by left-arm spinner Manimaran Siddharth (4/37) and off-spinner Masood Shahrukh Khan (3/36), responded brilliantly to bundle out Jharkhand for 226 in 74.3 overs.
In their second essay, Tamil Nadu did not have the best of starts as they ended the day at 14 for two, taking their overall lead to 73 runs over Jharkhand.
Sandeep Warrier also chipped in with two wickets.
Chhattisgarh: 482 for 9 declared in 145 overs (Amandeep Khare 156 not out, Shashank Singh 122, Ajay Mandal 63; Vikas Mishra 6/124) vs Delhi: 108 for 3 in 30 overs (Yash Dhull 29, Kshitiz Sharma 29; Shubham Agarwal 1/9).
Tamil Nadu: 285 & 14 for 2 in 9 overs (Rahul Shukla 2/4) vs Jharkhand: 226 all out in 74.3 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 58, Utkarsh Singh 52; Manimaran Siddharth 4/37).
Karnataka pile up 453 before reducing Pondicherry to 52 for 2
Karnataka piled up 453 for 8 before declaring their first innings against Pondicherry on the second day of their Ranji Trophy elite group C match in Chennai.
Karnataka then reduced Pondicherry to 52 for 2 at stumps with Prasidh Krishna and Vidyadhar Patil picking up a wicket apiece.
Captain Manish Pandey (107 not out, 161 balls) joined Devdutt Padikkal as century-maker as the Karnataka batters got the runs easily.
Padikkal, who was batting on 161 at the end of day 1, could add only 17 more runs before Ashith had him caught behind.
After the exit of Padikkal, Pandey kept going despite wickets falling around him. He found an able ally in Vidyadhar Patil (25) with whom he added 56 runs for the eighth wicket to swell the total.
When Pondicherry batted, Patil broke through by getting K Aravind for 13 before Krishna dismissed Sagar Udeshi (2).
Pondicherry trail by 401 runs at the end of the second day as Karnataka looked to pile on the pressure.
In the other match of the group, Railways grabbed the advantage against Jammu & Kashmir by taking the first innings lead.
Railways ended the day at 297 for 8 in reply to J&K's score of 259.
Pratham Singh, with a knock of 75, led the way for the Railways while there were contributions from Shivam Chaudhary (47) and captain Karn Sharma (36).
Left-arm pace bowler Abid Mushtaq picked up 5 for 72 to keep the opposition batters in check.
Karnataka 453 for 8 declared in 132.2 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 178, Manish Pandey 107 not out, K V Siddharth 85, Ashith Rajiv four for 80) vs Pondicherry 52 for 2 in 18 overs.
Jammu and Kashmir 259 in 87.1 overs (Suryansh Raina 28, Qamran Iqbal 83, Abdul Samad 28, Henan Nazir 34, Aquib Nabi 44, Karn Sharma 6 for 76) vs Railways 297 for 8 in 91 overs (Pratham Singh 75, Shivam Chaudhary 47, Karn Sharma 36, Upendra Yadav 33, Abid Musthaq 5 for 72).
Tripura ride on Murasingh's all-round show to set Punjab 240-run target
Manishankar Murasingh produced a spectacular all-round show as Tripura set Punjab a target of 240 in their Ranji Trophy Group F match.
Murasingh first grabbed 6 for 8 and shared nine wickets with his new ball partner Ajoy Sarkar to bundle out Punjab, the group leaders, for 120 in reply to Tripura's 120 all out in the first innings.
Resuming at the overnight score of 79 for seven, the remaining Punjab batters added just 41 runs.
Punjab were dismissed in 37.4 overs, conceding a slender lead of seven runs. Wicketkeeper-batter Anmol Malhotra was Punjab's top-scorer with 30 runs.
Tripura were in a precarious position at 73 for six in their second innings before Murasingh, coming out to bat at no 8, smashing two sixes and 10 fours en route to a thrilling 91-ball 85.
He was ably supported by Subham Ghosh (55 from 103 balls; 6x4s, 2x6s) as the duo put on 132 runs for the seventh wicket before Tripura were bowled out for 232 in 65.5 overs.
The match is set for a pulsating finish with Punjab needing 240 runs with two days remaining.
Punjab lead Group F with 10 points, two points ahead of second-placed Himachal Pradesh, while Haryana is at third with three points.
At the Palam A ground here, 16 wickets fell as Haryana put themselves on top against Himachal with an overall lead of 179 runs with 10 wickets intact after day two.
Resuming the day on 269 for four, Haryana posted 302 in their first innings before bowling out their opposition for 184 in 45.5 overs with Amit Rana grabbing 5 wickets for 58 runs.
In reply, Haryana were 61 for no loss at stumps on day two.
At Arun Jaitley Stadium: Tripura 127 and 232; 65.5 overs. Punjab 120; 37.4 overs (Anmol Malhotra 30, Anmolpreet Singh 29; Manisankar Murasingh 6/48, Ajoy Sarkar 3/47). Tripura lead by 239 runs.
At Palam A Ground: Haryana 302; 106.5 overs (Himanshu Rana 129, Nishant Sindhu 73; Siddhant Sharma 4/57) and 61/0; 21 overs. Himachal Pradesh 184; 45.5 overs (Amit Kumar 56, Akash Vasisht 40; Amit Rana 5/58). Haryana lead by 179 runs.
Andhra gain upper hand vs Uttarakhand; Services in control against Rajasthan
Andhra gained a 32-run first innings lead before picking two opposition wickets to seize the initiative against table-toppers Uttarakhand on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group E match in Thiruvananthapuram.
After dismissing Uttarakhand for 194, Andhra managed to score 226 all out in 85 overs thanks to a fighting half-century by young Shaik Rasheed (56) and a 45 by C R Gnaneshwar to eke out a 32-run lead.
Resuming at the overnight 42 for 1, Rasheed and opener Gnaneshwar added 30 more runs before the latter fell to Mayank Mishra (2 for 28).
Rasheed and skipper Ricky Bhui (33) put on 57 runs for the third wicket before Uttarakhand bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals to restrict the lead.
Uttarakhand ended the day at 36 for 2, losing openers Kamal Singh (6) and captain Jay Bista (23) with only a slender lead of four runs with two days of play remaining.
In the other match of the group, Services gained the upper hand by taking a 209-run lead against Rajasthan.
After dismissing Rajasthan for 92, Services rode on half-centuries from Rajat Paliwal (91) and S U Yadav (60) to secure a sizeable lead.
Rajasthan ended the day at 23 for no loss, still 186 runs in arrears.
Uttarakhand: 194 all out in 69.1 overs (Kunal Chandela 52, Kamal Singh 42, Bandaru Ayyappa 4 for 37, Prithvi Raj 3 for 27) and 23 for no loss vs Andhra 226 all out in 85 overs (C R Gnaneshwar 45, Shaik Rasheed 56, Ricky Bhui 33, D Dhapola 4 for 80).
Rajasthan 92 all out in 45.2 overs (Ashok Menaria 31, Diwesh Pathania 3 for 24, Poonam Poonia 3 for 31) vs Services 301 all out in 113.2 overs (Rajat Paliwal 91, Ravi Chauhan 47, Shamser Yadav 60, MJ Suthar 4 for 82).
Maharashtra post 462, UP 62/1 in reply on Day 2
Maharashtra rode on skipper Ankit Bawane's elegant 140 and Azim Kazi's 113 to post a big total of 462 against Uttar Pradesh on the second day of their Ranji Trophy elite group G game in Sultanpur, Haryana.
Bawane and Kazi stitched a crucial 130-run stand for the fifth wicket as they frustrated the Uttar Pradesh bowlers after Maharashtra resumed the day on their overnight score of 298/4.
Bawane added 24 runs to his overnight score before becoming pacer Ankit Rajpoot's (2/76) second victim.
The Maharashtra captain hammered 23 boundaries in his 250-ball innings.
After Bawane fell, 28-year-old Kazi, a left-handed batter, took the onus on himself and kept playing shots at will.
He too notched up his 100 and was the last man to be dismissed.
Kazi struck 13 boundaries and a six during his 243-ball knock as he took on the UP attack with gusto. But he was devoid of partners as Satyajeet Bacchhav (19) and Taranjitsingh Dhillon (19) failed to convert their starts.
For Uttar Pradesh, Jasmer Dhankar (3/83) was the pick of the bowlers.
In reply, Uttar Pradesh opener Almas Shaukat (4) retired hurt while his partner Samarth Singh (14) fell cheaply after being cleaned up by Vicky Ostwal (1/14).
UP were reeling at 30-1 but then Priyam Garg (29 not out) and Karan Sharma (9 not out) held fort till the stumps were drawn.
UP have a mountain to climb as they trail by 400 runs.
In the group, it is a tough race for the knock-outs as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have seven and eight points respectively.
Maharashtra 462 all out (Ankit Bawane 140, Azim Kazi 113; Jasmer Dhankhar 3/83, Ankit Rajpoot 2/76) versus Uttar Pradesh 62/1(Priyam Garg 29 not out; Vicky Ostwal 1/14).
Uttar Pradesh trail by 400 runs
Assam 316 (Sarupam Purkayastha 113, Riyan Parag 48; Rajneesh Gurbani 5/77, Aditya Sarvate 3/64) versus Vidarbha 265/9 (Faiz Fazal 86, Atharva Taide 42; Riyan Parag 5/68, Siddharth Sarmah 1/35).
Vidarbha trail by 51 runs.