Skipper Agarwal's unbeaten ton, Sharath's fifty help Karnataka post 229/5 against Saurashtra
Skipper Mayank Agarwal scored an unbeaten century as he rescued Karnataka from a poor start to guide the hosts to 229 for five against Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy semi-final in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Sent in to bat, Karnataka were in some trouble, losing half their side for 112 in 40.3 overs.
But opener Agarwal (110 not out) held one end together and in the company of wicket-keeper Srinivas Sharath (58 not out) steadied the innings with an unbeaten 117-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
Karnataka scored their runs off 87 overs before the umpires called stumps to the opening day's proceedings.
Agarwal's patient knock came off 246 balls during which he struck 11 boundaries and a six, while Sharath faced 143 deliveries during his unconquered knock and hit four fours in the process.
Right-arm medium pacer Kushang Patel picked up two wickets, while Chetan Sakariya and Prerak Mankad accounted for one Karnataka batter each. The other wicket fell to a run out.
Karnataka did not have the best of starts as they lost opener Ravikumar Samarth in the sixth over, caught by Vishvaraj Jadeja off the bowling of Patel.
New man in Devdutt Padikkal didn't last long, caught by Sheldon Jackson off Sakariya's bowling in the opening delivery of the ninth over.
Agarwal and Nikin Jose (18) shared 47 runs for the next wicket before the latter nicked a Patel delivery to Harvik Desai behind the stumps in the 29th over.
Manish Pandey didn't trouble the scorers much, becoming Mankad's scalp and overs later Shreyas Gopal (15) became the victim of a run out as Karnataka slumped to 112 for 5.
But Agarwal and Sharath joined hands and played sensibly without taking any risks to deny Saurashtra further inroads.
Brief Scores: Karnataka: 229 for 5 in 87 overs (Mayank Agarwal 110 batting, Srinivas Sharath 58 batting; Kushang Patel 2/64).
Majumdar, Gharami slam tons but MP bounce back with new ball
Bengal's crisis man Anustup Majumdar and young Sudip Gharami slammed centuries under pressure but ceded ground to reigning champions Madhya Pradesh at the fag end of the day in their Ranji Trophy semifinal, which was evenly poised in Indore.
Displaying resilience, Majumdar (120) and Gharami (112) put together 241 runs from 414 balls as Bengal rebuilt the innings from being reduced to 51 for 2 in less than an hour into the opening day's play at the Holkar Stadium.
But the duo departed in quick succession with Madhya Pradesh striking with the new ball to open up the match in the final session.
At close, Bengal were 307 for four with skipper Manoj Tiwary (5) batting alongside Shahbaz Ahmed (6).
In his 206-ball innings, Majumdar smashed 13 fours and one six en route to his 13th first-class century, while Gharami made full use of his reprieve on 26 by Rajat Patidar to notch up his fourth ton.
Gharami's 213-ball knock had 12 boundaries and two sixes as the duo dominated the second session and frustrated the Chandrakant Pandit-coached side by picking easy runs in a spread-out field.
Kumar Kartikeya and Saransh Jain operated in tandem for the large part but both the batters looked at ease.
Madhya Pradesh went on to use seven bowlers in the day with Anubhav Agarwal being the pick of the attack with 12-5-21-2, while pace spearhead Avesh Khan toiled hard for his 1/79 from 20 overs.
But Madhya Pradesh came back strongly in the final session with the new ball doing the trick for them.
Having been wicketless so far, Avesh took the new ball in the 82nd over and yorked Majumdar, who was guilty of playing the wrong line.
The full-length delivery swung away after pitching to crash the off-stump as Majumdar tried to work the ball through midwicket.
Much like the first session, Bengal lost another wicket with a well-set Gharami being trapped LBW with a delivery that sharply came back in.
As the two set batters returned to the pavillion, Bengal survived some anxious moments towards the end of the day with the duo of Avesh and Agarwal bowling a probing line.
There were edges that fell short, while the left-handed Ahmed was teased with a off-stump line.
Bengal brought in rookie all-rounder Karan Lal to open with the talented Abhimanyu Easwaran after Tiwary won a good toss.
But the opening duo frittered away a good start and got out in successive overs at the score of 51, less than an hour into the morning session.
Easwaran (27 off 33 balls; 5x4s) was the first to go with Gaurav Yadav's incoming delivery sneaking through the batter's defence.
Lal was also done in by an inswinger by Agarwal as Bengal lost both the openers.
Brief Scores: Bengal 307/4; 87 overs (Anustup Majumdar 120, Sudip Gharami 112; Anubhav Agarwal 2/21) vs Madhya Pradesh.