A summary of all the action from Ranji Trophy matches played on Wednesday.
Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary's decision to hand over the new ball to left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed turned out to be a masterstroke as Uttarakhand were staring down the barrel at 104 for 6 on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy Group A match in Dehradun on Wednesday.
Shahbaz (2/34 in 12 overs) removed openers Avneesh Sudha (4) and skipper Jiwanjot Singh (4) within first six overs to seize control.
With the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy Stadium track offering some assistance, other left-arm spinner Pradipta Pramanik (2/17 in 10 overs) also got into the act. The spin twins got enough support from pacer Akash Deep (2/21 in 10 overs), who also provided timely breakthroughs.
In fact, Shahbaz enjoyed a satisfying day as an all-rounder, contributing a valuable 40 with the willow which took Bengal's first innings score to a healthy 387.
This was after first day's hero Abhimanyu Easwaran added a few more runs before being dismissed for 165.
It was Uttarakhand left-arm spinner Mayank Mishra (6/95 in 34 overs), whose spell actually gave Tiwary the belief that his spinners were in a better position to exploit the turn on offer with odd balls gripping the surface.
Uttarakhand need 238 to avoid follow-on and at this point would need another 134 runs to overtake the total with only four wickets remaining.
Bengal would like to go for the kill in the next two days and take pole position in the group.
If Uttarakhand manage a point, they will go to 20 points and remain on top of the table while Bengal will be a point shy at 19.
At Dehradun: Bengal 1st Innings 387 (Abhimanyu Easwaran 165, Sudip Gharami 90, Shahbaz Ahmed 40; Mayank Mishra 6/95) vs Uttarakhand 1st Innings 104/6 (Kunal Chandela batting 40; Shahbaz Ahmed 2/34).
At Lucknow: Haryana 1st Innings 140/5 (Ankit Kumar 80; Aaqib Khan 4/50) vs Uttar Pradesh.
At Vadodara: Baroda 1st Innings 378 (Vishnu Solanki 178; Kanwar Abhinay 3/63) vs Himachal Pradesh 223/1 (Prashant Chopra 111, Raghav Dhawan 56).
At Cuttack: Nagaland 1st Innings 433 (Chetan Bist 129, Sedezhalie Rupero 71; Tarani Sa 3/86). Odisha 111/0 (Anurag Sarangi 75 batting).
Arpit, Harvik centuries put Saurashtra in control on day two
Rajkot: Saurashtra, riding on fine centuries from Arpit Vasavada (127 not out) and Harvik Desai (107), posted a mammoth 503 for six as the hosts took control of the Ranji Trophy Group B match against a spineless Delhi bowling attack here on Wednesday.
At stumps on day two, Saurashtra were 370 runs ahead of Delhi's first-innings total of 133 and would be aiming for an innings win with a bonus point in the fourth round of Ranji matches.
A depleted Delhi bowling attack was at the mercy of the Saurashtra batters as the visitors toiled all day long without much success after getting rid of overnight batter Desai, who added just three runs to his day one score of 104 before being run out by substitute fielder Himmat Singh.
The other overnight batter Chirag Jani continued to pile on the runs, first adding six runs to complete his half-century and finally getting out on 75. By the time his painfully slow innings -- Jani consumed 177 balls -- came to an end, Saurashtra had taken a 102-run lead.
Arpit Vasavda and Samarth Vyas continued to flourish in home conditions as the duo shared a 99-run stand, which literally took the wind out of the Delhi bowlers' sails.
Vyas' departure on 54 brought in Prerak Mankad, who too took a liking for the Delhi bowlers, smashing them for eight boundaries as Saurashtra inched closer to the 500-run mark.
A declaration looked a possibility when Mankad departed on 64, but skipper Jaydev Unadkat came out and smashed a quick-fire 24 off just 28 balls as the 500-run mark was breached.
With a mountain of runs to contend with, the match looks as good as over for Delhi whose bowlers gave away 319 runs and managed to take just five wickets on day two.
A lot will depend on how long Delhi openers Dhruv Shorey and Ayush Badoni are able to keep Unadkat and Co. at bay on Thursday. Unadkat had single-handedly run through the Delhi batting line-up in the first innings, snaring eight wickets.
If Unadkat gets going again, the match could be over on day three itself.
At Rajkot: Delhi 133 vs Saurashtra 503/6 in 135 overs (Harvik Desai 107, Chirag Jani 75, Arpit Vasavada 127 n.o., Samarth Vyas 54, Prerak Mankad 64).
At Vizianagaram: Andhra 135 and 230/3 in 48 overs (CR Gnaneshwar 72; Srikar Bharat 70 n.o.; Rakshan Readdi 3/65) vs Hyderabad 197 in 63.1 overs (Nitish Kumar Reddy 4/64).
At Ambi: Assam 274 versus Maharashtra 307 for 2 in 87 overs (Siddhesh Veer 94 n.o., Kedar Jadhav 142 n.o.).
At Mumbai: Tamil Nadu 144 and 62 for 1 in 16 overs versus Mumbai 481 in 106.4 overs (Sarfaraz Khan 162, Tanush Kotian 71, Mohit Avasthi 69).
Agarwal hits unbeaten ton for Karnataka
Bengaluru: Skipper Mayank Agarwal led from the front with an unbeaten century to take Karnataka to a commanding position on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group C match against Chhattisgarh here on Wednesday.
Agarwal made 102 not out off 191 balls with the help of nine boundaries and five sixes to take Karnataka to 202 for one in their first innings in reply to Chhattisgarh's 311 all out in 109.3 overs.
With Ravikumar Samarth (81 off 127 balls), Agarwal shared 163 runs for the opening stand to lay the foundation for a big total.
After Samarth's dismissal, Vishal Onat (15 not out) was giving Agarwal company at the crease.
At stumps, Karnataka trailed Chhattisgarh by 109 runs.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 267 for 5, Chhattisgarh added just 44 runs for their remaining five wickets.
Centurion Ashutosh Singh (135) added 17 to his overnight score.
Right-arm fast bowler Vidwath Kaverappa (5/67) registered his best first-class figures while Vasuki Koushik (4/43) returned with four wickets.
In another Group C match in New Delhi, Services were 378 for 5 in reply to Puducherry's 216 in the first innings.
In Lucknow, after no play was possible on the opening day on Tuesday, Haryana were 140 for 5 in their first innings against Uttar Pradesh, while in Thumba Goa finished day two at 200 for 5 in response to Kerala's 265.
At Bengaluru: Karnataka 202 for 1 in 64 overs (Mayank Agarwal 102, Ravikumar Samarth 81; Ajay Mandal 1/61 vs Chhattisgarh 311 all out in 109.3 overs (Ashutosh 135, Amadeep Khare 93; Vidwath Kaverappa 5/67, Vasuki Koushik 4/43).
At New Delhi: Puducherry 216 all out in 62.4 overs (Arun Karthik 58; Diwesh Pathania 3/39) vs Services 378 for 5 in 102 overs (Rahul Singh 137, Rajat Paliwal 101; Ankit Sharma 2/56).
At Thumba: Kerala 265 all out in 95.3 overs (Rohan Prem 112; Lakshay Garg 4/44) vs Goa 200 for 5 in 79 overs (Ishaan Gadekar 76 batting; Sijomon Joseph 3/35).
At Lucknow: Haryana 140 for 5 in 46 overs (Ankit Kumar 80; Aaqib Khan 4/50) vs Uttar Pradesh.
Five-star Avesh puts MP in command against Vidarbha
Indore: India pacer Avesh Khan broke the back of Vidarbha's top-order with a five-wicket haul as Madhya Pradesh took control of their Group D Ranji Trophy match here on Wednesday.
A nippy bowler, with an ability to move the ball both ways, Avesh finished the second day's play with excellent figures of 5/32 in 19 overs to leave Vidarbha at 145 for seven, still 164 runs adrift of MP's first-innings total of 309 all out.
Madhya Pradesh's innings came to a close after they added 75 runs to their overnight total of 234 for six.
Avesh gave MP the start they were hoping for with the ball, removing Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal (8) with just 13 runs on the board.
Avesh, then, got the wickets of Atharva Taide (2) and Ganesh Satish (0) in the space of two overs, leaving Vidarbha reeling at 19 for three in the 12th over at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.
Avesh was not done yet as he later had Akshay Wadkar bowled for a duck, before dismissing Mohit Kale (18) to ensure that Vidarbha's team was back in the dressing room with only 53 runs on the board.
Even as wickets kept falling at one end, opener Sanjay Raghunath (53) stood firm and added 60 runs for the sixth wicket with Aditya Sarwate (40), before the latter was run out.
The hero of the day, Avesh also chipped in with the bat by scoring a 31-ball 28.
Medium-pacer Yash Thakur was Vidarbha's most successful bowler, returning with figures of 4/59 in 24.2 overs.
At Indore: Madhya Pradesh 309 all out in 108.2 overs (Rajat Patidar 121, Saransh Jain 61; Yash Thakur 4/59) vs Vidarbha 145/7 in 65 overs (Sanjay Raghunath batting 53; Avesh Khan 5/32).
At Valsad: Punjab 286 all out in 96.1 overs (Nehal Wadhera 123, Chintan Gaja 5/66) vs Gujarat 97 all out in 34.2 overs (Baltej Singh 7/28).
At Surat: Railways 427 all out in 105.1 overs (Mohammad Saif 233) vs J&K 161 all out in 60.3 overs (Akash Pandey 6/49) and 5/0 in 4 overs.