Suryakumar Yadav stroked his way to a blistering double century as Mumbai took control on Day 2 of their Ranji Trophy Elite Division match against Orissa, in Cuttack, on Wednesday.
The Group A match has India pace spearhead Zaheer Khan playing to assess his fitness in a bid to make it to the Indian squad for next month's gruelling tour of Australia. He claimed one wicket -- that of opener Bikas Pati -- and conceded 20 runs from his six overs, as Orissa were reduced to 57 for 7 by stumps, in reply to Mumbai's first innings of 529 for 8 declared.
Mumbai resumed the day on 311 for 3, with Yadav on 69. The batsman scored 200 from just 232 balls, inclusive of 28 fours and a six.
Yadav was the seventh Mumbai batsman out, dismissed by Basant Mohanty, but by that time his side had already posted 515 runs.
Down the order, Dhawal Kulkarni contributed 61 runs. As soon as he was out, in the post-lunch session, Mumbai declared the innings.
In reply, Orissa were staring at the follow-on, reduced to 57 for 7 by close of the day's play.
The hosts are 472 runs in deficit with three first innings wickets in hand. They still need 321 more runs to avoid the follow-on.
At stumps, Deepak Behera and Basant Mohanty were unbeaten on 12 and seven respectively.
For Mumbai, Kulkarni took four wickets for 17 runs from his nine overs, while Aavishkar Salvi bagged two for five runs.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 529 for 8 decl in 150 overs (Kaustubh Pawar 127, Suryakumar Yadav 200, Dhawal Kulkarni 61; Deepak Behera 2-88) v Orissa 57 for 7 in 29 overs (Niranjan Behera 26; Dhawal Kulkarni 4-17).
Railways in a spot as Kaul's ton props Punjab
Railways were staring down the barrel at 89 for 5 after Punjab rode on stand-in skipper Uday Kaul's sedate 131 to post 366 all out on day 2 of their Elite division match in Mohali.
Leading the side in the absence of Harbhajan Singh, Kaul slammed 17 boundaries before Krishnakant Upadhayay, who finished with seven for 76, ended the batsman's 403-minute vigil at the crease.
Much of Upadhayay's good work was, however, wasted as Manpreet Gony played havoc with the visitors' batting line-up, picking four wickets.
Coming on as first-change bowler, Gony bowled Shivakant Shukla to trigger the slide.
Shreyas Khanolkar had no answer as he edged Gony to wicketkeeper Kaul.
Top-scorer in the visiting side, V Cheluvaraj, who seemed to be fighting a lone battle, was dismissed by Harmeet Singh for 35, before Gony had the experienced Yere Goud and Mahesh Rawat trapped in front to leave Railways in a spot of bother.
At stumps, skipper Sanjay Bangar was unbeaten on 23, and giving him company was Jai Prakash Yadav, on eight.
Earlier, resuming on 212 for 3, Kaul, overnight on 82, was sensible in his approach as he guided Punjab to a competitive total after they had opted to bat at the PCA stadium.
After Mandeep Singh fell for the addition of just 12 runs to his overnight 61, Kaul found an able ally in Amitoze Singh, who crafted a valuable half-century.
Amitoze's 103-ball 52 was laced with eight hits to the fence.
Brief Scores: Punjab 366 all out in 146.1 overs (Uday Kaul 131, Mandeep Singh 73, Amitoze Singh 52; Krishnakant Upadhayay 7-76) v Railways 89 for 5 in 30 overs (V Cheluvaraj 35; Manpreet Goni 4-24).
Batsmen put Karnataka on top against Saurashtra
Riding on K B Pawan's 118 and half centuries by skipper Ganesh Satish and Bharat Chipli, Karnataka consolidated their position by stumps on Day 2 of their Elite Division match against Saurashtra in Bangalore.
Resuming at the overnight score of 107 for 1, Karnataka ended the day on 369 for 4, with Pawan notching his sixth first-class century.
Pawan struck 15 boundaries during his 222-ball vigil before being caught and bowled by Siddharth Trivedi.
Pawan was ably supported by Satish (54) and Chipli, who remained unbeaten on 66 along with Stuart Binny (29 not out).
Earlier, Karnataka batted through the first session without much ado as Pawan and Satish ran the Saurashtra attack ragged with their pugnacious approach.
The home side was sitting pretty at 249 for 1 when Trivedi produced the much-needed breakthrough for Saurashtra in the form of Satish, caught by wicketkeeper Sagar Jogiyani.
But by then Pawan, who had scored a double hundred against Rajasthan, had already notched his second century of the season.
Even though Saurashtra bowlers managed to get rid of Satish, Pawan and Amit Verma (18) from the crease, they met with stubborn resistance from Chipli, who struck eight boundaries, and Binny.
Trivedi (2-65) was Saurashtra's most successful bowler.
Brief Scores: Karnataka (Overnight 107 for one) 369 for 4 in 105 overs (K B Pawan 118, Bharat Chipli 66 not out, Ganesh Satish 54; Siddharth Trivedi 2-65).
Irfan's five-for after Nehra grabs six
Ashish Nehra and Irfan Pathan were the star performers for their respective sides as the Elite division match between Delhi and Baroda was interestingly poised after the end of the second day in Delhi.
In the morning, it was Nehra, playing only his second first-class match after his comeback to the longer version of the game, who wreaked havoc grabbing 6 for 102 as Baroda amassed 318 after finishing the first day's play on 273 for 3.
In reply, Delhi were 250 for six -- still needing 69 runs to take the vital first innings lead.
The positive aspect for Delhi was their pint-sized wicketkeeper-batsman Puneet Bisht's unbeaten on 114. He added 40 runs for the seventh wicket with Sunny Sherawat (batting 14).
Pathan (5-82) got his second five-wicket haul of the season.
The match is supposed to be a battle between the two talented swing bowlers, and Nehra and Pathan showed that they haven't lost the hunger to do well.
With Praveen Kumar ruled out of the Test series, the performance of the two bowlers is something that will make the selectors happy.
"I am feeling completely fit and happy to get the swing back," said the Baroda all-rounder.
Senior pro Nehra was, however, unfazed about his five-for, and didn't sound too excited about the achievement.
The morning saw an unusual batting collapse by Baroda. They were cruising along at 284 for 3 when Nehra induced an edge of centurion Rakesh Solanki (113), which was taken by Bisht behind the stumps. Solanki's innings contained 16 fours.
Shatrunjay Gaekwad (0) failed to open his account, dismissed in the same manner by Nehra, who got his third wicket.
Baroda skipper Pinal Shah (93, 189 balls, 16x4) missed his ton by seven runs as he was trapped leg-before by Parvinder Awana.
Among Baroda's last six batsmen only Pathan (23, 4x4) got to double figures while others found it difficult to negotiate Nehra's controlled swing bowling.
When Delhi batted, it was a delightful sight to find Pathan swing the ball back into the right-handers, as he castled Unmukt Chand (20) and trapped Yogesh Nagar (0) with incoming deliveries.
Senior player Shikhar Dhawan (32) and skipper Mithun Manhas (49) got starts but again failed to convert them into big ones.
Manhas was set up by Irfan as he angled it across to the right-hander, who perished trying to play a flashy shot.
However, Puneet who showed signs of coming back to form against Tamil Nadu, played a fluent knock and completed his century off 120 balls.
Brief Scores: Baroda 318 all out (Rakesh Solanki 113, Pinal Shah 93, Ashish Nehra 6-102) v Delhi 250-6 (Puneet Bisht 114 batting, Irfan Pathan 5-82).
Uttar Pradesh in command against Rajasthan
Riding on a gritty 91 by Parvinder Singh and 88 by Piyush Chawla, Uttar Pradesh posted 492 in their first innings before reducing defending champions Rajasthan to 119 for 2 on the second day of the their Group 'A' Elite division match in Jaipur.
Twin strikes by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-30) put UP in the driver's seat at stumps. Robin Bist (44) and Rashmi Parida (43) were unbeaten at close of play, at the Sawai Mansingh stadium.
Having lost both openers Akash Chopra (9) and Vineet Saxena (12), and with injured Hrishikesh Kanitkar not playing, Rajasthan face a daunting task as they are still 373 runs behind the visitors.
Earlier, UP resumed at an the overnight total of 292 for four, with Parvinder on 56 and Arish Alam on 60.
Though Alam could add just another nine runs to the team's total before becoming the first casualty of the day, he made crucial a contribution by adding 126 runs for the fifth wicket with Parvinder Singh.
Thereafter, Parvinder (91, 156 b, 10X4, 2X6) and Piyush Chawla (88, 71b, 16X4, 1X6) thwarted Rajasthan's bowlers by putting on a 127-run sixth-wicket partnership.
Even the tail chipped in with valuable runs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar scoring 27 and Praveen Gupta remaining not out on 34 to steer the team to 492.
For Rajasthan, right-arm googly bowler Vivek Yadav was the most successful, finishing with 5 for 121, while Deepak Chahar ended with the figures of 4 for 144 in his marathon 43-over spell.
Meanwhile, Pankaj Singh completed 200 wickets in first-class cricket after getting rid of Chawla.
Brief Scores: UP 492 all out (Parvinder Singh 91, Arish Alam 69, Piyush Chawla 88; Vivek Yadav 5-121, Deepak Chahar 4-144) v Rajasthan 119 for 2 (Rabin Bisht batting 44, Rashmi Parida batting 43; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-30).
Dinda's five-wkt haul checks Haryana
Opener Arindam Das remained unbeaten on 70 as Bengal scored 113 for 2 at stumps on Day 2, in reply to Haryana's first innings score of 358, in the Elite Group B match at the Bansi Lal Stadium in Rohtak.
Hosts skipper Amit Mishra dismissed opener Rohan Banerjee (13) and No 3 batsman Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (13), trapping both leg before.
At close of play, Arindam Das and Writam Porel (batting on 6) were at the crease.
Mishra's 12 overs were pretty disturbing for Bengal's batsmen as it yielded only 16 runs.
One witnessed a fair amount of carry when Bengal pacer Ashok Dinda (5-98 in 31.2 overs) and Mohammed Shami Ahmed bowled in the morning. However, in the post-lunch session when Haryana bowled, the ball started keeping low.
With Manoj Tiwary missing from the Bengal ranks, scoring another 246 runs can be difficult and a lot will depend on the trio of Sourav Ganguly, Wriddhiman Saha and Laxmi Ratan Shukla on Thursday.
Senior opener Arindam has already batted for three-and-a-half hours during which he hit 10 fours and Bengal will want him to score another ton after his three-figure knock against Madhya Pradesh in the previous match.
Earlier in the morning session, Ashok Dinda bowled a fiery spell from the Railways end as he removed skipper Amit Mishra (2) and Twenty20 specialist Yuzvendra Chahal (0) in quick succession.
At 270 for seven, the end looked near but a gritty knock by Sachin Rana (64, 165 balls, 8x4, 1x6) and India Under-19 seamer Harshal Patel (26) added 87 runs for the eighth wicket.
Rana's innings was a play and miss game and Ranadeb Bose was unlucky as the batsman on six to seven occasions was beaten by the veteran pacer.
A frustrated Bengal skipper Ganguly was seen saying to one of his mates: "I have never seen a guy play and miss so many times in a first-class match."
Dinda finally dismissed Rana as he edged one to Porel at second slip to get his fourth victim.
Iresh Saxena (3-78) dismissed Amit Hooda as he went for a wild slog. Dinda finally got his eighth five-wicket haul as he castled Harshal Patel.
Brief Scores: Haryana 358 all out (Rahul Dewan 115, Sunny Singh 111; Ashok Dinda 5-58) vs Bengal 113-2 (Arindam Das batting 70; Amit Mishra 2-16).
Gujarat 133-5 after conceding first innings lead to MP
Hosts Madhya Pradesh are in sight of an outright victory against Gujarat after reducing the visitors to 133 for 5 in the second innings in the Elite Group 'B' match in Indore.
Madhya Pradesh have already ensured three points having scored 205 in their first innings and taking a crucial 75-run first innings lead. Useful contributions from skipper Devendra Bundela (50) and lower-order batsman Taduri Sudhindra (51) helped them get the lead.
After shining with the bat, Sudhindra struck twice (2-27) to put MP in the driver's seat.
Gujarat now only have a 58-run lead with five wickets in hand.
On Tuesday, medium pacer Ishwar Pandey (6-31) took a sensational six-wicket haul to bundle out Gujarat for a paltry 130 in their first innings.
Brief Scores: Gujarat: 130 all out & 133-5 (Niraj Patel 39, Priyank Panchal 29; TP Sudhindra 2/27) v Madhya Pradesh 205 all out (TP Sudhindra 51, Devendra Bundela 50; Mehul Patel 5-54, Ishwar Chaudhary 4-84).