Karnataka remained at the top of the Group A table after an innings victory over Maharashtra courtesy Abhimanyu Mithun’s five-wicket haul, while Hyderabad earned their first win of the season by beating Railways by ten wickets in the fourth round of Ranji Trophy 2017-18 games on Saturday (November 4).
Over at the Palam A grounds, which was the site of a bizarre incident on Friday, Delhi beat Uttar Pradesh by four wickets to register their second win of the season to climb to No. 2 on the table with 16 points, behind Karnataka, who have 20 points, and slightly above Railways, in third place with 13 points.
Maharashtra v Karnataka in Pune
Mithun picked up his ninth first-class five-wicket haul to help Karnataka wrap up an innings and 136-run victory over Maharastra at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
As a result of their second bonus-point win, Karnataka consolidated their position at the top of the table in Group A with 20 points after three outright victories.
Maharashtra resumed the day at 135 for 4, still needing a further 248 runs to make Karnataka bat again, after Mayank Agarwal’s maiden first-class triple ton had left the home side with a mountain to climb on Day 3. Mithun did not take much time to add to his overnight tally of two scalps, getting rid of Ruturaj Gaikwad for 65.
Rahul Tripathi followed up a 114-ball 120 in the first essay, with a quick-fire half-century in the second innings, but fell to Mithun for a 55-ball 51. His innings was laced with seven fours and a six.
Mithun then dismissed Chirag Khurana, caught behind for four, to complete a well-deserved five-wicket haul as Maharashtra slipped to 174 for 7.
Rohit Motwani (49), the wicketkeeper-batsman, struck a few hefty blows with the lower order to delay the inevitable, and the end came soon with Karun Nair castling Pradeep Dadhe, the No. 11 batsman, with his part-time offspin to bowl Maharashtra out for 246 in 66.2 overs.
Mithun returned with figures of 5 for 66 in his 18 overs, while Ronit More picked up two wickets.
Points: Maharashtra 0, Karnataka 7
Delhi v Uttar Pradesh in New Delhi
Chasing 252 after bowling Uttar Pradesh out for 229 in their second innings, Delhi rode on Nitish Rana’s half-century and good hands from Unmukt Chand (49) and Milind Kumar (48) to secure a four-wicket win at the Palam A ground.
Delhi had conceded a 22-run lead after the first innings exchanges, but their bowlers came back strongly to reduce UP to 224 for 7 by the end of the third day. Then, on the final morning, UP added just five runs before being bowled out for 229 in 67.5 overs.
Akshdeep Nath failed to add to his overnight 110 as Navdeep Saini struck off the third ball of the morning. Saini, who finished with 4 for 64, returned to dismiss Imtiaz Ahmed and Ankit Rajpoot to wrap up the innings four overs later.
Delhi lost Gautam Gambhir early in their chase, but Chand and Dhruv Shorey associated for a 53-run second-wicket stand to steady the innings. Rana walked in at No. 4 when Shorey fell to Israr Azim shortly before lunch for 32. He began aggressively, adding 71 runs for the third wicket with Chand and 52 runs for the fourth wicket with Milind. By the time Rana was dismissed by Mohammad Saif for 67, shortly before tea, Delhi needed just 70 runs to win.
Saif returned to remove Rishabh Pant (26) and Manan Sharma fell to Rajpoot cheaply, but Milind and Saini (20) took Delhi to their second win of the season.
Points: Delhi 6, Uttar Pradesh 0
Railways v Hyderabad in New Delhi
Hyderabad cruised to a ten-wicket win over Railways, their first in the 2017-18 season, as they chased down the target of 23 after Mehdi Hasan’s four wickets had helped bowl Railways out for 250 in their second innings at the Karnail Singh Stadium.
Earlier, Hyderabad had declared on 474 for 9, headlined by Ambati Rayudu’s brilliant 112 and half-centuries from P Akshath Reddy, B Sandeep and T Ravi Teja, who also picked up five wickets as the home side collapsed for 246 and were forced to follow-on.
Railways began the final day on 13 for no loss with their openers scripting an opening partnership worth 54 runs before both Saurabh Wakaskar (31) and Shivakant Shukla (17) were dismissed in successive overs, leaving Railways at 58 for 2 and trailing by 170 runs. Arindam Ghosh (33) and Mahesh Rawat (19) also made useful contributions that kept the Railways train going, but the middle order collapsed in the face of Mehdi’s class, leaving them at 176 for 7 and trailing by just 52 runs with close to half the day remaining.
Manish Rao, making his first-class debut, mounted a strong rescue effort with an unbeaten 85 off 128 balls with nine boundaries and four sixes. Anureet Singh chipped in with 22 off 26 balls to help Railways cross 200. But once Anureet and Amit Mishra were bowled out, the end came quickly.
Mehdi finished with 4 for 35 in 17 overs with Ravi Kiran and Ravi Teja taking two wickets.
Tanmay Agarwal and Akshath then knocked off the runs in 5.2 overs as Hyderabad ended on 23 for no loss.
Points: Railways 0; Hyderabad 7.