The second day of the Group C encounters of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 was full of action, with Baroda grinding down Mumbai in their 500th Ranji appearance, Tamil Nadu racking up the runs against Odisha, and Tripura bowling Andhra out after conceding a mountain of runs from the top-order batsmen on Friday (November 10).
Riding on a gritty ton from Aditya Waghmode, Baroda opened up a massive 205-run lead over Mumbai’s first innings total of 171 at the Wankhede Stadium. At stumps, the scoreboard read 376 for 4, with Vikram Solanki, Deepak Hooda and Swapnil Singh having struck half centuries to provide support to Waghmode, who hit a patient 138 off 309 balls to put Baroda in control.
Baroda, who have so far lost one and drawn two of their three matches, now have an excellent opportunity to spoil Mumbai’s milestone contest – their 500th Ranji Trophy match – if they can keep up the good work.
Resuming on 63 for 1 after the pace duo of Lukman Meriwala and Atit Sheth bagged five wickets each to cripple Mumbai on the first day, Baroda lost only three wickets in the day – of Solanki (54), Hooda (75) and Waghmode – but the big partnerships hurt the hosts as Baroda picked up the first-inning lead with ease.
Aditya Tare used as many as seven bowlers to try get the breakthroughs, but Baroda continued to torment with Swapnil, batting on 63, and Abhijit Karambelkar, on eight not out, unbeaten at stumps.
Tamil Nadu declared on 530 for 8 in the final session of the day before Odisha batted out 13 overs to reach 36 without loss at DRIEMS Ground in Tangi, on the outskirts of Cuttack.
Resuming on 292 for 3, Tamil Nadu continued to pile up the runs courtesy hundreds from Vijay Shankar and B Aparajith. N Jagadeesan (88) and B Indrajith (46) also chipped in with handy knocks to frustrate the hosts, who used seven bowlers, but without much success.
On the first day, after Tamil Nadu won the toss and chose to bat, M Vijay had hit a solid 140 to give them the early advantage. He fell at the stroke of stumps on the opening day, but Jagadeesan, Indrajith, Vijay Shankar and Aparajith capitalised on the strong platform he had set. Vijay Shankar was eventually trapped leg before wicket by Biplab Samantray for 100, while Aparajith went on to finish unbeaten on 109.
With the Tamil Nadu tail-enders being handed the license to attack, Odisha were able to pick up some wickets towards the end. With about an hour left in the day, the visiting side declared, hoping to test Odisha’s top order after a long day on the field.
Natraj Behera (17 n.o.) and Sandeep Pattnaik (15 n.o.) however, played with caution, making sure there were no hiccups till stumps.
Tripura were 68 for 1 in response to Andhra’s first innings tally of 402 at stumps at the Maharaja Bir Bikram College Stadium in Agartala.
Andhra, who enjoyed solid performances from Prasanth Kumar (133), Hanuma Vihari (62) and Ricky Bhui (74) at the top of the order, lost their remaining batsmen in quick succession, even though they managed to score enough to make life difficult for the hosts.
Abhijit Sarkar, the young right-arm medium pacer, bagged 5 for 68 to ensure none of Andhra’s bottom-seven, except Ashwin Hebbar (43), could get past 30.
Andhra were bowled out towards the end of the second session, and with 31 overs left in the day, Tripura embarked on their journey to prevent too many wickets from going down till stumps.
They succeeded to some extent, with Samrat Singha (33 n.o.) and Udiyan Bose (16 n.o.) seeing off Andhra’s bowling attack without any hiccups after Bishal Ghosh, the opener, was trapped leg before wicket in the 16th over by B Ayappa.
Tripura still trail Andhra by 334 runs, and it would be interesting to see if they can knuckle down and attempt to pick up a first-innings lead on the third day.