Two teams completed wins and at least three other teams went to stumps with their sights on victory at the end of play on the third day of the sixth round of Ranji Trophy 2013-14 matches on Sunday (December 8).
But the man providing the talking point was Murali Kartik, the Railways spinner, who Mankaded Bengal’s Sandipan Das in their Group B game at the Jamia Milia ground in New Delhi.
Das’s dismissal triggered a mini collapse as Bengal finished the day on 252 for 7, still 55 runs away from taking the first-innings lead against Railways. Bengal, resuming at 65 for 1 in response to Railways’ 306, stuttered as Anureet Singh, the medium pacer, scalped four wickets to take his season tally to 22. Laxmi Ratan Shukla, unbeaten on 87, had added 54 runs for the eighth wicket with Iresh Saxena and will hold the key to Bengal’s chances on Monday.
In the other big development, Jharkhand strengthened their hold over Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium in a Group A game. Varun Aaron and Shahbaz Nadeem picked up seven wickets between them as the last five Mumbai batsmen could add just 55 runs to their overnight score of 210 for 5 in reply to Jharkhand’s 351. After that, Ishank Jaggi scored an unbeaten 51 as Jharkhand ended the day with an overall lead of 262 runs with five wickets still intact.
Across in Chennai, Dinesh Karthik’s 92 helped Tamil Nadu take the first-innings lead over Baroda as they finished on 233 in reply to Baroda’s 162 in their Group B game. Baroda ended the day on 73 for 1 in their second innings.
Down south in Kannur, Kerala took just 6.2 overs to pick up the last three Himachal Pradesh wickets and register a 61-run win in their Group C game. Himachal Pradesh started the day needing 86 runs to win but Rishi Dhawan fell to Padmanabhan Prasanth, the left-arm spinner who had taken seven wickets in the first innings, off the fourth ball of the day and that ended their hopes. Vinoop Manoharan finished with figures of 5 for 43. The win pushed Kerala to the second spot – joint with Jammu and Kashmir – behind Himachal Pradesh on the Group C table.
For J&K, against Maharashtra, Obaid Haroon and Bandeep Singh, the overnight pair, brought up their best first-class scores of 94 and 79 respectively before both fell to Bharat Solanki, the legspinner. Samad Fallah then picked up two wickets as J&K finished the day at 333 for 6 in their second innings, only 17 runs ahead of Maharashtra with just four wickets in hand.
In Ghaziabad, Imtiaz Ahmed, RP Singh, Amit Mishra and Piyush Chawla all picked up wickets as Services were bowled out for 191 to hand Uttar Pradesh a victory by an innings and 14 runs. The bonus point they earned with the win took Uttar Pradesh to the top of the Group B table.
Not far away in Lahli, Ronit More’s first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket overshadowed Harshal Patel’s terrific show with the ball as Karnataka ended the day 35 runs away from registering their second win in as many games in Group A. Haryana were bowled out for 105 in their second innings and then, set a target of 97 to win, Karnataka lost four wickets for 62 runs, with Patel taking his match tally to eight wickets, before play ended for the day.
In Gwalior, Rajasthan found themselves 77 runs away from their first victory in 13 matches over two seasons against Madhya Pradesh in Group B. Naman Ojha brought up his third century of the season but that was not enough to save the game for Madhya Pradesh as Rituraj Singh finished with figures of 4 for 74. He was well supported by Pankaj Singh and Ramesh Powar, who picked up five wickets between them, to bowl Madhya Pradesh out for 314. Set a target of 148, Rajasthan lost two wickets in the first five overs to Ishwar Pandey before Vineet Saxena and Robin Bist steadied the ship with a partnership of 59 runs. Saxena was lbw off Devendra Bundela off the last ball of the day.
In Mohali, Sandeep Sharma registered his sixth five-wicket haul as Punjab bowled out Vidarbha for 360 in the eighth over of the morning in their Group A game before Jiwanjot Singh, the highest run-getter in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy, played his first innings of substance this season. Punjab, who scored only 184 in their first innings, put up a much better batting performance to score 330 for 1 and take a lead of 154 runs. Jiwanjot was unbeaten on 188 and giving him company was Uday Kaul on 88.
In Sambalpur, Natraj Behera, dropped from the side this season and brought back only after the new opening combination did not work, showed his mettle with an innings of 158. That, however, was not enough as Odisha were bowled out for 379 in their first innings to give Delhi a 63-run first-innings lead. For Delhi, Parvinder Awana was the star with figures of 5 or 97. Delhi extended their lead to 112 as they went to stumps at 49 for the loss of Unmukt Chand and Gautam Gambhir. Virender Sehwag was unbeaten on 32.
Goa dominated the proceedings against Assam in their Group C encounter in Guwahati. All the batsmen made healthy contributions as they went past Assam’s first-innings total of 247 before declaring at 406 for 9. Then Amit Yadav, the offspinner, picked up three wickets to reduce Assam to 31 for 4, still 128 runs behind Goa.
In another Group C game in Hyderabad, Tripura declared at 650 for 8 and Hyderabad then made a strong reply as they finished the day at 258 for 1. Akshath Reddy, the Hyderabad captain, scored his first century of the season and put together an unbeaten second-wicket stand of 228 runs with Dwaraka Ravi Teja, who scored 90. Hyderabad need to score 333 more on the final day to take the first-innings lead.
In Mohali: Punjab 184 in 47.4 overs and 330/1 in 73 overs (Manan Vohra 52, Jiwanjot Singh 188*, Uday Kaul 88*) vsVidarbha 360 in 128 overs (Faiz Fazal 99, Ravi Jangid 104, Umang Patel 42*, Amol Jungade 59; Sandeep Sharma 5-90, VRV Singh 4-89). Full Scorecard
In Sambalpur: Delhi 442 in 134.3 overs and 49/2 in 12 overs (Virender Sehwag 32*) vs Odisha 379 in 115.3 overs (Natraj Behera 158, GB Podder 34, Biplab Samantray 48, Abhilash Mallick 71; Parvinder Awana 5-97, Varun Sood 3-67). Full Scorecard
In Mumbai: Jharkhand 351 in 102.1 overs and 176/5 in 65 overs (Bhavin Thakkar 39, Rameez Nemat 32; Saurabh Tiwary 38, Ishank Jaggi 51*; Javed Khan 2-23) vs Mumbai 265 in 91.5 overs (Aditya Tare 67, Hiken Shah 58, Suryakumar Yadav 63; Varun Aaron 4-42, Shahbaz Nadeem 3-65, Samar Quadri 2-36). Full Scorecard
In Rohtak: Haryana 247 in 76.5 overs and 105 in 48.3 overs (Rahul Dewan 31; Ronit More 5-20) vs Karnataka 256 in 93.2 overs (Mayank Agarwal 42, KL Rahul 98, CM Gautam 54; Harshal Patel 6-55, Ashish Hooda 2-51, Sachin Rana 2-52) and 62/4 in 23 overs (KL Rahul 29; Harshal Patel 2-26). Full Scorecard
In Ghaziabad: Services 164 in 45.2 overs and 191 in 57.5 overs (Rajat Paliwal 95; RP Singh 2-72, Amit Mishra 2-18, Piyush Chawla 2-57, Imtiaz Ahmed 3-16) lost to Uttar Pradesh 369 in 120.2 overs by an innings and 14 runs. Full Scorecard
In Delhi: Railways 306 in 125.3 overs vs Bengal 252/7 in 128 overs (Gitimoy Basu 56, Laxmi Ratan Shukla 87*; Anureet Singh 4-87). Full Scorecard
In Gwalior: Madhya Pradesh 115 in 50 overs) and 314 in 89.3 overs (Jalaj Saxena 65, Naman Ojha 137, Devendra Bundela 54; Pankaj Singh 3-82, Rituraj Singh 4-74, Ramesh Powar 2-56) vs Rajasthan 282 in 79 overs and 77/3 in 22.4 overs (Vineet Saxena 29, Robin Bist 39*; Ishwar Pandey 2-28). Full Scorecard
In Chennai: Baroda 162 in 83.5 overs and 73/1 in 33 overs (Dhiren Mistry 29*) vs Tamil Nadu 233 in 94.4 overs (Abhinav Mukund 29, B Indrajith 38, Dinesh Karthik 92; Yusuf Pathan 6-84, Bharghav Bhatt 3-79). Full Scorecard
In Kannur: Kerala 214 in 56.1 overs and 155 in 44.3 overs beat Himachal Pradesh 174 in 40.3 overs and 134 in 39.2 overs (Prashant Chopra 36, Rishi Dhawan 33; Padmanabhan Prasanth 2-52, CP Shahid 3-27, Vinoop Manoharan 5-43) by 61 runs. Full Scorecard
In Pune: Jammu & Kashmir 85 in 29.5 overs and 333/6 in 125 overs (Adil Rishi 26, Obaid Haroon 94, Bandeep Singh 79, Ian Dev Singh 46, Ram Dayal 27*; Samad Fallah 2-86, Shrikant Mundhe 2-71, Bharat Solanki 2-36) vs Maharashtra 401/9 dec in 109 overs. Full Scorecard
In Hyderabad: Tripura 650/8 dec in 190.3 overs (Samrat Singha 26, KB Pawan 44, Manisankar Murasingh 150, Yogesh Takawale 212, Abbas Ali 132*; Ravi Kiran 2-110, Lalith Mohan 2-156, Amol Shinde 2-153) vs Hyderabad 258/1 in 78 overs (Akshath Reddy 138*, Dwaraka Ravi Teja 90*). Full Scorecard
In Guwahati: Assam 247 in 105 overs and 31/4 in 18 overs (Amit Yadav 3-5) vs Goa 406/9 dec in 143 overs (Amogh Desai 97, Swapnil Asnodkar 57, Sagun Kamat 60, Ravikant Shukla 30, Keenan Vaz 35, Rohit Asnodkar 54, Shadab Jakati 38; Abu Nechim 3-50, Arlen Konwar 2-92, Syed Mohammad 2-93). Full Scorecard