New Delhi: Ishant Sharma gave a timely reminder to the selectors with a hostile spell of fast bowling as Delhi reduced Maharashtra to 59/8 after scoring a healthy 419 in the first innings of a Ranji Trophy group D encounter.
Despite more than 40 overs of play being lost, Delhi have a fair chance of finishing the match by the third day with the visitors still 360 runs in arrears.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar not being available for the second India-Sri Lanka Test in Nagpur due to his marriage, Ishant has a fair chance of making it to the playing XI after doing his hard yards in the Ranji Trophy.
He now has 18 wickets in his fourth game and has bowled enough number of overs in more or less batting-friendly wickets.
He literally intimidated the Maharashtra batsmen with his pace and bounce with IPL specialist Rahul Tripathi's poor technique against the red ball being thoroughly exposed. His figures of 6-2-14-3 is a testimony to the damage he inflicted on the psyche of the Maharashtra batsmen.
Getting the ball to rear up from three quarter, Ishant first had Ruturaj Gaikwad (0) nicking one to Rishabh Pant behind the stumps.
In his next over, it was Murtaza Trunkwala (2) who edged one to Manan Sharma in the slip cordon.
Ishant's new ball partner Navdeep Saini then removed rival skipper Ankit Bawne (2), who cut one uppishly to Lalit Yadav at point to make it 10/3.
Tripathi, who was one of the finds of last IPL then had a harrowing time facing Ishant's third over.
Unlike the IPL, where he could plonk his front foot and smash anything across the line, the right-hander looked scared as he was seen shuffling towards the leg-stump, clearly uncomfortable while facing Ishant's pace.
Tripathi had a release shot - backfoot punch through covers, but Ishant angled one and he guided it to Nitish Rana at gully, leaving Maharashtra in total disarray at 14/4.
Rohit Motwani (23) and Naushad Sheikh (12) then added 37 runs before the veteran keeper was dismissed by Saini.
There was a short break due to bad light but once play resumed, Maharashtra lost three quick wickets to Yadav (2/2) and Manan Sharma (1/4) for the addition of only seven runs.
Earlier, young Rana's career-best 174 off 264 propelled Delhi past 400, and then, it was the turn of the bowlers led by Ishant to do the star turn on the second day of the match.
Rana's innings had 18 boundaries and four sixes as he added 104 runs for the sixth wicket with debutant Lalit Yadav (52).
"Good performances in the IPL has made it easier for me to perform at the first-class level. Also I have learnt to be more patient talking to senior players like Gautam Gambhir," said Rana.
Delhi 1st innings: 419 (Nitish Rana 174, Rishabh Pant 99, Lalit Yadav 52; Satyajeet Bachchav 4/87)
Maharashtra 1st innings: 59/8 (Ishant Sharma 3/14, Lalit Yadav 2/2, Navdeep Saini 2/21)
Hyderabad 1st innings: 326 (BP Sandeep 84, Ambati Rayudu 83, Akash Bhandari 71; Arup Das 5/112)
Assam 1st innings: 136 (Gokul Sharma 39, Mohammed Mudassir 5/36 and (f/o) 36/2.
Karnataka 1st innings: 642/7 (Dega Nishcal 195, Manish Pandey 238, Mayank Agarwal 90, Karun Nair 62; Imtiaz Ahmed 3/101).
Raman, Easwaran put Bengal in driver's seat against Punjab
Amritsar: Openers Abhishek Raman and Abhimanyu Easwaran wore down the Punjab bowling with patient centuries as Bengal dominated proceedings to reach 309/3 on the second day of the Ranji Trophy group D encounter in Amritsar.
Left-handed Raman remained unbeaten on 149 and added 222 with India prospect Easwaran (117) for the opening stand. Bengal currently enjoy a lead of 162 runs and would be hoping to at least consolidate it to 250 runs.
Raman, who got his maiden hundred this season played 286 balls hitting 15 boundaries and a six in the process. Easwaran, who is on the national selectors' radar showed enormous patience playing 215 balls with 11 boundaries and a six.
Bengal had a mini collapse after Easwaran's dismissal as Sudeep Chatterjee (4) and Manoj Tiwary (4) were out in quick succession.
However, Raman carried on calmly in company of Shreevats Goswami (29 batting), adding 67 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket stand.
None of the Punjab bowlers could make an impact as the Bengal openers played them with ease.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (0/69 in 17 overs) did not trouble the batsmen much on his first-class comeback as he could only bowl a single maiden over.
The Bengal duo used their feet well to negotiate the veteran spinner's deliveries.
Punjab 1st innings: 147
Bengal 1st innings: 309/3 (Abhishek Raman 149 batting, Abhimanyu Easwaran 117, Shreevats Goswami 29 batting; Harbhajan Sinbgh 0/69 in 17 overs).
Goa 1st innings: 239
Vidarbha 1st innings: 199/2 (Sanjay Ramaswamy 87, Wasim Jaffer 70).
Chattisgarh 1st innings: 130 and 24/0
Services 1st innings: 272 (Vikas Hathwala 76, Shahnawaz Hussain 5/59).
Jagadeesan, Yomahesh keep Tamil Nadu in the hunt
Indore: Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman N Jagadeesan (94 batting) put on 115 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket with V Yomahesh (44 batting) to take Tamil Nadu to 191/6 on the second day in a Ranji Trophy Group C match in Indore.
In a must-win match, the visitors were struggling at 76/6 with Madhya Pradesh's opening attack of Ishwar Pandey and Puneet Datey, who both finished with identical figures of 3/36, running through the much vaunted batting line-up.
Datey struck early by sending back Tamil Nadu captain Abhinav Mukund, having him bowled for five. Three balls later, he dismissed Vijay Shankar for a duck, to leave Tamil Nadu at 19/2.
Pandey then took out B Aparajith and MS Washington Sundar. B Indrajith fell after a defiant 25, followed by Malolan Rangarajan.
Opener Jagadeesan, who had retired hurt, returned to the middle and mounted a spirited fightback with Yomahesh.
The team still trails by 73 runs and the onus would be on the duo to help secure a lead.
Earlier, Madhya Pradesh resuming at 224/7, added 40 runs to the score, thanks to No 11 batsman Ishwar Pandey's belligerence.
Pandey smashed three fours and two big sixes in his 17-ball knock of 29 before being caught by Yomahesh off R Sai Kishore's bowling.
K Vignesh bagged four wickets, conceding just 32 runs from 24 overs. M Mohammed finished with three wickets.
Madhya Pradesh 1st innings: 264 all out in 90.1 overs (Ankit Sharma 77, Ankit Dane 63, Ishwar Pandey 29; K Vignesh 4/32, M Mohammed 3/67)
Tamil Nadu 1st innings: 191/6 in 67 overs (N Jagadeesan 94 batting, V Yomahesh 44 batting; Ishwar Pandey 3/36, P Datey 3/36).
Mumbai 1st innings: 332 all out in 132 overs (Prithvi Shaw 114, Siddhesh Lad 86, Dhawal Kulkarni 50 not out, Abhishek Nayar 35; B Ayyappa 4/110, KV Sasikanth 3/61)
Andhra Pradesh 1st innings: 74/2 in 33 overs (Ricky Bhui 29 batting).
Baroda 1st innings: 503 all out in 137.4 overs (Kedar Devdhar 104, NA Rathva 115 not out, Vishnu Solanki 109, Deepak Hooda 51; Basant Mohanty 5/85)
Odisha 1st innings: 64/2 in 32 overs.
Saurashtra take slender 7-run lead over Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram: Robin Uthappa hit 86 as Saurashtra managed to take a slender seven-run first innings lead over Kerala, scoring 232 all out on the second day of their Group B Ranji Trophy match in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.
After bundling out Kerala for 225, Saurashtra struggled to post 232 before their first innings folded up.
At stumps, Kerala were 69/1 in their second innings with Jalaj Saxena unbeaten on 29 and Rohan Prem on 27.
Resuming on 37/0, overnight batsman Uthappa, starting on 20, went on to score 86 off 120 deliveries - a knock studded with 10 boundaries and five sixes.
Uthappa's partner Snell Patel added 33 runs to his last night's score of 16 before falling for a 78-ball 49, including eight fours. The two added 107 runs for the opening wicket.
After Patel's departure, Uthappa continued to score runs in the company of Avi Barot (7).
But Barot's dismissal triggered a collapse and Saurashtra lost six wickets for just an addition of 34 runs.
Lower down the order, Jay Chauhan (30 not out) and Jaydev Unadkat (26) steadied the boat, putting on 45 runs to take the Saurashtra's score past 220-run mark.
Eventually Saurashtra could take only seven-run lead.
For Kerala, Sijomon Joseph finished with figures of 4/43 while Basil Thampi chipped in with 3/36.
Kerala 1st innings: 225 and 69/1 in 19 overs
Saurashtra 1st innings: 232 all out in 78.5 overs (Robin Uthappa 86, Snell Patel 49; Sijomon Joseph 4/43, Basil Thampi 3/36).
Rajasthan 1st innings: 153
Gujarat 1st innings: 450 for three (Priyank Panchal 152, Parthiv Patel 119 batting, Bhargav Merai 110).
Haryana 1st innings: 184 (Amit Mishra 41, Himanshu Rana 35; Ram Dayal 5/57, Mohammed Mudhasir 4/56).
Jammu and Kashmir 1st innings: 175 for 7 in 53 overs (Ahmed Bandy 67).