Hosts Uttar Pradesh dictated play on the second day as they took a lead of 57 runs against Delhi in their Ranji Trophy Group B tie at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here Saturday.
Uttar Pradesh finished the day's play at 292 for six with the help of a sensational 196-run partnership between opener Mukul Dagar (116) and veteran Mohammed Kaif (91).
The hosts started the day at 40 for one with Dagar and Kaif taking guard. Delhi went wicket-less in the morning session as the bowlers failed to take advantage of the morning conditions.
Ishant Sharma sent in a few quick bouncers, one hitting Kaif on the helmet, but could not dismantle the batsmen, who continued piling runs.
The 21-year-old, Dagar, scored a brilliant maiden century, including 14 boundaries. His previous highest score was 37 against Karnataka in the only innings he has played in Ranji Trophy.
Former Uttar Pradesh skipper Kaif provided good support to his left handed partner, hitting 11 fours and one six over long leg. Kaif's strike rate was even better than Dagar but the 31-year-old slowed down after reaching the 80s as Dagar went on to score his ton.
Being over-defensive didn't help the middle-order batsman as he was trapped leg-before off the bowling of spinner Vikas Mishra, missing out on his 18th first class century.
Kaif's dismissal started a mini-downfall for Uttar Pradesh as Dagar fell soon when he was clean bowled by Sumit Narwal while trying to go for a cover drive.
Karnal-born Narwal then went on to take the wickets of Parvinder Singh (20) and Arish Alam (1) giving Delhi some hope to stage a comeback.
Delhi pacers Ashish Nehra and Pradeep Sangwan proved ineffective, failing to take a single wicket throughout the day.
Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag stayed out for most of the post-tea session due to a minor finger injury.
At the end of the day, Uttar Pradesh skipper Suresh Raina and Amir Khan were batting at 19 and 4 respectively when bad light stopped play.
MUMBAI vs RAILWAYS
All-rounder Abhishek Nayar scored the third century of the innings for Mumbai as the hosts notched up a massive total of 570 against a lacklustre Railways bowling attack on the second day of the Ranji Trophy group league game here today.
At stumps, Railways were 86 for two in reply.
Nayar, who came in to bat following Sachin Tendulkar's dismissal scored 107 off 164 deliveries. He struck 10 boundaries and 2 sixes in his knock and survived a chance at 86, when wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat dropped a sharp chance of India discard Murali Kartik's bowling.
The 29-year old hit a straight six off the same bowler later to reach his 8th first-class hundred. Ajinkya Rahane who was unbeaten on 105 yesterday added 24 more before seamer Krishna Kant Upadhyay trapped him leg before.
Railway lost both their openers Shivakant Shukla and Amit aunikar who couldn't cash in on the dropped catches by Kaustubh Pawar at first slip. Pawar then made amends and latched onto the catches directed at him off the bowling of skipper Ajit Agarkar.
Mumbai captain Agarkar made a smart move to replace Dhawal Kulkarni at the press box end and found success in his first over by dismissing Paunikar for 9 with the third ball of the over.
Two overs later, he got left-hander Shukla out for 18 in the same manner. Railways captain Sanjay Bangar added a 55-run partnership with the No 3 Nitin Bhille. Bangar was unbeaten on 36 from 47 balls while Bhille ended the day on 21.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 1st Innings 570 (S Tendulkar 137, A Rahane 129, A Nayar 107, Anureet Singh 3/81, SS Shukla 3/53).
BENGAL vs RAJASTHAN
Two-time defending champions Rajasthan found themselves reeling at 63 for four in reply to Bengal's 258 on a curtailed second day of their Ranji Trophy match today.
If the first session belonged to Rajasthan who bowled Bengal out with a brilliant combined effort of Pankaj Singh (5/55) and Rituraj Singh (3/116), Bengal dominated the show in the second session, courtesy two wickets apiece by Sourav Sarkar and Laxmi Ratan Shukla. But poor light and some drizzle brought an end to the second day's proceedings 10 minutes before the scheduled tea, which meant only 46.3 overs were possible.
At close of play, Ashok Menaria (13) and Rashmi Ranjan Parida (3) were at the crease as the hosts remained frustrated. But the start was good for the Hrishikesh Kanitkar-led side with pacers Pankaj and Rituraj taking full use of the early morning moisture on the Eden strip.
The burly pacer, Pankaj struck with his very fifth ball when Anustup Majumdar edged an outswinger behind the stumps to return without any addition to Bengal's overninght total of 187.
But what followed was complete lack of application by the Bengal batsmen as Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Sourav Sarkar were castled in Rituraj's third over of the morning. Shukla completely misjudged the line of the inswinger that kissed the bails as the Bengal batsman left the ball, while Sarkar was bowled by another Rituraj beauty.
Three wickets fell for 30 balls, something that meant Bengal's first innings was all but over with wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha waging a lone battle. With wickets falling quickly at the other end, Saha (59 from 79 balls; 10x4) became the third victim Rituraj who gave fine support at the other end.
Rituraj's brilliant effort of the day read 8-1-38-3 which he bowled in two spells, while Pankaj 8-2-20-2 meant that he picked up his 15th five-for from 62 first-class matches.
In reply, Rajasthan sorely missed the services of former India opener Aakash Chopra who switched allegiance to Himachal Pradesh this season. Without Chopra, their batting looked ordinary with three-match-old Ankit Lamba along side Vineet Saxena who had the 'experienced tag' with 84 caps.
But Saxena departed early after being trapped by Sourav Sarkar as skipper Kanitkar followed suit in a similar fashion by the same bowler.
Rajasthan's bid to build a partnership was foiled by allrounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla who also claimed two wickets in his brilliant spell of 6-3-7-2, which became the high point of Bengal before weather cast its shadow.
"From the way the day turned out, we have an upperhand in the match. We have to keep bowling the same way to take a first innings lead tomorrow," Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary said.
Bengal 258; 74.3 overs (Subhomoy Das 95, Wriddhiman Saha 59; Pankaj Singh 5/55, Rituraj Singh 3/116). Rajasthan 63/4; 31 overs (Laxmi Ratan Shukla 2/7, Sourav Sarkar 2/26).
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