Anmolpreet Singh cracked an unbeaten century as Punjab grabbed a firm grip over Bengal, taking a 170-run first innings lead, in their must-win Ranji Trophy Elite Group B clash here Tuesday.
Anmolpreet was unbeaten on 124 from 288 balls (13x4, 1x6) in his first century of the season as he guided Punjab to 357/7 on the second day, in reply to Bengal's first innings total of 187.
Talented 19-year-old Shubman Gill (91) seized the initiative earlier in the day, hitting at brisk pace all around the ground with Anmolpreet playing second fiddle.
But the youngster missed his century by nine runs when he tried to step down to Bengal seamer Mukesh Kumar only to mishit to midoff in the first session.
Gill and Anmolpreet put together 89 runs in quick time to set the tone for Punjab before the latter anchored Punjab's innings and stitched two more fifty-plus stands with Mandeep Singh (44) and Gitansh Khera (42).
The winners of the match are set to make the quarterfinals.
The Jadavpur University Saltlake Campus ground wicket, which was believed to be a rank turner, looked perfect for batting as Punjab batsmen made full use of the conditions to send Bengal bowlers on a leather hunt.
Seamer Mukesh (4/89) was the pick of Bengal bowlers, while left-arm spinner Pradipta Pramanik (3/100) took the key wicket of Yuvraj Singh in his first ball.
The player of the tournament in the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj, looked out of sorts and failed to get into the line of the ball and departed for one in his four-ball stay at the crease.
But the morning session belonged to supremely talented young Punjab opener Gill who scored all around the ground in his elegant half-century.
Overnight 36, Gill took just 13 balls to complete his seventh first-class fifty and looked set for a big one before mistiming Mukesh.
"Obviously, I'm really disappointed to miss a hundred. If I batted, the team would have been on a better position. I was set for a big one. But it's part of the game," Gill told reporters.
"It's not that I was beaten by the ball, it was a loose delivery and I stepped out only to take an inside edge."
Having come into the crease after the departure of nightwatchman Mayank Markande in the fag end of day one, the Punjab No 3, Anmolpreet, then shouldered the responsiblity taking the team past Bengal's 187 after the lunch break.
"I think there was a bit of moisture early on when they batted and it helped our spinners. When we came to bat, the wicket eased out and there was not much help for the spinners. That's one factor," Gill said.
"We will try to extend the lead to 200-250. We seem to be in command at this moment."
Curiously, Bengal frontline pacer Ashok Dinda bowled just three overs in the first session and looked under bowled.
"Pacers were not getting much help in that session. There was nothing much off the wicket, maybe that's the reason.
"But obviously it's their home turf. Their team and captain knows better about the conditions, what can I say," Gill said.
Punjab 357/7 in 110 overs (Anmolpreet Singh 124 batting, Shubman Gill 91; Mukesh Kumar 4/89, Pradipta Pramanik 3/100).
Baroda prevail over Karnataka to keep quarterfinal hopes alive
Deepak Hooda and Bhargav Bhatt cliamed five wickets each to help Baroda register a nail-biting win against Karnataka in a Group A Ranji Trophy match and keep their quarterfinals hopes alive here on Tuesday.
On a day when as many as 16 wickets fell, Baroda almost lost the match, but ultimately won by two wickets, chasing down a 110-run target in their second innings.
After this win, Baroda are now placed third with 26 points from eight matches. They had won three matches, lost one and drew the remaining matches.
On the other hand, Karnataka retained their second place with 27 points from eight matches. They have won three matches and lost two.
Yet, both Baroda and Karnataka's fortunes of qualifying for the quarterfinal depend on other match results.
Batting first, Baroda dismissed Karnataka for 112 before the hosts scored 223 runs, riding on Sonalki's 69 and a 60-ball 51 by Hooda, to take a crucial lead.
In the second innings, Karnataka were bowled out for 220, leaving Baroda to get 110 runs to win the match.
Yusuf Pathan's 41 off 30 balls with seven boundaries and a six played a crucial role in achieving the target.
Bhatt produced an impressive performance as he bagged eight wickets in the match. He ended the first innings with figures of 3 for 27 and 5 for 116 in the second innings.
Bhatt was ably assisted by Hooda who also claimed five wickets while conceding 31 runs in 14.4 overs.
In the first innings, Lukman Meriwala (3/22), Bhatt (3/27), Rishi Arothe (2/34) and Soaeb Tai (2/7) were among the wicket-takers for Baroda.
Resuming at 13 for 2 with a deficit of 98 runs, Karnataka lost overnight batsman Karun Nair after he made 12 runs. He was stumped by Mitesh Patel off Bhatt.
Captain Manish Pandey had a crucial 67-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Krishnamurthy Siddharth, who scored 64 in 87 balls with eight boundaries and two sixes. He was trapped leg before the wicket by Bhatt.
Thereafter, Karnataka lost two quick wickets of Dega Nischal (16) and Pandey, who smashed 50 off 75 balls, with six boundaries.
After the fall of Pandey, none of the batsmen including Shreyas Gopal (29) and B R Sharath (22), made big contributions as the visiting side folded their second innings at 220 in 63.4 overs.
Baroda started off their run chase poorly as they lost their both openers Kedar Devdhar (10) and Aditya Waghmode (4), leaving the side struggling at 19 for two in 9.4 overs.
Deepak Hooda and Vishnu Solanki, who had belted half centuries in first innings, could not last long. Hooda was run out for nought and Solanki was clean bowled by Prasidh Krishna, after he made 20 runs.
Patel was the fifth batsman to return to the pavilion, after facing two balls. Krunal Pandya failed to open his account after facing eight balls.
Pathan, who played a brisk knock, succumbed to Shreyas Gopal, leaving Baroda at 89 for seven, needing 23 more runs to win with three wickets in hands.
Bhatt and (9 not out) and Rishi Arothe (12 not out), saw Baroda get past the target in the end.
Star bowlers for Karnataka in the second innings were Prasidh (3/14), Ronit More (2/57), Shreyas Gopal (2/12).
In the fist innings, Gopal (4/47) and Shubhang Hegde (4/74) had emerged as the wrecker-in-chief for Karnataka.
Karnataka: 112 and 220 all out in 63.4 overs (Krishnamurthy Siddahrth 64, Manish Pandey 50; Bhargav Bhatt 5/116, Deepak Hooda (5/31).
Baroda: 223 and 110 for 8 in 28.1 overs (Yusuf Pathan 41; Prasidh Krishna 3/14, Ronit More 2/57, Shreyas Gopal 2/12).
Baroda won by 2 wickets.
Late strikes help TN seize advantage against Delhi
Two late strikes helped Tamil Nadu seize the advantage against Delhi at stumps on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B' match at the M A Chidambaram stadium here Tuesday.
Delhi ended the day at 35 for 2 in reply to Tamil Nadu's massive first innings score of 422 built on Abhinav Mukund's superb 134 (319 balls, 13X4) and half-centuries by captain Baba Indrajith (86) and debutant Pradosh Ranjan Paul (78, 129 balls, 12X4, 1X6) and M Shahrukh Khan 55 (139 balls, 4X4, 1X6).
For Delhi, Vikas Mishra was the best bowler, picking up 5 for 142 from 45.4 overs while Shivam Sharma took 4 for 105 from 44 overs.
R Sai Kishore struck the first blow for the host, dismissing opener Shivam Sharma (7) before Vijay Shankar effected a superb run-out to send back the other opener Kunal Chandela for 27 in the 13th over.
Earlier in the morning, Tamil Nadu resuming at 215 for 3 made slow progress with both Mukund and Vijay Shankar (17, 68 balls, 1X4) content to play the waiting game.
The Delhi bowlers-Navdeep Saini, Subodh Bhati and the spinners Shivam Sharma and Vikas Mishra maintained a good line and length to deny the host batsmen any chances to go on the offensive.
Vijay Shankar survived when he fended off a Saini delivery only to see it fall in front of the slip fielder.
However, he didn't stay too long, falling LBW to Bhati in the subsequent over.
Mukund found an able partner in newcomer Ranjan Paul, who played beautifully after struggling in the initial phase.
The two southpaws added 47 runs in 16 overs before Mukund's vigil came to an end, when he was caught by Delhi captain Nitish Rana off off-spinner Shivam Sharma.
Youngsters Paul and Shahrukh Khan, also in his debut season, joined forces and put on 82 runs for the sixth wicket.
The two played some eye-catching shots and were not afraid to go ariel, hitting a six each.
Paul fell leg-before wicket to Vikas Mishra for 78 when he looked on track for a ton.
Shahrukh Khan added 60 runs with last four wickets before being the last man dismissed, by Mishra.
Delhi left to face a little over 10 overs saw Chandela and Sharma see off the new ball attack of T Natarajan and M Mohammed.
Chandela looked in good touch and played some delightful shots, including two in succession of a Natarajan over.
The lanky Sai Kishore, who was able to extract bounce from the track, trapped Shivam Sharma leg-before.
As the host was looking to go to stumps with just a wicket down, Chandela was dimsissed when Vijay Shankar scored a direct hit.
Brief scores (at end of day two):
Tamil Nadu 432 all out in 164.4 overs (Abhinav Mukund 134, B Indrajith 86, Pradosh Ranjan Paul 78, Shahrukh Khan 55, Vikas Mishra 5 for 142, Shivam Sharma 4 for 105) vs Delhi 35 for 2 in 12.5 overs.
At Indore: Andhra 132 and 198 for 7 in 64 overs (Karan Shinde 45 batting, C Gnaneshwar 43, D B Prahanth Kumar 44) vs Madhya Pradesh 91 all out in 35.5 overs (Naman Ojha 30, Girinath Reddy 6 for 29).
At Amtar: Himachal 297 all out in 96.1 overs (A R Kalsi 101, Rishi Dhawan 58, M D Nidheesh 6 for 88) vs Kerala 219 for 5 in 64 overs (P Rahul 103 batting, Mohammed Azharudden 40).
Rajasthan rout Tripura to enter Ranji quarters; Chahar shines
Rajasthan trounced Tripura by an innings and 77 runs to book a berth in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals from Elite Group C here Tuesday.
Led by pace spearhead Deepak Chahar, the Rajasthan bowlers bundled out Tripura for 106 in the second innings to guide their team to a massive victory and enable it to storm into the last eight of the national championship.
With this empathic win, Rajasthan became the first team from the group to qualify for the knockout rounds by topping the pool with 51 points, having won 7 of their 9 matches.
After bowling out Tripura for a paltry 35 in their first innings, Rajasthan took a dominant 183-run lead by scoring 218 in their first essay.
Tripura resumed the second day on 4 for no loss at the MBB stadium in Agartala, but Rajasthan pacer Chahar wreaked havoc as he returned with figures of 5-17 in just eight overs.
Chahar was well supported by pacers Aniket Choudhary (2-18) and T M Haq (2-21).
Tripura skipper S K Patel was declared "absent hurt".
For Tripura, No. 10 Harmeet Singh (29), Rajib Saha (24) and Neelambuj Vats (19) showed some resistance, but that wasn't enough to avoid a humiliating defeat.
The match lasted less than four sessions, ending before lunch on day two.
Aniket Choudhary, who grabbed a five-wicket haul in the first essay, was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Meanwhile, at Rohtak, hosts Haryana needed 98 runs to win against Services, with nine wickets in hand.
Haryana conceded the first innings lead, but fought back and dismissed Services for just 79 in their second essay to tilt the match in their favour.
At Bhubaneshwar, Odisha secured the crucial first innings lead against Goa.
The hosts, who decided not to enforce the follow-on, ended the second day at 37 for 1 as the overall lead swelled to 273 runs.
At Kanpur, hosts Uttar Pradesh, who secured the crucial first innings lead, ended the second day at 377 for 5 in the second essay, with middle-order batsman Rinku Singh unbeaten on 96.
At Jammu, the Jammu and Kashmir versus Jharkhand game began Tuesday after the first day was washed out owing to a wet outfield.
Jammu and Kashmir, who chose to bat, were shot out for 151 with Ajay Yadav (5-16) being the wrecker-in-chief for the visitors.
At Agartala: Tripura 35/9 and 106 (Harmeet Singh 29, Rajib Saha 24; Deepak Chahar 5-17) lost to Rajasthan 218 (T H Haq 37, Aniket Choudhary 30 not out; M B Mura Singh 4-75) by an innings and 77 runs.
Rajasthan 7 points, Tripura 0 points.
At Rohtak: Services 170 and 79 (Diwesh Pathania 25, Rahul Singh Gahlaut 12; Tinu Kundu 5-35) versus Haryana 149 (S G Rohilla 64, Himanshu Rana 19; A A Bamal 7-142) and 3 for 1.
At Bhubaneshwar: Odisha 352 (Sandeep Pattanaik 100, Suryakant Pradhan 65; Amogh Desai 3-77) and 37/1 versus Goa 116 (Sagun Kamat 43, Sumiran Amonkar 20; Suryakant Pradhan 5-48, Rajesh Mohanty 3-52).
At Kanpur: Assam 175 versus Uttar Pradesh 377/5 (Rinku Singh 96 not out, Aksh Deep Nath 81, Mohammed Saif 58; Gokul Sharma 1-44).
At Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir 151 (Owais Shah 76, Irfan Pathan 15; Ajay Yadav 5-16) versus Jharkhand 9/0.
Uttarakhand on top against Mizoram, inch closer to QF
Uttarakhand enforced a follow-on against Mizoram after bowling out the visitors for 198 to inch closer to grabbing the solitary quarterfinal berth from Plate Group in Ranji Trophy here Tuesday.
Taruwar Kohli remained unbeaten on 96 on day two after Mizoram were bowled out for 198 in their first innings in reply to Uttarakhand's first innings total of 377 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here.
Asked to bat again, Mizoram were 32/1 at stumps, still needing 147 runs to avoid an innings defeat.
Earlier the visitors were 31 for no loss but they slipped to 67/4 with Sunny Rana (2/46) striking twice.
Dhanraj Sharma was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 3/49.
Taruwar found some support at the other end from Lalhruai Ralte (30) as the duo added 57 runs to repair the damage.
But Mayank Mishra dismissed Ralte to break the partnership before they folded in 75.2 overs.
Mizoram: 198 in 75.2 overs (Taruwar Kohli 96 not out; Dhanraj Sharma 3/49) and following on 32/1 in 12 overs.
Nagaland: 467 in 106.3 overs (Hokaito Zhimomi 177, Rongsen Jonathan 123, Nitesh Lohchab 100; Raiphi Gomez 3/59, Pankaj Singh 3/118).
Puducherry: 224/3 in 66 overs (Paras Dogra 109 batting, Sai Karthik 81).
In Goalpara: Arunachal Pradesh 169 and 104/8 in 43 overs (Techi Neri 20 batting, Deendyal 17 batting; Ishwar Chaudhary 5/49).
Sikkim 262 in 95.3 overs (Lee Yong Lepcha 58 not out, Milind Kumar 51; Deendyal 3/96).
In Patna: Manipur 156 and 217/7 in 65 overs (Yashpal Singh 84 batting, Priyojit Singh 64; Ashutosh Aman 4/61, Samar Quadri 3/82).
Bihar: 257 in 63.1 overs (Vivek Kumar 40; Priyojit Singh 5/74, Bishworjit Konthoujam 5/74).
Mumbai on brink of maiden win of season against Chhattisgarh
Hosts Mumbai, who are already out of contention for a quarter-final berth, are on the cusp of registering their first win of the season against Chhattisgarh in their Elite Group A Ranji Trophy game here.
At the end of day two of the four-day game at the Wankhede Stadium, the 41-time champions needed 14 runs more to notch a consolation victory.
Mumbai ended the second day at 77 for 0 in their second innings, chasing a target of 91, with their openers Jay Bista (36 not out) and Vikrant Auti (32 not out) at the crease.
Mumbai, who had bundled out the opposition for 129 in the first innings on Monday, replied with 188 after starting day two on 118 for three.
The hosts then shot out the visitors for 149 in the second innings to place themselves on the cusp of their maiden outright win of the season.
First innings wreckers-in-chief, pacers Shardul Thakur (4-47) and Tushar Deshpande (4-53) were again the main destroyers in the visitors second innings.
Only Vishal Singh (47) showed some spine but that did not help his side.
In the morning, Mumbai lost seven wickets while adding 60 runs with recalled not out batsman Surya Kumar Yadav out for 43.
All-rounder Shivam Dubey chipped in with a valuable knock of 28.
Meanwhile, hosts Baroda held their nerve to beat Karnataka by 2 wickets in a pulsating match at Vadodara to keep their qualifying hopes for the quarters.
After this win, Baroda are now placed third with 26 points from eight matches.
They had won three matches, lost one and drew the remaining matches.
On the other hand, Karnataka retained their second place with 27 points from eight matches.
They have won three matches and lost two.
Yet, both Baroda and Karnataka's fortunes of qualifying for the quarterfinal depend on other match results.
At Rajkot, Saurshtra posted 356 in their first innings with some vital contributions from the lower-order against reigning champions Vidarbha.
At close of play, Vidarbha were 63 for 2, having lost their openers Aharva Taide and Faiz Fazal, and adrift by 293 runs.
In another inconsequential Elite Group A tie, hosts Railways thrashed Maharashtra by an innings and 58 runs in New Delhi.
Railways bundled out Maharashtra for 131 in the second to record the win and grabbed seven points.
At Mumbai: Chhattisgarh 129 and 149 (Vishal Singh 47, Amandeep Khare 33, Shardul Thakur 4-47) versus Mumbai 188 (Surya Kumar Yadav 43, Vikrant Auti 43, Pankaj Rao 3-53) and 77/0 (Jay Bista 36 not out, Vikrant Auti 32 not out).
At Delhi: Maharashtra 70 and 131 (Satyajeet Bachhav 27, J S Pande 19, Avinash Yadav 5-71, Harsh Tyagi 4-29) lost to Railways 259 (Mahesh Rawat 89, Gandhar Bhatawadekar 37, Satyajeet Bachhav 8-108) by an innings and 58 runs.
At Rajkot: Saurashtra 356 (Harvik Desai 74, D A Jadeja 72, Sheldon Jackson 65, Y R Thakur 4-92) versus Vidarbha 63/2 (Atharva Taide 31, Wasin Jaffer 19 not out, Jaydev Unadkat 1-11).
At Baroda: Karnataka 112 and 220 (Siddharth K V 64, Manish Pandey 50, Bhargav Bhatt 5-116, Deepak Hooda 5-31) lost to Baroda 223 and 110 for 8 (Yusuf Pathan 41, Vishnu Solanki 20, M Prasidh Krishna 3-14) by two wickets.
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