Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala thrashed Delhi by an innings and 27 runs in a Ranji Trophy Group 'B' match at Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday to earn seven points and lift their tally to 20, as the race for knockout berths got exciting.
Delhi, struggling at 41 for five, stared at an early finish and needed skipper Dhruv Shorey (batting on 13) at stumps on Saturday to play a long innings.
On Day 3, Shorey and Anuj Rawat kept the Kerala bowlers at bay for eight overs before Jalaj Saxena struck in the 22nd over, getting the captain out for 30.
Rawat (31), Shivam Sharma (33) and Subodh Bhati (30) delayed Kerala's wait for a third win of the season, while playing some attacking shots.
Bhati used the long handle to good effect as he hit three huge sixes in his 34-ball knock. His cameo ended when he was caught by Rahul to give Saxena his third wicket of the innings and the match's ninth.
Sijomon Joseph wrapped up things for Kerala when he had Akash Sudan caught by Sandeep Warrier as Delhi folded for 154 in 41 overs.
Saxena, who hit 68 in Kerala's first innings total of 320 and took nine wickets for 88 runs, was named Man of the Match.
Delhi, playing their first match since the retirement of Gautam Gambhir, remained on seven points from five games, suffered their second loss of the season.
Kerala 320 all out in 95.3 overs beat Delhi 139 in 66.2 overs and 154 all out in 41 overs (Sandeep Warrier 3 for 39, Jalaj Saxena 3 for 49) by an innings and 27 runs. Points: Kerala: 7, Delhi: 0.
Ranji Group B: Punjab in strong position against TN
Mohali: A late strike by Sandeep Sharma gave Punjab the advantage Sunday against Tamil Nadu at the end of Day 3 of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B' match at Mohali.
Faced with a massive deficit of 264 runs, Abhinav Mukund was dismissed by Sandeep for 74 (141 balls, 9 fours) towards close of play to leave Tamil Nadu at 166 for 3.
Earlier, Punjab were bowled out for 479 in response to Tamil Nadu's first innings total of 215, built around young Shubman Gill's brilliant knock of 268 (328 balls, 29X4, 4X6).
The home side appeared on track for a huge total as Gill, resuming on his overnight score of 199, continued to bat with ease. Though he lost skipper Mandeep Singh (50) early in the day, he found an able ally in the experienced Yuvraj Singh (41, 34 balls, 8X4) and added 61 runs at a fast clip.
Yuvraj, however, was unlucky as he was run out backing up too far when Gill's straight drive was deflected off K Vignesh's hand on to the stumps to leave him stranded.
Later, Gill was involved in another useful partnership of 83 runs with Gurkeerat Mann (48).
Lanky left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore's six-wicket haul was largely responsible in restricting Punjab as he triggered a collapse after lunch.
From 462 for 5, the home team slid to 479 all out in 118.5 overs with Kishore taking the wickets of Mann and Gill, stumped by Dinesh Karthik when he stepped out for a big shot.
Tamil Nadu began the second innings in a solid manner with Mukund and N Jagadeesan batting positively, the latter especially looking for runs.
Jagadeesan hit six fours and a six before Yuvraj had him caught by wicket-keeper Abhishek Gupta for 50.
Yuvraj struck again with his slow left-arm spin as he had Baba Aparajith leg-before wicket off the very next ball.
Tamil Nadu captain Baba Indrajith, however, kept out the hat-trick ball.
He and Mukund played in an assured manner and also scored whenever presented with an opportunity.
With the pacemen unable to get help like the way they did on the first day, Punjab skipper Mandeep was forced to rely on the spinners (part timers Yuvraj, Gurkeerat and Abhishek Sharma), who could not make much of an impact.
Mukund brought his fifty with a shot off Abhishek Sharma and continued to push on. He was dismissed against the run of play, caught by Jiwanjot Singh off Sandeep.
Indrajith (37 batting, 66 balls, 4X4) and night watchman Sai Kishore (0 batting) ensured there were no further alarms for Tamil Nadu, which still trail by 98 runs.
Tamil Nadu 215 and 166 for 3 in 46 overs (Abhinav Mukund 74, N Jagadeesan 50) vs Punjab 479 all out in 118.5 overs (Shubman Gill 268, Mandeep Singh 50, R Sai Kishore 6 for 107).
At Amtar: Andhra 173 and 175 for 1 in 56 overs (C R Gnaneshwar 89 batting) vs Himachal Pradesh 460 all out (A R Kalsi 120, RR Dhawan 76).
At Hyderabad: Bengal 336 all out in 120.3 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 186) vs Hyderabad 204 for 4 in 86 overs (Rohit Rayudu 92 batting, Himalay Agarwal 65, Ashoke Dinda 3 for 54).
Rajasthan best Odisha by 35 runs
Bhubaneswar: Rajasthan pacers yet again produced a stellar performance as the visitors defeated Odisha by 35 runs in their Elite Group C Ranji Trophy game at Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
Rajasthan bundled out Odisha for 137 in their second essay with pacer Aniket Choudhary (5-25) taking his second five-wicket haul of the match to help the visitors script a memorable win in a low-scoring clash.
The momentum swung back and forth throughout the game but Rajasthan held their nerves in the end to emerge triumphant.
Choudhary, who had figures of 5-49 in the first innings, was ably supported by pacers TH Haq (3-39) and Nathu Singh (2-43) in the second innings.
For Odisha, No 8 Suryakant Pradhan raised the hopes of a win with his quick-fire 56 off 33 balls but after his dismissal it was all over bar the shouting for the hosts.
For the hosts, Subranshu Senapati (36) and Debasish Samantray (21) played handy knocks but failed to take the side home.
Rajasthan pacer Haq also had a game to remember as he took 8 wickets in the game, including five in the first innings.
Meanwhile at Rohtak, Jammu and Kashmir recorded a 130-run win over Haryana after bundling out the opposition for 91.
Seasoned Irfan Pathan was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with fine figures of 5-18.
At Agartala, following on, Goa reached 113 for 3 at the close of play, still adrift by 53 runs against Tripura.
At Palam in the national capital, Services rode on Rajat Paliwal's 180 to post a massive 396 in the first innings and took the crucial first innings lead against Assam.
Brief Scores: At Bhubaneswar: Rajasthan 135 and 148 beat Odisha 111 and 137 (Suryakant Pradhan 56, Subranshu Senapati 36, Aniket Choudhary 5-25, T M Haq 3-39, Nathu Singh 2-43) by 35 runs.
Rajasthan 6 points, Odisha 0 points.
At Rohtak: Jammu and Kashmir 161 and 205 beat Haryana 145 and 91 (Ankit Kumar 17 , Yuzvendra Chahal 15, Irfan Pathan 5-18 , Umar Nazir 3-29) by 130 runs.
Jammu and Kashmir 6 points , Haryana 0 points.
At New Delhi (Palam): Assam 211 and 83/3 (Rishav Das 41, Pallav Kumar Das 27, Diwesh Pathania 2-28) versus Services 396 all out (Rajat Paliwal 180 , N K Singh 79, Jitumoni Kalita 3-99).
At Lucknow: Jharkhand 354and 143/2versus Uttar Pradesh 243 (Suresh Raina 75, Rinku Singh 53, Rahul Shukla 5-65, Varun Aaron 4-59).
At Agartala: Tripura 358 versus Goa 192 (Snehal Kauthankar 79, Suyash Prabhudessai 34, A K Sarkar 4-29, A S Sarkar 3-42) and 113/3 (Suyash Prabhudessai 39 not out, A S Sarkar 1-16).
Mumbai take lead despite valiant Pandya half ton
Mumbai: A hard-hitting half-century from fit-again Hardik Pandya went in vain as Mumbai grabbed a narrow 29-run first innings lead after tea on Day 3 of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A game on Sunday.
Pandya, who had taken five wickets in the Mumbai innings, ran out of partners before being the last man dismissed for an attacking 73 in 137 balls, having collected nine fours and one six, having bravely tried to guide the visitors past the hosts' first innings tally of 465.
Pandya, who came to the crease when Baroda were 307 for three, was caught behind to end the visitors' innings at 436.
He had escaped earlier when he was bowled off a no-ball.
In the remaining time Mumbai were rocked by Pandya's two-wicket burst and were tottering at 20 for 2 at close, an overall lead of 49.
The day started with Baroda on a solid 244 for 1 with Waghmode on 87 and Solanki on 128.
Solanki fell to the first ball of the 11th over of the morning for 133 to left arm medium pacer Roystan Dias after Waghmode, who was finally out for 114, had reached the three-figure mark.
Dias later sent back Waghmode too to leave Baroda on 307 for three.
A stand of 44 ensued between Shivalik Sharma (51) and Pandya to spark hopes for Baroda before a mini collapse saw the visitors slumping to 379 for 7.
Pandya got a determined partner in Bhargav Bhatt, who had taken four wickets with his left arm spin on Saturday, and the duo rekindled Baroda's chances by taking the score to 432, just 33 behind Mumbai.
But Akash Parkar packed off Bhatt and Rishi Arothe in successive balls to leave Baroda at 432 for 9.
With only last man Lukman Meriwala for company to get past the Mumbai score, Pandya added four more runs to his and team's score before he too was dismissed by Dias, caught behind by Aditya Tare.
Dias bagged 4 for 99 while Shubham Ranjane, who played his part in the mini collapse, claimed 3 for 62 and Parkar secured 2 for 52.
Meanwhile, in other Elite Group A matches, at New Delhi, Vidarbha earned a 95 run first innings lead after bundling out Railways for 236 in their first essay.
But Railways bowled them out for 147 in the second innings.
At Stumps, Railways were 19/1, needing another 224 runs for an outright win.
At Surat, hosts Karnataka took the first innings lead and Gujarat ended the penultimate day at187/3, ahead by just 14 runs.
And at Nashik, Maharashtra conceded a hefty 151-run lead to Saurashtra after they were skittled out for 247.
Being asked to follow on, they were on 157/3 at stumps, ahead by just 6 runs.
Brief Scores: At Mumbai:Mumbai 465 and 20 for 2 (Vikrant Auti not out 2, Siddhesh Lad not out 2; H Pandya 2 for 4) versus Baroda 436 (Aditya Waghmode 114, Vishnu Solanki 133, Shivalik Sharma 51, Hardik Pandya 73; R Dias 4 for 99, S Ranjane 3 for 62).
At Nashik: Saurashtra 398 versus Maharashtra 247 all out (Kedar Jadhav 99, Rahul Tripathi 30, Chetan Sakariya 6-63, Jaydev Unadkat 2-50) and 157/3 (Rohit Motwani 65 not out, Rahul Tripathi 38, Hardik Rathod 1-22).
At Surat: Gujarat 216 and 187/3 (R H Bhatt 82 not out, B H Merai 74, Ronit More 1-29) versus Karnataka 389 all out (Shreyas Gopal 93, Devdutt Paddikal 74, R Vinay Kumar 51, Piyush Chawla 4-99, Axar Patel 3-84).
At New Delhi (Karnail Singh Stadium): Vidarbha 331 and 147 (A Sarvate 39, Harsh Tyagi 7-41) and versus Railways 236 (P S Singh 95, Nitin Bhille 37, Akshay Wakhare 5-71, Aditya Sarvate 3-66) and 19/1.