Kolkata: Hosts Bengal and Delhi fought hard for three points as rain and bad light allowed less than an hour's play on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Middle-order batsman Jonty Sidhu was unbeaten on 49 after surviving an lbw off a no ball, while Subodh Bhati looked edgy for his 25-ball seven as Delhi were 217 for 7, still trailing Bengal by 101 runs as only 9.3 overs were possible in the entire day.
Both the teams will look to get a first innings lead to secure three points, even as more rain is forecast for the final day.
The 53 minutes' was full of action with pacer Mukesh Kumar bowling his heart out as Bengal looked to wrap up Delhi, which started at the overnight score of 192 for six.
Mukesh gave the breakthrough by trapping overnight batsman Anuj Rawat for zero in the second over of the day.
In the first ball of his next over, Mukesh had Sidhu trapped in front of the middle-stump but on referral, the delivery was deemed no-ball by TV umpire Yeshwant Barde.
The left-handed batsman seemed to have got the benefit of doubt as the bowler looked to have overstepped while landing his heel.
A relieved Sidhu smashed Mukesh for three boundaries in that same over to cruise to 49 as Delhi looked in no trouble from there on.
But the play had to be stopped at 1.23 pm because of bad light.
Early morning showers washed out the first session as the day's proceedings began only at 12.30 pm with Delhi resuming on 192 for six.
Coach-cum-mentor Arun Lal lashed out at Mukesh for bowling the no-ball and said he would impose a Rs 500 fine from each no-ball bowled at the nets from hereon.
"The fault lies with the bowler (Mukesh). We could have bowled them out today. Our team is cursed by no-balls," Lal said, recollecting Ashok Dinda's no-ball that cost them a place in the Vijay Hazare quarter-finals.
"No amount of screaming, swearing-in is working for them. It's not acceptable. From next nets, I will impose a Rs 500 fine for every no ball."
Lal, however, did not blame the umpiring decision.
"It was not a glaring bad decision by umpire. Can't say it's a wrong decision. So it's umpires call. It was not an open and shut case."
All the previous two matches at Eden Gardens here, against Andhra and Gujarat, were too affected by rain and bad light as Bengal had to settle for three points each.
"It's not the rain that bothered us, it's the bad light. Strange rules... Why can't lights be used. These days 90 percent of the grounds have lights," Lal said as they are fighting hard for three points from their last home match.
Bengal played their last match in Kalyani, about 70 kilometres from here and secured a bonus point win to jump to third place.
Bengal 318 vs Delhi 217/7 in 75 overs (Dhruv Shorey 65, Jonty Sidhu 49 batting, Hiten Dalal 40; Mukesh Kumar 3/74).
Goa jump to top after bonus-point win over Arunachal
Porvorim: Amit Verma led by example with a match-haul of nine wickets and an unbeaten century as Goa recorded an innings and 336-run win over Arunachal Pradesh inside three days in their Ranji Trophy plate group fixture in Porvorim on Wednesday.
The bonus point victory helped Goa (37 points) to the top spot in the Plate group, four points clear of Puducherry.
Nine for three after following-on, Arunachal Pradesh were bundled out for 170 in 49.2 overs with leg-spinner Verma returning with 6/71.
Rahul Dalal waged a lone battle with a 98-ball 68 but Verma cut short his resistance en route to his sixth five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.
Arunachal were shot out for a paltry 83 in reply to Goa's mammoth 589/2 declared in the first innings.
Batting at No 4, the skipper had slammed an unbeaten 122 and all the top-four Goan batsmen slammed hundreds to lay a solid foundation.
At Porvorim: Goa 589/2 declared. Arunchal Pradesh 83 and following-on 170; 49.2 overs (Rahul Dalal 68; Amit Verma 6/71). Goa won by an innings and 336 runs. Points: Goa 7, Arunachal Pradesh 0.
Third day's play of Mumbai-HP tie too called off due to wet outfield
Dharamsala: The third day of the ongoing Ranji Trophy Group B match between Mumbai and Himachal Pradesh was washed out without a ball being bowled due to wet-outfield in Dharamsala on Wednesday.
Rain and wet-outfield had also washed out the second day's play of the game on Tuesday at the picturesque HPCA stadium.
On Wednesday morning there was bright sunshine but an overnight hailstorm meant that there was a delayed start.
The first inspection was called at 11 AM, which was then deferred to 1 PM by match referee Gaurav Vashisht and umpires S Ravi and Vineet Kulkarni.
A final inspection was scheduled at 2.30 pm, but before it happened a dark cloud settled above the ground, which forced the umpires to call off the day's proceedings.
Mumbai are sitting pretty at 372 for 5 in their first essay, courtesy an unbeaten 226 by in-form Sarfaraz Khan.
On the fourth and final day, Sarfaraz would be looking to score consecutive triple hundreds, a rare feat in any kind of cricket.
Meanwhile in other Group B encounters, Uttar Pradesh defeated Madhya Pradesh by seven wickets with young opener Aryan Juyal hitting an unbeaten 74 in their pursuit of 175 at Indore.
At the Motibaug ground in Vadodara, Saurashtra thrashed hosts Baroda by four wickets.
In the national capital at the Karnail Singh stadium, Karnataka surpassed Railways first-innings total of 182 and now have a narrow 17-run first-innings lead with wicket-keeper S Sharath (56) and Prateek Jain (2) at the crease. They ended the third day at 199/9.
Brief Scores :
At Dharamshala: Mumbai 372/5 - No play on day 3.
At New Delhi (Karnail Singh Stadium): Railways 182 all out (Avinash Yadav 62, Arindam Ghosh 59; Prateek Jain 5/38, Abhimanyu Mithun 4/51) vs Karnataka 199/9 (S Sharath 56 not out, Devdutt Padikkal 55; Amit Mishra 5/70, Himanshu Sangwan 3/47). Karnataka lead by 17 runs.
At Indore : Madhya Pradesh 230 and 160 (Naman Ojha 41; Yash Dayal 4/52, Ankit Rajpoot 3/48) lost to Uttar Pradesh 216 and 178/3 (Aryan Juyal 74 not out, Almas Shaukat 54; Kumar Kartikeya Singh 2/49) by seven wickets. UP 6 points, MP 0 points.
At Vadodara: Baroda 154 and 187 lost to Saurashtra 142 and 200/6 (Harvik Desai 49, Arpit Vasavada 48 not out; L Meriwala 2/35) by four wickets. Saurashtra 6 points, Baroda 0 points.
Openers lead Assam's fightback after being asked to follow on by Odisha
Cuttack: Openers Kunal Saikia (62 batting) and Subham Mandal (40 batting) led Assam's fightback in the second innings with a century partnership after being forced to follow on by Odisha on the third day of a Ranji Trophy Group C match in Cuttack on Wednesday.
Assam were bowled out for 238 in reply to Odisha's first innings score of 436 with Ranjeet Mali (59) and opener Kunal Saikia (53) being the major contributors.
Resuming at the overnight score of 59 for 3, the visitors slipped to 147 for 7, losing the wickets of Rishav Das (37) and talented Riyan Parag (43).
Wicket-keeper Saikia and Mali, batting at No 9, launched a rearguard action and added 58 runs for the eighth wicket.
After Saikia's exit, Mali added some important runs relying on some aggressive batting.
Asked to follow-on, Assam was provided a solid start by Mandal and Saikia, who was promoted to open, as they added 102 runs in 31 overs.
The visiting team still needs 96 runs to make Odisha bat again.
In Jammu, there was no play for the second straight day in the match between Jammu & Kashmir and Chhattisgarh. Also, the third day's play in Uttarkhand-Haryana fixture was abandoned.
In Agartala, Maharashtra scored 103 for 2 in the second innings and needs 101 more runs to secure a victory against Tripura.
Brief scores (at end of third day): Odisha 436 all out in 136.3 overs (Debabrata Pradhan 79, Abhishek Raut 71, Shantanu Mishra 66, Anurag Sarangi 58, Govinda Poddar 58; Arup Das 4/101, Ranjeet Mali 4/113) vs Assam 238 all out in 82.2 overs (Ranjeet Mali 59, Kunal Saikia 53, Riyan Parag 43, Rishav Das 37; Debaratra Pradhan 4/37) and 102 for no loss in 31 overs (Kunal Saikia 62 batting, Subham Mandal 40 batting).
At Jammu: Chhattisgarh 270 for 4 in 90 overs (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 116, Abhimanyu Chauhan 51) vs Jammu & Kashmir. (No play on third day).
At Dehradun: Uttarkhand 109 all out in 42 overs (Tinu Kundu 3/49) vs Haryana 50 for 5 in 21 overs (Agrim Tiwari 4/10). (No play on third day).
At Agartala: Tripura 121 all out in 38 overs (M B Murasingh 24; Manoj Ingale 6/34) and 290 all out in 90 overs (Pallab Das 77, Milind Kumar 67, Harmeet Singh 46, M B Mura Sinh 37; A Palkar 5/62, M G Choudhary 3/77) vs Maharashtra 208 all out in 64.2 overs (Vishant More 78 not out, Ankit Bawane 62, SM Gugale 34, VV More 30 batting; Mura Singh 3/246, AS Sarkar 3/59) and 103 for 2 in 29 overs (SM Gugale 55 batting).
At Delhi: Services 279 all out in 83.1 overs (Raushan Raj 79, Mohit Ahlawat 69, Pulkit Narang 38, Rajat Paliwal 38; Rahul Shukla 7/106) and 259 for 8 declared in 73 overs (Rahul Singh Gahlaut 82, Devender Lohchab 43) vs Jharkhand 153 all out in 53 overs (Sumit Kumar 38, Md Nazim 28; Diwesh Pathania 4/51, Raushan Raj 3/40) and 49 for 1 in 14 overs (Kumar Suraj 27 battng).
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