Mumbai: Sarfaraz Khan hit an unbeaten century as Mumbai fought back on the third day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B game against Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.
UP had posted a mammoth 625/8 declared in their first essay, courtesy Upendra Yadav's unbeaten double hundred (203 not out).
Mumbai resumed the day on their overnight score of 20/2 and had a mountain to climb.
Thanks to a herculean effort by 'crisis man' Siddhesh Lad (98 off 174 balls; 10x4x1x6), who lived up to his billing and 22-year-old Sarfaraz (132 not out off 160 balls; 14x4; 4x6), the duo gave Mumbai chance to overhaul Uttar Pradesh first- innings score.
Overnight batsmen Bhupen Lalwani (43 off 80 balls; 5x4) and Hardik Tamore (51 off 94 balls; 10x4) had an uphill task on hand of surviving the morning session against the experienced Ankit Rajpoot and Yash Dayal.
They negated the challenge well and stitched a crucial 75-run stand for the third wicket.
Hardik Tamore, playing his second first-class game, hit a flurry of boundaries as the hosts surged ahead.
The two respected the good balls, while hammered the loose ones.
However, pacer Wajid Ali gave the visitors the much-needed break-through after he trapped Lalwani in front of the wicket as Mumbai lost their third wicket at 91.
Tamore then notched up his maiden first-class fifty by driving Ali through the covers for a four, but could not convert it into a big score.
Rajpoot broke through Tamore's defence to strike the middle-stump as Mumbai was 4-128, still behind by 497 runs.
Then Lad, who did not have a great season so far, and Sarfaraz joined hands as they conjured crucial 210-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Sarfaraz, who was playing against his former team Uttar Pradesh for the first time since his return to Mumbai, made the most of the opportunity which had come his way.
Lad and Sarfaraz took the Uttar Pradesh bowlers to task and once again rallied the innings.
While Lad played his usual game, Sarfaraz was more aggressive in his approach as they shared an unbroken 115-run stand till tea.
Mumbai went to tea at 243/4, 382 runs behind.
After tea, the duo kept frustrating the opposition bowlers and kept the score-board ticking.
Lad got a life on 77 when Wajid dropped a hard chance on his own bowling.
Sarfaraz completed his second first-class hundred off 107 balls with a fluent on-drive off Saurabh Kumar and then he was going all guns blazing.
He hammered consecutive sixes off pacer Wajid Ali as Mumbai reduced the deficit.
Lad, however, missed his ninth first-class hundred, after he was caught by Yadav off slow-left arm bowler Mohammed Saif.
He was dismissed at the fag-end of the day, after batting with Sarfaraz for 215 minutes.
Mumbai ended the day at 353/5, still adrift by 272 runs with Sarfaraz and Aditya Tare at the crease.
Brief Scores: Uttar Pradesh 625/8 declared v/s Mumbai 353/5 (Sarfaraz Khan 132 not out; Siddesh Lad 98; Ankit Rajpoot 3-63) Mumbai trailed by 272 runs.
At Dharamshala: Himachal Pradesh 496 v/s Baroda 150/2 (Vishnu Solanki 85 not out; Vaibhav Arora 1-42).
Baroda trailed by 346 runs.
At Indore: Saurashtra 344 and 165/2 (Harvik Desai 65 not out; Cheteshwar Pujara 64 not out; Avesh Khan 1-31) v/s Madhya Pradesh 280 (Venkatesh Iyer 75; Yash Dubey 74, Jaydev Unadkat 4-45).
Saurashtra lead by 229 runs.
Bengal thrash Hyderabad by an innings and 303 runs
Rookie spin all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed shone with a first-innings hat-trick in a six-wicket match haul as Bengal thrashed Hyderabad by an innings and 303 runs for their first win of the ongoing Ranji Trophy season on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old, who was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the 2020 edition of the IPL, claimed the feat in his seventh Ranji appearance.
Shahbaz (4/26) ran through the Hyderabad lower order to help his side bundle out the visitors for 171 in their first innings. Following on, Hyderabad were all out for 161 with Shahbaz (2/51) accounting for two batsmen.
Shahbaz became the seventh player from Bengal, and first since India pacer Mohammed Shami, to claim a Ranji Trophy hat-trick. Shami had achieved the milestone against Madhya Pradesh in 2012-13.
Rookie pacer Akash Deep (4/38) was the star in Hyderabad's second essay as Hyderabad were bundled out in 46.2 overs.
Bengal had scored 635 for seven declared in their first innings after electing to bat.
Having made his debut against Andhra three matches ago after Ashok Dinda was sacked for misconduct, Akash Deep took two wickets in his first two overs before his senior partner Mukesh Kumar (1/29) and Shahbaz got into the act to complete the victory inside three days.
Having lost to Vidarbha inside two days in their last outing, Bengal with this bonus-point victory (19 points from five matches) have now bounced back in contention for a knockout berth.
Done in by conditions at Eden Gardens where they drew two matches, Bengal had chosen this venue about 70 kilometres from their base in Kolkata as they finally secured their first win at home this season.
It all went as per the script with seniormost batsman Manoj Tiwary setting up a solid foundation with his maiden triple century (303 not out) in Bengal's massive total.
Then the young pace duo of Mukesh Kumar and Akash Deep set up the tempo taking six wickets, five of them in the final session on day two, making it an easier task for hat-trick man Shahbaz.
Bengal will take on Delhi at Eden Gardens from 27 January, which will be their last home match.
"We played immaculate cricket. Wicket didn't turn at all when we expected it to turn. Hats off to our pacers they bowled with a lot of venom. We won the match yesterday itself by taking five wickets," coach and mentor Arun Lal said.
"Two of our games washed out otherwise we would have been in the top of the table. The big positives were Shahbaz (49) and Arnab Nandi (65 not out). They are capable of getting hundreds. This is a sensational team," he said referring to their batting contributions in the first innings.
"If you add Ishan Porel, we would be one of the best bowling attacks of the country. All are young and all are fast. When your bowlers take 20 wickets you get the confidence."
Introduced in the 27th over, Shahbaz opened his account trapping Saketh Sairam (19). Amid the batting collapse, number six Jaweed Ali showed some fight with a fine half-century.
But Shahbaz bowled him out for 72 and went on to trap Ravi Kiran (0) and Kolla Sumanth (eight) with perfect left-arm orthodox spin to dismiss the visitors inside the first session. Earlier, Mukesh Kumar led the Bengal pace attack beautifully as he gave the first breakthrough in the fourth ball of the day, cleaning up Tanmay Agarwal in his overnight score of 10 after Hyderabad resumed the day on 83/5 in their first innings.
Continuing his marathon overnight spell, Mukesh finished with 3/37, while Akash Deep (3/66) could not add to his tally as it was the hattrick hero Shahbaz who ran through the tail.
Triple centurion Manoj Tiwary stood in as wicketkeeper in the post-lunch session, after Shreevats Goswami hurt his knee.
"It's just a niggle. Maybe a couple of days rest and he will be fine," Lal said.
The seniormost Bengal batsman looked sharp behind the stumps as he effected the caught-behind dismissal of Teja and also executed run outs of Ali and Mehid Hasan.
Brief Scores: Bengal 635/7 declared.
Hyderabad 171; 46.3 overs (Jaweed Ali 72; Shahbaz Ahmed 4/26, Mukesh Kumar 3/37, Akash Deep 3/66) and 161; 46.2 overs (Ravi Teja 53; Akash Deep 4/38).
Bengal won by an innings and 303 runs.
Jammu and Kashmir beat Odisha by four wickets
Jammu & Kashmir bounced back superbly after conceding a first innings lead to pull off a four-wicket win over Odisha on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match on Tuesday.
Resuming their second innings at 136 for seven, Odisha could add only 30 runs as Umar Nazir picked up the last three wickets — Rajesh Mohanty, Suryakant Pradhan and Rajesh Dhuper.
Chasing 204 for a win, J&K opener Suryansh Raina (69) and Shubam Pundir (45) added 79 runs for the third wicket to lay the platform for an easy win.
Abdul Samad with a knock of 30 not out and the first-innings bowling hero Aquib Nabi (26 not out) took the side over the finish line.
For the home team, Basant Mohanty bowled his heart out and picked up four wickets in the second innings but could not prevent J&K from romping home.
In Delhi, Services pulled off an exciting one-wicket win over Haryana despite being shot out for 97 in the first innings.
Odisha 161 all out in 64.3 overs (Shubhranshu Senapati 42; Aquib Nabi 5/39) and 166 all out in 67.3 overs (Shantanu Mishra 26, Anurag Sarangi 26; Umar Nazir 5/72, Auqib Nabi 2/40) lost to J&K 124 all out in 45 overs (Shubham Khajuria 40; Basant Mohanty 4/42) and 205 for 6 in 65.3 overs (Suryansh Raina 69, SS Pundir 45, Abdul Samad 30 not out; DB Pradhan 4/48) by four wickets.
At Ranchi: Uttarakhand 227 all out in 53.2 overs (Saurabh Rawat 66, Tanmay Srivastava 49; Ajay Yadav 6/55, Ashish Kumar 4/52) and 273 all out in 72.2 overs (Saurabh Rawat 110; Ashish Kumar 5/61, Shahbaz Nadeem 3/67) vs Jharkhand 298 all out in 87 overs (Kumar Deobrat 85, K Suraj 57; Mayank Mishra 5/100) and 76 for 1 in 21 overs (Kumar Deobrat 33 batting).
At Guwahati: Maharashtra 175 all out in 43.4 overs (Ankit Bawane 75, SS Bachhav 40; Arup Das 4/66, Ranjeet Mali 4/55) and 365 for 9 declared in 111.3 overs (JS Pande 130, VV More 57, SS Bachhav 51 not out; Ranjeet Mali 5/123) vs Assam 244 all out in 78.1 overs (Rishav Das 94; SS Bachhav 4/44) and 12 for no loss in 6 overs.
At Delhi: Haryana 176 and 133 lost to Services 97 all out in 24.5 overs and 215 for 9 in 61.1 overs (G Rahul Singh 115; AK Hooda 3/60, Harshal Patel 3/69).
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