Ranji Trophy roundup: Rishabh Pant's triple ton goes in vain, Punjab win, Tamil Nadu stage comeback
Here's a roundup of all the Ranji Trophy action from Sunday.
Rishabh Pant hits triple ton but Maharashtra take lead
Mumbai: Diminutive Delhi stumper Rishabh Pant slammed a brilliant triple hundred but it went in vain as Maharashtra took the all-important first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Group B match that ended in a draw.
Pant compiled 308 off only 326 balls laced with as many as 9 sixes and 42 fours and brought Delhi very close to Maharashtra's huge first innings score of 635 for 2 declared.
However, he fell in trying to hit a 10th six, one ball after he had lofted left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav over the rope, when Delhi were 58 runs behind Maharashtra's first innings total.
The dismissal of Pant, who had kept wickets over the first two days and then came down to bat at No.5 when Delhi were 135 for 3, ended his team's hopes as Maharashtra polished off the remaining three wickets for 13 runs to terminate the northern team's first innings at 590 for a lead of 45.
In the remaining time, Maharashtra made 58 without loss before the game was called off by mutual consent.
This morning when Delhi resumed at the overnight 376 for 5 with Pant on 155, the team's main hopes rested on the pint-sized left-handed Pant.
And he kept Maharashtra on tenterhooks by hitting an array of fours and sixes while adding 182 runs in just 191 minutes with Varun Sood who went on to remain unconquered on 32 after a stay of 228 minutes.
Delhi were 493 for 6 at lunch with Pant having reached 250 and then he became the third youngest batsman behind Wasim Jaffer of Mumbai and Abhinav Mukund of Tamil Nadu to reach the landmark of 300 with a single in 320 balls and 503 minutes.
The wicketkeeper-batsman had struck 14 fours and a six to race from 200 to 300 at better than run a ball on a perfect track.
Maharashtra, worried till then, were overjoyed when Pant, after heaving Bachhav to long off by leaving his crease, tried to repeat the shot, missed connecting and was stumped. He had hit the spinner for five sixes.
Maharashtra secured three points.
Maharashtra 635 for 2 decl. and 58 for no loss (H Khadiwale not out 38, C Khurana not out 19). Delhi 590 (D Shorey 71, N Rana 44, R Pant 308, Milind Kumar 45, V Sood not out 32; M Sayyed 3 for 121, C Khurana 3 for 143).
Yuvraj Singh leads from front as Punjab win by 126 runs
Rohtak: In-form skipper Yuvraj Singh's sporting declaration paid off as his bowlers fired in unison to help Punjab bundle out Madhya Pradesh for 180 and notch up a 126-run win in their Group A Ranji Trophy match.
Chasing 307 runs for an outright victory, Madhya Pradesh were bowled out in 64.4 overs at the CH Bansi Lal Cricket
Pacer Manprit Gony was the wrecker-in-chief for Punjab, returning figures of 4/41, while Siddarth Kaul (3/42) and Sandeep Sharma (2/25) provided the much-needed support at the other end.
Punjab will pick six points for the outright win.
Shubham Sharma top scored for Madhya Pradesh with 37, while the experienced captain Devendra Bundela contributed 32 as none of the MP batsmen could score a half century in the face of some disciplined bowling from Punjab.
On Saturday, first-innings centurion Yuvraj produced another fine knock (76) before the captain declared their second innings to set Madhya Pradesh a target of 307 on the third and penultimate day.
Madhya Pradesh were 26 for one overnight and needing another 281, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Points: Punjab 6, Madhya Pradesh 0.
Tamil Nadu register brilliant come from behind win vs Railways
Bilaspur: Tamil Nadu overcame their first innings batting woes to record a facile 174-run win over Railways in a Ranji Trophy group league encounter.
Considering Tamil Nadu were bowled out for 121 in the first innings and conceded a lead of 52 runs, it was a brilliant fightback by Abhinav Mukund's boys.
Chasing a target of 401, Railways starting the day on 108 for no loss, were all-out for 226 in 82.2 overs as the last five wickets fell for only for 4 runs.
Off-spinner Malolan Rangarajan had best figures of 4/37 while seamers Jagannathan Kousik (2/17) and Thangarasu Natarajan (2/51) also chipped in with useful wickets.
Railways had a batting collapse on the day despite century from opener Saurabh Wakaskar (120) and 52 from Shivakant Shukla.
Once Shukla was out on his overnight score in the first over of the final morning, cleaned by Kousik, there was no stopping Tamil Nadu bowlers, who got wickets at regular intervals.
Mrunal Devdhar (6), Vasaimudi Chlevuraj (6) and Arindam Ghosh (15) and Mahesh Rawat (2) were dismissed cheaply as Railways were 196 for five. From there on, things only went downhill.
Tamil Nadu 121 and 452/8 decl.
Railways 173 and (target 401) 226 in 82.2 overs (Saurabh Wakaskar 120, Shivakant Shukla 52, Malolan Rangarajan 4/37)
Tamil Nadu won by 174 runs.
TN 6; Railways 0.
Easwaran shines brightly as Bengal start with 3 points vs UP
Jaipur: Young Abhimanyu Easwaran scored his second century of the match as Bengal logged home three points against Uttar Pradesh by virtue of their first innings lead in a drawn Ranji Trophy group league encounter.
After securing a vital 56-run first innings lead, Bengal employed a safety-first approach declaring at 274 for six in 76 overs leaving UP with an improbable target of 331.
The two captains shook hands when UP scored 70 for no loss in 20 overs. UP got a point from the game.
Just like the first day, the final day also belonged right-handed opener Easwaran carried his bat through the innings with an unbeaten 110 following his 142 in the first innings.
This was his third first-class hundred and batted for a period of more five and quarter hours, facing 209 balls. There were 11 boundaries in his innings.
He added 115 for the first wicket with left-hander Sayan Sekhar Mondal (51), who is enjoying his new role, hitting his fourth half-century in his 13th first-class match.
He also added 145 runs for the fifth wicket with Shreevats Goswami, who raced his way to a 91-ball-100, punishing a jaded UP attack with 17 boundaries and a six. This is Goswami's second hundred in 31 games.
There was a mini-collapse in the Bengal second innings triggered by Kuldeep Yadav (4/107) as UP were reduced to 115 for no loss to 129 for five.
However Shreevats showed his attacking instincts as Easwaran again held anchore at one end to ensure safety for Bengal.
Bengal 466 and 274/6 decl (Abhimanyu Easwaran 110 no, Shreevats Goswami 100 no, Sayan Sekhar Mondal
51, Kuldeep Yadav 4/107)
Uttar Pradesh 410 & 70/0. Match Drawn.
Bengal 3; Uttar Pradesh 1.
Chhattisgarh earn 3 points against Andhra
Kalyani: Chhattisgarh picked up three points on the basis of taking the first-innings lead as their Group C Ranji Trophy match against Andhra ended in a draw.
Andhra were 282 for eight in their second innings when the match ended on the fourth and final day at the Bengal Cricket Academy Ground.
Srikar Bharat top-scored for Andhra with 57, while Hanuma Vihari made 51. DB Ravi Teja missed out on a half century by a run, while K Ashwin Hebbar made 45.
For Chhattisgarh, Ajay Mandal was the most successful bowler, picking up three wickets in 48 overs in which he conceded just 30 runs.
Chhattisgarh 3, Andhra 1.
Karnataka vs Jharkhand match ends in draw
Greater Noida: Karnataka did not impose a follow-on against Jharkhand despite taking a huge first innings lead as their Group B Ranji Trophy match ended in a predictable draw.
Riding on Ishan Kishan's brilliant unbeaten 159, Jharkhand were all out for 374 in their first innings in the morning session in reply to Karnataka's 577 for 6 declared.
But surprisingly, Karnataka did not force a follow-on despite taking a 203-run first innings lead at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground.
Karnataka batted for the second time and they were 162 for 3 in 53.4 overs on the fourth and final day and predictably the match ended in a draw.
Karun Nair and Kunain Abbas remained not out 54 and 51 respectively as the two teams decided to call off the match.
Nair's 54 not out came from 86 balls and was studded with six boundaries while Abbas faced 97 deliveries for his 51 not out and hit eight fours and one six.
For Jharkhand, Samar Quadri took three wickets for 62 runs.
Earlier, Jharkhand added 65 runs today after resuming at 309 for 6. Overnight centurion Ishan Kishan added 42 runs to remain not out on 159. He hit 16 fours and seven sixes while facing 211 balls.
Karnataka collected three points for taking the first innings lead while Jharkhand got one.
Karnataka: 577/6 declared & 162/3 in 53.4 overs (Karun Nair 54 not out; Kunain Abbas 51 not out)
Jharkhand: 374 all out in 115.1 overs (Ishan Kishan 159 not out; Krishnappa Gowtham 3/97, Shreyas Gopal 3/114).
Haryana enjoy eight-wicket win over Hyderabad
Jamshedpur: Paceman Mohit Sharma ripped apart the middle and lower order in a five wicket haul as Haryana celebrated a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Hyderabad to take six points from their Group C Ranji Trophy match.
Hyderabad resumed the day at 102 for five and Haryana bowled them out for 224, built around Kolla Sumanth's 55 and Chama Milind's unbeaten 66.
Mohit took four of the five wickets that fell in the day as he removed M Sumanth (0), Kolla, Vishal Sharma (0) and M Ravi Kiran (0).
Haryana needed only 85 runs to win which they scored in 16.4 overs with opener Nitin Saini scoring 45 from 72 balls and Chaitanya Bishnoi scoring an unbeaten 20.
Hyderabad: 191 and 224 all out in 83.5 overs (Chama Milind 66 not out, Kolla Sumanth 55; M Sharma 5/26)
Haryana: 331 and 85 for 2 in 16.4 overs. (N Saini 45, C Bishnoi 20 not out; M Siraj 1/18).
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