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Ranji Trophy semifinals: Naman Ojha's resists Mumbai's charge; Pujara ton puts Saurashtra on driving seat

Mumbai hold slight edge against MP

Cuttack: Mumbai held a slight edge reducing Madhya Pradesh to 197 for five in their Ranji Trophy cricket semifinal after being bowled out for 371 in their first innings on Sunday.

At stumps on the second day of the match at the DRIEMS Ground, Madhya Pradesh trailed by 174 runs with five wickets remaining. Mumbai were bowled out in 102.5 overs in their first essay after MP chose to bowl on winning the toss on day 1.

Middle-order batsman Naman Ojha stood firm with a solid 79 off 182 balls, as Madhya Pradesh ended the day reasonably well placed after being 78 for four at one stage. Ojha found the fence 11 times during his unbeaten knock.

File image of Naman Ojha. AFP

File image of Naman Ojha. AFP

The other contributors for Madhya Pradesh were Rajat Patidar (33) and Harpreet Singh (36), though they would be disappointed to miss out on big scores after settling down.

The start was bad for MP, but three half-century stands or the third, fifth and sixth wicket steadied the ship. For the record, wicketkeeper Ojha was involved in all the partnerships.

Ankit Dane (27 off 46) was giving Ojha company when the stumps were drawn.

The 40-time Ranji Trophy champions were overnight 327 for seven with Siddesh Lad and Shardul Thakur at the crease.

While Lad added only three runs this morning to get out for 60, Thakur made 27 off 38 balls. Lad struck 11 fours during his 125-ball knock.

Medium pacer Chandrakant Sakure was the most successful bowler for Madhya Pradesh, returning figures of five for 137 in 29.5 overs.

On Saturday, Shreyas Iyer struck a sublime 90 to take Mumbai to 327 for seven.

Iyer combined with opener Bhavin Thakkar (30) to share an 88-run stand before Aditya Tare (68) and Abhishek Nayar (43) played handy knock to give their team a solid start to the semifinal.

Brief scores: Mumbai 371 all out in 102.5 overs (Shreyas Iyer 90, Aditya Tare 68; Siddesh Lad 60; Chandrakant Sakure 5/137, Ishwar Pandey 2/34)

Madhya Pradesh: 197 for five 75 overs (Naman Ojha 79; Balwinder Sandhu 2.41).

Pujara's ton give Saurashtra upper hand against Assam

Vadodara: Cheteshwar Pujara remained unbeaten on 116 to hand Saurashtra the all-important first innings in a semifinal encounter of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament on Sunday.

At stumps on the second day, Saurashtra made 254 for five in 82 overs in reply to Assam's 234 all out.

File image of Cheteshwar Pujara. AFP

File image of Cheteshwar Pujara. AFP

Pujara was highlight of Saurashtra's innings as he scored his runs of 212 deliveries with the help of 15 boundaries and one six.

Chirag Jani (29 not out) was giving Pujara company at the crease at the close of play.

Besides Pujara, Sheldon Jackson (47) and Avi Barot (35) were the other notable run getters for Saurashtra.

For Assam, Arup Das picked up three wickets giving away 68 runs.

Earlier resuming at the overnight score of 193 for seven, Assam managed to add just 41 runs before being bowled out.

Overnight half centurion Amit Verma (98) added 24 runs to his last night's tally before being bowled out just two runs short of his century.

With Verma's dismissal Assam fight came to a halt as they were dismissed in 87 overs.

Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat shone with the ball for Saurashtra with figures of six for 77 while Hardik Rathod (3/56) scalped three wickets.

Brief Scores:

Assam: 234 all out in 87 overs (Amit Verma 98, KB Arun Karthik 59; Jaydev Unadkat 6/77).

Saurashtra: 254 for five in 82 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 116 not out, Arup Das 3/68).


Updated Date: Feb 14, 2016 23:20 PM

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