Jaipur: Inspired by experienced seamer Sumit Mathur's six wickets, hosts Rajasthan finally achieved their first win of the season, albeit too later, by beating Saurashtra by 229 runs at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Having declared their second innings at 241 for 4 in 70 overs, after former India opener Aakash Chopra missed a century by two runs, Rajasthan proceeded to steamroll the visitors. Led from the front y Mathur, the bowlers skittled out Saurashtra for a paltry 143. Debutant seamer Rituraj Singh struck the first blow by getting Chirag Pathak to edge behind for 17, Pankaj Singh struck to get Sagar Jogiyani, and then it was over to Mathur. Bowling his unassuming brand of stump-to-stump medium-pace, Mathur reduced Saurashtra from 51 for 2 to 110 for 6. Among his wickets was India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, lbw for 19, and skipper Jaydev Shah, who top-scored with 35. From there it was all one-way traffic as the three pace bowlers bundled out the visitors.
Rajasthan took five points from the match to keep alive their slim hopes of a place in the knock-outs, while Saurashtra remain one place ahead of them with 11 points.
Orissa, were relegated after a draw at the Karnail Singh Stadium against the Railways.
"Everything went according to our plans,” said Kanitkar after the match. “It was also because our boys got a very good wicket to bowl on and they bowled at right areas. If we can manage an outright victory over Orissa in our last match we can hope for a berth in the knock out round.”
Brief Scores: Rajasthan 396 and 241 for 4 in 70 overs (Aakash Chopra 89, Hrishikesh Kanitkar 52) beat Saurashtra 265 and 143 all out in 56.5 overs (Sumit Mathur 6/33) by 229 runs.
Juneja double-century in vain, TN secure knock-out spot
In Ahmedabad, Manprit Juneja became only the fourth Indian to score a double-century on first-class debut as Gujarat earned a draw against Tamil Nadu, but it was not enough to stop the visitors taking the first-innings lead. Gujarat, in reply to TN's total of 698, were eventually bowled out for 539 in 146 overs - a deficit of 159 runs.
Juneja, 21, joined Amol Muzumdar, Anshuman Pandey and Gundappa Viswanath as Indian batsmen to score a double-century on debut. Juneja had played eight List A games previously and had a highest score of 64. He who resumed the final day on 84 and was comfortable against a jaded bowling attack and reached his century in 177 deliveries. His next hundred runs came in 126 balls, an indication of the manner in which he tucked into the bowling on offer on a placid Motera track. Assisting him with were Pratharesh Parmar (66) and Jesal Karia, who raced to a career-best 72 off 74 balls.
Having taken the lead, TN in their second innings sped to 100 in 14 overs with first innings double-centurion scoring a brisk 42 and Murali Vijay atoning for his 0 in the first essay with 57 from 45 balls. Had Gujarat batted through the day, TN would not have got any points. Table-toppers TN have now successfully progressed to the knock-out, while Gujarat have moved out of last place.
Brief score: Tamil Nadu 693 for 8 and 100 for 0 in 14 overs (Murali Vijay 57 not out, Abhinav Mukund 42 not out) drew with Ahmedabad 539 all out in 146 overs (Manprit Juneja 201 not out, Priyank Panchal 80, Pratharesh Parmar 66, Jesal Karia 72).
Powar's five keeps Mumbai going
In Lucknow, Mumbai secured vital first-innings points by bowling out hosts Uttar Pradesh for 312, with veteran offspinner Ramesh Powar snaring five wickets for the 24th time in his first-class career.
Trailing Mumbai by 248 runs when the final day began, UP lost eight wickets for 146 runs with opener Bhuvneshwar Kumar out in the third over while adding just one run to his overnight 61. Powar bowled Parvinder Singh for 51, and only Suresh Raina managed a decent score as UP proceeded to stumble. Raina’s dismissal for 52 sparked a collapse of three wickets for three runs, before Eklayva Dwivedi (26 not out) and RP Singh (31) attempted a revival. However, Powar dashed UP’s hopes with five wickets to secure Mumbai a lead of 102.
Mumbai rounded off the draw having lost two wickets inside six overs. With 20 points, they are tied with leaders Karnataka.
Brief score: Mumbai 414 all out and 11 for 2 in 1o overs drew with Uttar Pradesh 312 all out in 95.5 overs (Bhuvneshwar Kumar 62, Suresh Raina 52, Parvinder Singh 51; Ramesh Powar 5/69).
Railways in command, Orissa relegated after draw
Hosts Railways kept their chances of progressing to the knock-out round of the competition alive after claiming the first-innings lead over Orissa, who were relegated after a draw at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi.
Leading for the home team were Murali Kartik (3 for 73) and Krishna Kank Upadhyay (2 for 69) as Railways shot out Orissa for 331 to hand Railways a 48-run lead. From 294 for 5, the overnight pair of Abhilash Mullick (51) and Govind Podder (44) added 93 runs before the latter was bowled by Upadhyay who then removed Lagnajit Samal for a duck. In the remaining 51 overs, Shreyas Khanolkar scored an unbeaten 50 out of second-innings total of 113 for 2.
Orissa, with only two points from six games, will now play in the Plate Division next season as six points against Rajasthan in their final fixture can only earn them a maximum of eight points. Railways now have 13 points and an outright win against Saurashtra in their last game can ensure a safe passage to the last eight.
Brief Scores Railways 379 and 113 for 2 in 51 overs (Shreyas Khanolkar 50 not out) drew with Orissa 331 all out in 150. overs (Abhilash Mullick 51, Govind Podder 44; Murali Kartik 3/73).
Tiwary delivers Bengal lead in draw
Thanks to a splendid effort from Manoj Tiwary, hosts Bengal gained the first-innings lead and with it three points though the match at Eden Gardens petered out into a draw. Tiwary had scored a valiant unbeaten 163 by stumps on day three, and resuming the morning with 35 runs to go past Delhi, with two wickets in hand, the target was achieved.
Tiwary was aided doggedly by the No. 10 Veer Pratap Singh, who scored 15 off 51 balls as the lead was taken. Tiwary fell for 187, after which the innings was declared at 397 for 9. In the remaining 57 overs in the day, Delhi scored 186 for 3 with Puneet Bisht (57), skipper Mithun Manhas (52 not out) and Yogesh Nagar (50 not out) scoring half-centuries.
Brief Score: Delhi 392 and 186 for 3 in 45 overs (Puneet Bisht 57, Mithun Manhas 52 not out, Yogesh Nagar 50 not out) drew with Bengal 397 for 9 in 124.4 overs (Manoj Tiwary 187; Pradeep Sangwan 5/107).
Kaul century lights up Punjab-Karnataka draw
In Bangalore, a draw played out between Punjab and Karnataka after the visitors declared their innings at 274 for 8. Uday Kaul scored an unbeaten 100 and Mayank Sidhana 73 as Punjab’s batsmen opted for batting practice. Set an improbable 351 to win, Karnataka closed at 157 for 1 with Robin Uthappa smacking 68 from 66 balls and fellow opener KB Pawan a more sedate unbeaten 57. Though they conceded the first-innings lead for the first time this season, Karnataka remained atop the Group A points table.
Brief scores: Punjab 357 and 274 for 8 in 87.2 overs (Uday Kaul 100 not out, Mayank Sidhana 73; NC Aiyappa 4/71) drew with Karnataka 281 and 157 for 1 in 34 overs (Robin Uthappa 66, KB Pawan 57 not out).
Haryana’s middle order staves off Madhya Pradesh
In Rohtak, hosts Haryana batted out the entire final day to ensure their match against Madhya Pradesh ended in a draw. Beginning the day on 147 for 2 – 214 runs behind MP – Haryana were indebted to their middle-order trio of Prateek Pawar (84), Sachin Rana (54) and Priyank Tehlan (34) as they finished on 346 for 7.
MP would have entertained thoughts of an outright win when TP Sudhindra – who took a career-best seven wickets in the first innings – dismissed overnight batsman Sunny Singh for the addition of a single run to his total, but Haryana’s middle order held off the opposition admirably. With three points from the match, Madhya Pradesh moved to second place on the Group B points table.
Brief score: Madhya Pradesh 487 drew with Haryana 126 all out and 346 for 7 in 135 overs (Prateek Pawar 84, Sachin Rana 54, Priyank Tehlan 34).