Mohali: In what has to be one of the most remarkable starts to a career, Punjab opener Jiwanjot Singh followed a monumental 213 on first-class debut last week with an unbeaten 102 to drive his team to 229 for 1 by stumps at the PCA Stadium on Saturday.
Having put on 288 for the opening wicket with Karan Goel against Hyderabad in round one, Jiwanjot featured in an unbeaten 206-run stand with Mayank Sidhana (107) that left the home side firmly in sight of taking a lead of Bengal. Goel’s dismissal for 12, bowled by Laxmi Ratan Shukla in the 13th over, was followed by Sidhana and Jiwanjot combining for a big stand that left Bengal frustrated. It was Sidhana’s second century in a 15-match career.
Earlier in the day Wriddhiman Saha had missed a century buy two runs as legspinner Rahul Sharma (4 for 53) helped keep the visitors to 326 from an overnight 280 for 7. Punjab, at the top of Group A, look set to add a few more points to their tall before this match is over.
Brief scores: Punjab 229 for 1 in 70 overs (Jiwanjot Singh 102*, Mayank Sidhana 107*) trail Bengal 326 in 108 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 98, Rahul Sharma 4/53) by 97 runs.
Hyderabad kept control of proceedings over Madhya Pradesh, who slipped to 44 for 3 in reply to the home side’s 341 which owed plenty to VVS Laxman’s 120.
The Hyderabad captain began the day on 70 in the company of Hanuma Vihari, but lost his young partner early in the day as Anand Rajan and Ishwar Pandey struck. From 165 for 2, Hyderabad stumbled to 219 for 6 but Laxman marched on to three figures. He was ninth out at 270, but the last-wicket pair of Mohammad Khader (35*) and Vishal Sharma (37) ensured themselves more runs to bowl at.
Khader and Pagadalu Naida each struck once as MP slipped to 25 for 2, and then Vihari prized out Zafar Ali as his second first-class wicket to send the visitors into a nervous third day.
Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh 44 for 3 in 22 overs trail Hyderabad 341 in 114.3 overs (VVS Laxman 120, Hanuma Vihari 81, Anand Rajan 4/64, Ishwar Pandey 4/88) by 297 runs.
Gujarat continued to pile on the misery for Saurashtra, declaring at 600 for 9 after Manpreet Juneja and Rujul Bhatt hit big centuries and Rakesh Dhurv swung his bat for a quick 65. At stumps in Surat, Saurashtra were staring at a mountain when 558 runs behind Parthiv Patel’s team.
From 278 for 5 on day one, Gujarat amassed a mammoth total with Juneja and Bhatt scoring their second first-class centuries respectively. The pair put on 239 for the sixth wicket, followed by Dhruv hitting a 59-ball 65 in a 107-run alliance with Bhatt, who was 160 when Parthiv declared. Ravindra Jadeja was the most successful bowler with figures of 41-11-125-4.
In 12 overs before stumps, Chirag Pathak and Bhushan Chauhan took Saurashtra to 42 for 0.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 42 for 0 in 12 overs trail Gujarat 600 for 9 in 165 overs (Rujul Bhatt 160*, Manpreet Juneja 159, Rakesh Dhurv 65) by 558 runs
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