Cuttack Medium-pacer Imtiaz Ahmed took his second five-wicket haul of the match to bowl Uttar Pradesh to a 43-run win over hosts Odisha, taking his team to top of Group B with a season-best 33 points and ensuring them a place in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals Ahmed’s fine performance sealed the win before lunch on the third day at the Barabati Stadium, meaning that 40 wickets had fallen in less than seven sessions.
Odisha resumed day three on 53 for 4, still 92 runs away from victory. The first wicket to fall was that of Deepak Behera for 7, dismissed by medium-pacer Ankit Rajpoor (72 for 4). Then it was Ahmed’s turn to do damage, and he began by removing the innings top-scorer Govind Podder for 36 and wicketkeeper Halhadar Das (5) for his fourth and fifth wickets. Rajpoot had Odisha captain Natraj Behera caught behind for 5 and handed Basant Mohanty a duck. The last wicket fell at 101 in the 38th over when Ali Murtaza dismissed Lagnajit Samal for 13.
This win was UP’s fourth of the season, and signaled the end of Odisha’s chances for the knockouts. This win leaves Baroda and Karnataka as the likely Group B teams to join UP in the quarters, and ensures UP will face a team from Group C for a semi-final spot.
Brief scores: Uttar Pradesh 160 and 111 beat Odisha 127 and 101 (Imtiaz Ahmed 5/29, Ankit Rajpoot 3/42) by 43 runs
Delhi vs Vidarbha:
In Nagpur, Delhi bowlers produced a collective effort as they enforced follow-on upon Vidarbha on the third day. In reply to Delhi's mammoth first innings score of 523 for nine declared, hosts were all out for 257 thereby conceding a huge lead of 266 runs. Being put into bat again, Vidarbha were one for no loss at stumps.
On Monday, none of the Vidarbha batsmen save veteran Hemang Badani (68) could make an impact. Pacers Sumit Narwal, Pradeep Sangwan, left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra and all-rounder Rajat Bhatia took two wickets apiece while fast bowler Vikas Tokas got another wicket.
Shikhar Dhawan and co will be aiming to record an innings victory which will take them to 24 points and ensure a smooth passage into the knock-out stages. Even if they get six points, it would mean that they finish on 23 points and would even qualify in that case.
Brief scores: Delhi 523 for 9 decl. Vidarbha 257 (Hemang Badani 68, Sumit Narwal 2 for 27, Vikas Mishrs 2 for 38) & 1 for 0 (f/o).
Karnataka vs Maharashtra:
In Pune, Harshad Khadiwale scored a well-made century as, following on, Maharashtra produced a much-better batting effort to finish day three on 315 for two against Karnataka.
Khadiwale scored 136 off 193 balls with the help of 19 boundaries and a lone six, while Sangram Dilip Atitkar (78) and Ankit Bawne (80 not out) also made fine contributions with the bat to keep Maharashtra in the game. HS Sharath and Syed Khaja Moinuddin picked up a wicket each for Karnataka.
Earlier resuming at the overnight score of 58 for one, Maharashtra were bundled out for a meagre 99 in their first innings in reply to Karnataka's 572 for nine declared. Medium-pacer Abhimanyu Mithun scalped six wickets for 36 runs, while Stuart Binny picked up four for 37.
At stumps on the penultimate day of the match, Maharashtra still trail Karnataka by 158 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Brief scores: Karnataka 1st Innings: 572 for nine decl; Maharshtra: 99 & 315 for two in 74 overs (Harshad Khadiwale 136, Ankit Bawne 80, Sangram Dilip Atitkar 78; H S Sharath 1 for 54).
Tamil Nadu vs Haryana:
In Chennai, India discard Dinesh Karthik notched up a brilliant 187 to help Tamil Nadu declare their first innings at 571 for six against Haryana.
Resuming at 181 for three, overnight batsmen Dinesh forged 105 runs with Arun Karthik (54) for the fourth wicket and then starred in another 184-run partnership for the 6th wicket with Vijay Shankar (not out 100). Dinesh blasted 17 fours and three sixes in his 296-ball innings. He was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal in the 158th over following a catch by Jayant Yadav.
Overnight batsman Arun was the first batsman to be dismissed today when he was caught by Nitin Saini off Mohit Sharma in the 93rd over. His 123-ball innings was studded with seven boundaries.
Replying to TN's first innings total, Haryana were seven without loss in three overs. Saini (2) and Rahul Dhawan (5) were at the crease at the stumps.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu first innings 570 for six decl (D Karthik not out 187; M Sharma 2 for 77). Haryana first innings: 7 for no loss.
(With inputs from agencies)