Rajkot: Chesteshwar Pujara stroked his way to an unbeaten double century as Saurashtra brightened their chances of making the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy after setting Madhya Pradesh an improbable 411-run target for an outright win in their Group A match on Monday.
Chasing the target, Madhya Pradesh were reduced to 89 for two on the penultimate day and the visitors now require another 322 runs with eight wickets remaining on the lst day of the match on Tuesday. Opener Jalaj Saxena (46 batting) and Rameez Khan (4 batting) were at the crease when stumps were drawn for the day.
Saurashtra, currently placed fifth on the table with 17 points, would look for an outright victory to earn the vital six points and finish among the top three teams from Group A.
Pujara's 221-ball unbeaten knock was laced with 30 fours and a six.
Brief scores: Saurashtra242 all out and 303 for 4 (Pujara 203 not out, Pandey 3 for 51); MP 135 all out and 89 for 2 (Saxena 46 not out, Jadeja 1 for 17).
Rajasthan vs Hyderabad: read Navneet Mundhra’s match report here.
Gujarat vs Mumbai:
Mumbai are all but sure to make the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy as they took a huge 203-run lead against Gujarat and then reduced the visitors to 159 for five in their second innings. Mumbai can even force an outright win if they take the remaining five Gujarat wickets early and then overhaul the target quickly.
Gujarat are still trailing by 44 runs with Manprit Juneja (39) at the crease. Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel and Manprit steadied the ship after the visitors lost three early wickets. They added 78 runs for the fourth wicket.
Centurion in the first innings' Patel scored a run-a-ball 47, packed with four fours and a six, before being caught in the first slip by his counterpart Wasim Jaffer. Gujarat soon lost Rujul Bhatt (8), who came into bat for Patel in the last over, with Juneja still batting at 39.
Pacer Javed Khan, who shared the new ball with Dhawal Kulkarni, and Ankeet Chavan scalped two wickets each while Suryakumar Yadav picked up a wicket.
Brief score: Gujarat: 244 and 159 for 5 (Parthiv Patel 47, Manpreet Juneja 39 batting; Javed Khan 2 for 22, Ankeet Chavan 2 for 59) Mumbai 1st Innings 447 all out (Wasim Jaffer 171, Hiken Shah 82; Rush Kalaria 3 for 80, Kushang Patel 3 for 79).
Railways vs Bengal:
In Kolkata, hosts Bengal face an uphill task of surviving the whole of fourth day against Railways in order to avoid a fourth outright defeat. Railways set a daunting target of 372 and Bengal were in a spot of bother as they finished the final day at 13 for one needing another 359 for victory.
Railways scored 314 for nine in their second innings largely due to a 98-run ninth wicket stand between glovesman Mahesh Rawat (75 no) and all-rounder Krishna Kant Upadhyay (55 no).
Railways' Go To Man' Rawat hit seven boundaries in his 128 ball knock while Upadhyay chanced his arm as he smacked nine boundaries en route his maiden first-class half century.
Amit Paunikar (54) helped himself to another half-century while Shivakant Shukla (39) also made useful contribution adding 74 runs for the opening wicket. While the middle-order didn't perform well but still Railways managed to reach 216 for eight when Upadhyay joined Rawat.
Brief scores: Railways 214 & 314 for 9 (Mahesh Rawat 75 no, Krishna Kant Upadhyay 55 no, Amit Paunikar 54, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala 3 for 42). Bengal 157 all out.
(With inputs from agencies)