Bengal’s most potent match winner Ashok Dinda rose to the occasion when it mattered the most as his five-wicket burst ensured a 43-run win against Railways in a Ranji Trophy Group A league encounter in Dharamsala.
Needing 119 runs on the final day with five wickets in hand to reach a victory target of 315, Railways could manage 271 in 93.2 overs largely due to Dinda’ s 5/67.
Bengal are now firmly on course for a knockout berth with 15 points in their kitty with two outright wins and three points by virtue of first innings lead in a drawn match.
En route his 20th five-wicket haul in first class cricket, Dinda also completed a match haul of 10 wickets (10/112) having taken 5/45 in first innings.
It was a tricky final day as Mahesh Rawat (34) and skipper Karn Sharma (54 not out) came out to bat. The score was 186 for five and the second new ball was just an over old.
Using the conditions and his ability to hit the deck hard to perfection, Dinda employed a fuller length which did the trick.
First to go was Rawat who got a delivery that caught him plumb in-front. Once the 54-run stand came to an end, the floodgates opened as Dinda demolished the lower half in an unchanged 6.2 over spell.
While Karn chanced his arm at the other end, there was no support for him. Amit Mishra (5) edged an away going delivery to skipper Manoj Tiwary in the slips. Dipak Bansal (1) nicked one to Wriddhiman Saha.
Anureet Singh (10) and Karan Thakur (1) were then cleaned up as it turned out to be a perfect match for Bengal pace trio led by Dinda. Youngsters Amit Kuila and Sayan Ghosh got five wickets apiece as the three pacers bagged all 20 wickets in the match.
Brief Scores: Bengal: 205 & 214, Railways: 105 & 271 in 93.2 overs (Shivakant Shukla 83, Karn Sharma 54 not out, Arindam Ghosh 51, Ashok Dinda 5/67)
Points: Bengal 6; Railways 0.
Yuvraj slams double ton as Punjab collect 3 points
Skipper Yuvraj Singh notched up a fine double century as Punjab surpassed Baroda’s huge first-innings total with ease to collect three points from their Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match.
Punjab secured three points, as against Baroda’s one, on the basis of taking the first-innings lead at the Feroz Shah Kotla on the fourth and final day of the high-scoring game.
Owing to the out-of-favour India all-rounder Yuvraj’s 260, his second century of the season, and opener Manan Vohra’s 224, Punjab piled up a mammoth 670 before being bowled out.
Even as the match headed for a draw, Baroda batted a second time and scored 37 for no loss in 14 overs before it was called off.
For Baroda, left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh picked up 4/169 bowling 51 overs, while off-spinner Vishnu Solanki took 3/151, including the wicket of Yuvraj.
During their stay in the middle, Yuvraj and Vohra added 343 runs for the third wicket at nearly fours runs an over.
The left-handed Yuvraj then quickly put on 116 runs for the fourth wicket with Gurkeerat Singh (55) to help Punjab go past Baroda’s first-innings total of 529 all out and pave the way for securing three points.
Punjab were overnight 452/2 with Vohra and Yuvraj batting on 201 and 179 respectively.
While Yuvraj slammed 26 boundaries and four sixes during his fluent knock that came off 370 balls, Vohra found the fence 20 times and cleared it twice in his 386-ball innings.
Points: Punjab 3, Baroda 1.
TN fails to secure outright win against MP
Tamil Nadu failed to register an outside win over Madhya Pradesh despite enforcing follow-on as the latter rode on half-centuries from Shubham Sharma and Harpreet Singh to at least garner a point in the Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match.
Following on, Madhya Pradesh ended their second innings at 222 for five in 78 overs as the game ended in a draw.
At one stage it looked, Tamil Nadu were on course for an outright win with Madhya Pradesh totetting at 44 for four. But Shubham (77 not out) and Harpreet (52) forged a valiant partnership to take their team out of trouble.
Shubham and Harpreet shared 109-run partnership for the fifth wicket to take Madhya Pradesh out of trouble.
Wicket-keeper Ankit Dane (33 not out) also played a good hand in the company of Shubham.
Tamil Nadu take home three points from the match by virtue of first innings lead while Madhya Pradesh had to be satisfied with one point.
Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu 1st innings: 555 for seven decl. Madhya Pradesh: 273 & 222 for five in 78 overs (Shubham Sharma 77 not out; R Aushik Srinivas 3/40)
Hardik’s 7-72 help Gujarat beat UP by 132 runs
Hardik Patel produced a sensational seven-wicket haul as Gujarat defeated Uttar Pradesh by 132 runs to grab six points from their Ranji Trophy Group A match at the Model Sports Complex in Palam A Ground.
Playing only his fifth first-class match, Hardik returned with career-best figures of 31.5-11-72-7 on the fourth and final day to leave Uttar Pradesh gasping for breath.
Resuming their second innings at 186/5, Gujarat lost their remaining five wickets for just 15 runs to set Uttar Pradesh a victory target of 308.
Shrugging off the morning blues, Gujarat then returned to bowl out Uttar Pradesh for 175 in 76.5 overs.
With this win, Gujarat zoomed to the top of the points table with 15 points from three matches.
Chasing 308, Uttar Pradesh made a watchful start but Hardik dismissed opener Eklavya Dwivedi (14) in the 7th over and then sent Samarth Singh (21) packing in the 19th over to leave UP at 61-2.
Rush Kalaria then removed Sarfaraz Khan (16) and Ishwar Choudhary then got rid of the other opener Tanmay Srivastava (37) as UP were 101-4 in 37.3 overs.
A 43-run partnership between Umang Sharma (36) and Mohammad Saif (21) was then broken by Hardik in the 59th over. Karan Patel also got into the act and dismissed Saif in the 66th over as UP further slipped to 156-6.
Hardik then dismissed the remaining four wickets — Kuldeep Yadav (9), Sourabh kumar (11), Ankit Rajpoor (0) and Dhruv Pratap Singh (0) to complete the comprehensive victory for Gujarat.
Brief Score: Gujarat 347 & 201 Uttar Pradesh 241 & 175 allout in 76.5 overs (Tanmay Srivastava 37; hardik Patel 7/72).