Delhi sent the Assam bowlers on a leatherhunt with as many as three batsmen hitting tons as the Unmukt Chand-led team are looking good to notch up a facile innings victory in opening group league encounter of the Ranji Trophy.
Starting the day at 241 for 3, Delhi plundered their way to declare at 589 for eight in 128.1 overs. The north zone state added 348 runs on the day in only 57.1 overs. At stumps, Assam were 100 for 3 in their second essay still needing 296 runs to avoid innings defeat.
Such was Delhi’s domination that their batsmen in all hit 49 boundaries and 16 sixes in their innings.
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Left-handed Rishabh Pant, touted as an India prospect, began his season with a bang as he smashed 146 off only 124 balls with 13 boundaries and eight huge sixes.
100 runs in Pant’s 146 came in boundaries off 21 scoring strokes. This was former India U-19 stumper’s first century in first-class cricket in his very third match.
The other young left-hander Nitish Rana also scored 146 but it was a contrasting knock that came off 222 deliveries with 19 boundaries and two sixes.
The duo, who came together at 103 for three on the second day put on 220 runs in 43.2 overs.
Not to be left behind, right-handed Milind Kumar hit 92 off 114 balls while Pradeep Sangwan, who now plays as an all-rounder, also made merry with a 87-ball hundred that had eight boundaries and four sixes.
Having conceded a huge lead of 396 runs, Assam found it difficult to negotiate left-arm spinners Varun Sood (1/17) and Manan Sharma (2/45). Rahul Hazarika (40) was well set before he was holed out by Sangwan off Manan.
Brief Scores: Assam 193 & 100/3 (Rahul Hazarika 40, Manan Sharma 2/45) Delhi 589/8 decl (Nitish Rana 146, Rishabh Pant 146, Pradeep Sangwan 100 no, Milind Kumar 92).
Jharkhand close in on victory against Maharashtra
Jharkhand closed in on victory, requiring just 37 more runs against Maharashtra in a Group B Ranji Trophy fixture in New Delhi.
Having already taken a 96-run lead first innings lead, Jharkhand bundled out Maharashtra for a meagre 188 in their second essay.
Needing just 93 runs for victory, Jharkhand reached 56 for four in their second innings with Virat Singh unbeaten on 16 and Anand Singh on eight at stumps on the penultimate day.
Earlier, resuming on 293 for seven in their first innings replying to Maharashtra’s 210 all out, Jharkhand scored 306 to take a healthy lead.
Maharashtra: 210 & 188 (Kedar Jadhav 56; Shahbaz Nadeem 3/43, Ashish Kumar 3/44) Jharkhand: 306 & 56 for four in 13 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 22; Anupam Sanklecha 2/20, Shrikant Mundhe 2/22).
Vidarbha in command against Odisha
Vidarbha declared their innings for 272 for six with a healthy first innings lead of 122 runs to take firm control of their Ranji Trophy group B match against Odisha in Visakhapatnam.
Odisha responded positively with 74 for no loss from 22 overs in their second innings when bad light stopped play on the penultimate day.
Debutant opener Sandeep Patnaik was unbeaten on 40 (7×4), while Ranjit Singh was batting on 27 (3×4). Odisha still needed 48 runs to avoid a defeat.
Brief Scores: Odisha 1st Innings: 150 and 2nd Innings: 74 for no loss; 22 overs (Sandeep Patnaik 40 batting, Ranjit Singh 27 batting). Vidarbha 1st Innings: 272/6 declared; 102 overs (Faiz Fazal 99; Deepak Behera 3/35).
Rajasthan 62/1 in rain-hit clash against Saurashtra
Weather played spoilsport and only 17.2 overs were possible as Rajasthan reached 62/1 in reply to Saurashtra’s mammoth first innings total of 430 on the third day of their Group B Ranji Trophy clash in Vizianagaram.
Overnight 12/0 in 1.4 overs, Rajasthan lost one wicket — opener Vineet Saxena (12) — today while adding 50 runs to their total.
Leg-spinner Samarth Vyas was the lone wicket-taker for Saurashtra.
Manender Singh (44) and K Ajay Singh (4) were at the crease for Saurashtra when play was halted for the day.
Brief Scores: Saurashtra: 430. Rajasthan: 62/1 in 19 overs (Manender Singh 44 batting, Samarth Vyas 1/5).