Nitin Saini hit a strokeful century after a five-wicket haul by Harshal Patel as Haryana took a firm grip against Tripura in their do-or-die Ranji Trophy group C cricket match at Eden Gardens here today.
The wicketkeeper batsman struck 22 boundaries en route to his 13th first-class century in a 103-run opening partnership with Shubha Rohila (47) as Haryana stretched their overall lead to 239 runs on day two to brighten their quarterfinal hopes.
Tripura were listless with their bowling and sloppy fielding and dropped catches were the order of the day as Haryana made the best use of it.
It was only towards the fag end of the day Tripura dismissed the centurion and Rohit Sharma (1) in successive overs to make it 186/4 in 43 overs when bad light stopped play.
Overnight 70/4, Tripura folded for 178, of which wicketkeeper-batsman Smit Patel contributed 102, while nine of their batsmen failed to get into double digit to concede a first-innings lead.
Patel held fort as wickets kept falling at the other end with Harshal claiming his eighth five-for when he dismissed skipper Manisankar Murasingh to reduce them to 140/9.
But their no 11 batsman Bunti Roy (1 not out from 25 balls) gave Patel fine support at the other end in a 38-run last-wicket partnership.
Haryana finally broke the partnership when Rahul Tewatia (2/10) dismissed the centurion to see their innings fold in the second over after lunch.
Haryana 231 and 186/4; 43 overs (Nitin Saini 104, Shubham Rohila 47).
Tripura 178; 58 overs (Smit Patel 102: Harshal Patel 5/27).
Summarised scores of other Group C matches:
1) Andhra v Hyderabad at Lucknow
Andhra 1st innings: 190 all out
Hyderabad 1st innings: 81/5 in 45 overs
2) Chhattisgarh v Jammu & Kashmir at Gwalior
Chhattisgarh 1st innings: 370 all out (Amandeep Khara 106; Samiullah Beigh 5/94)
Jammu and Kashmir 1st innings: 33 for 2 in 13 overs
3) Kerala v Services at Delhi
Services 1st innings: 322 all out (Anshul Gupta 105; Athif Bin Ashraf 4/60)
Kerala 1st innings: 31/1 in 11 overs
4) Goa v Himachal Pradesh at Mumbai
Goa 1st innings: 380 all out (Sagun Kamat 104, Darshan Misal 106)
Himachal 1st innings: 254/2 in 45 overs (Prashant Chopra 144 batting, Sumeet verma 70 batting).