Bengal and Assam qualified for the knockout stage of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament after grabbing three and one point respectively from their drawn Group A match on Friday.
While Bengal had already ensured their place in the quarterfinals after they forced Assam to follow on Thursday, the hosts also managed to sneak into the knockout stage after denying the visitors an outright win, finishing at 143 for 8 on the fourth and final day.
Bengal and Assam are occupying the second and third place with 28 and 26 points respectively in the Group A points table, headed by Vidarbha with 29 points.
Assam, who had conceded a massive 301-run first innings lead to Bengal, resumed their second innings at 72 for 2 on Friday but they found the going tough as wickets fell at regular intervals.
However, the hosts still managed to save the match, courtesy a patient half-century by opener Pallavkumar Das. He hit five fours in his 182-ball innings.
Bengal off-spinner Aamir Gani conjured up hopes of an outright win when he returned with a five-wicket haul but the visitors could not provide the finishing touch as the match ended in a draw.
Skipper Gokul Sharma (10) was the first to be dismissed on Friday when he was cleaned up by Mukesh Kumar. Arun Karthik then returned to be pavillion when he was bowled by Gani in the 56th over.
In the 63rd over, Assam lost half their side when Tarjinder Singh too was dismissed by Gani with Pankaj Shaw taking the catch. One over later, Das was caught by Manoj Tiwary off Pragyan Ojha.
Amit Sinha and J Syed Mohammad then dug their heels and saw off 9.2 overs, scoring only three runs, while Amit and Wasiqur Rahman played the next 9.3 overs putting up just 14 runs to save the match.
Bengal: 444/6 declared
Assam 1st innings: 143 in 54.4 overs
Assam 2nd innings: 143-8 from 84 overs (PP Das 55; AA Gani 5/62).
Defending champs Karnataka knocked out of Ranji Trophy
Defending champions Karnataka crashed out of the Ranji Trophy after losing to Maharashtra by 53 runs in their final league match of the season on Friday.
Karnataka, resuming the day at 61/1, ended their second innings at 239 all out after having set a 293-run target. The winners of the prestigious competition for the last two years were on the backfoot ever since their first innings folded up for 180, in reply to Maharashtra’s 212.
Maharashtra were anyway not in the race for the quarterfinals but they certainly played party poopers to Karnataka, who finished fifth in the points table with two wins, a loss and five draws from eight games. The home team finished seventh with a win, couple of losses and five draws
in eight games.
Maharashtra 212 and 260
Karnataka 180 and 239 all out in 72 overs (Robin Uthappa 61, CM Gautam 65 not out; Anupam Sanklecha 4/64, Nikit Dhumal (5/78)
Vidarbha enter quarters
Left-arm spinner Ravi Jangid bowled Vidarbha to the knockouts with career-best figures of 7/59 in his second innings, which took his wickets tally in the match to 11, and helped the home team defeat Haryana by an innings and 31 runs in their Group A Ranji Trophy match.
Jangid, who had finished with figures of 4/44 in the first innings, bowled for 41 overs in the second essay for his seven-wicket haul. He was ably assisted by spinner Akshay Wakhare (2/105), who bowled 31.1 overs for two wickets.
In reply to Vidarbha’s massive first innings score of 504, Haryana were earlier bundled out for 241 and were subsequently asked to follow on.