Subodh Bhati top-scored with a lightning 62 down the order in Delhi’s second innings to help the visitors take firm control over hosts Bengal in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match here Tuesday.
Bhati, who had shown his batting exploits with an astounding 57-ball 207 in a Goa League T20 match in March this year, smashed six sixes and five fours en route to his maiden first-class fifty.
The Delhi frontline pacer, who claimed three wickets in the first innings, added 80 valuable runs for the last wicket with his bowling partner Kulwant Khejroliya (21 not out) before being run out by Ashok Dinda.
Bhati’s powerplay propped Delhi to 301 in their second essay, setting Bengal an improbable 322 target on the final day.
“It was the last wicket, and I just wanted to capitalise. Their plan was to bowl short. But I was confident that the ball would either hit the helmet or I would clear the rope. We were ready,” Bhati said as he hit two sixes each against Bengal pacers Dinda and Mukesh Kumar.
“I take my batting seriously. I opened in club cricket and batted higher up the order for Delhi initially but after flopping, I returned to concentrate on my bowling,” a modest Bhati added.
Returning to bowl, Bhati almost claimed Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran for duck when he induced an outside edge to be caught by a composed Kunal Chandela at first slip but the umpired ruled it not out.
“It’s part of game. Only third umpire could see. There’s a bit of help from the wicket. 300 runs would not be easy,” Bhati said as Delhi looked to bag six points, virtually shutting Bengal’s aspiration on the final day.
Having survived a tricky phase of three overs, Bengal were 18 for no loss at close on the penultimate day.
In a wishful thinking, Bengal pacer Dinda however said their batsmen, who have been struggling to put together a collective effort, would easily chase down 322.
“I’ve bowled the maximum (52 overs) on this wicket. I know the wicket inside out. You have to see through the morning session, then it would be a pure batting wicket. Our batsmen should easily chase it down,” Dinda said.
“We always knew that we would have to chase 300 runs. We will go for six points,” Dinda said, recollecting their semifinal ouster by Delhi last season.
“It’s still fresh in our minds. So, this is our match to win.” he said high on hopes.
Resuming day four on 41 for two with a 20-run first innings lead, Delhi moved at a sluggish pace and were reduced to 221 for nine with Ashok Dinda (5/88) claiming his 26th five-for, en route to a nine-wicket match haul.
In a must-win match, the home side fancied their chances with Delhi’s last pair at crease but Bhati came in their way.
Earlier, Himmat Singh (51) struck his fifth first-class half-century as he showed fine composure with Jonty Sidhu (42).
The duo added 85 runs for the fifth wicket to lend Delhi stability after Dinda trapped Delhi skipper Nitish Rana LBW for 17.
Delhi: 240 and 301 in 96.4 overs (Subodh Bhati 62, Himmat Singh 51, Jonty Sidhu 42; Ashok Dinda 5/88) vs Bengal 220 and 18 for no loss in 3 overs (Abhishek Raman 8 batting, Abhimanyu Easwaran 6 batting).
RANJI GROUP A: Vidarbha trounce Mumbai by an innings and 145 runs
Reigning champions Vidarbha defeated Mumbai by an innings and145 runs in a lop-sided Ranji Trophy Group A game on Tuesday.
Mumbai needed an “outright win” to stay alive in the coveted domestic competition.
But it was their batting that let them down not once but twice at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium as the hosts scripted a memorable win and even gained a bonus point.
The hopes of 41-time Ranji champions to secure a quarter final berth are now dashed and they are out of reckoning to make the last eight.
Even if Mumbai win against Chattisgarh in their last league game, mathematically it is not possible for them to make the last eight as only five teams from combined A and B groups can make it to the quarters, says an insider from Mumbai Cricket Association after the team’s humiliating loss.
Mumbai resumed at their overnight score of 169 for 6 in their first innings.
But barring Dhurmil Matkar (62 not out), no other lower-order batsman showed spine and the visitors were shot out for a paltry 252.
Off-spinner Akshay Wakhare (5-85) emerged as the hero for Vidarbha in the first essay.
Vidarbha, who had posted a massive 511 on the board, asked Mumbai to bat again.
If Wakhare emerged as Mumbai’s nemesis in the first essay, then slow left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate sliced through the Mumbai batting in the second innings.
Sarwate returned with splendid figures of 6-48 as he proved to be Mumbai’s wrecker in chief in the second essay.
Sarwate had claimed three wickets in the first innings also.
The 29-year-old was well complemented by Akshay Wakhare, who took two wickets in the second innings.
For Mumbai, in the second innings, Matkar showed some resistance with a 36-run knock.
Shreyas Iyer failed to convert his start after he walked back to the pavilion on 22.
Other batsmen Jay Bista (0), Vikrant Auti (1), skipper Siddesh Lad (6), Shubham Ranjane (1), Aditya Tare (15), Shivam Dubey (6) made a beeline to the pavilion as Mumbai began the new year on a disastrous note.
Veteran Wasim Jaffer, who laid foundation of Vidarbha’s massive score with his 178, was adjudged as the Man of the Match.
This is Mumbai’s third largest innings defeat in domestic cricket the other two being — innings and 168 runs versus Rest of India in the Irani Cup in 1977-78 and innings and 166 runs versus Gujarat in 1950-51 season.
RANJI GROUP B: Tons by Bharat, Bhui put Andhra in command vs Hyderabad
Centuries by K S Bharat (178 not out) and Ricky Bhui (129) helped Andhra take control against Hyderabad at stumps on day three of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘B’ match here Tuesday.
Talented young wicketkeeper-batsman Bharat hit 22 fours and two sixes in his 277-ball knock of 178 while Bhui struck 14 fours and two sixes in his 248-ball innings as Andhra scored 502 for 7 declared in 154 overs in reply to Hyderabad’s 271.
At end of the day’s proceedings, Hyderabad was 33 for no loss, still trailing by 198 runs.
Resuming at 207 for 3, Andhra dominated proceedings as Bhui and Bharat piled on the runs even as the Hyderabad bowlers wilted.
The fourth-wicket partnership between the two produced 234 runs.
Bharat led the run-scoring and was the more aggressive of the two, hitting shots all round the wicket.
The pair took the total from 350 to 400 before the visiting side broke through when T Ravi Teja (2 for 101) dismissed Bhui, having him caught behind by K S K Chaitanya.
Bharat continued to pile on the runs and took the score past 500 before the team declared at 502 for 7.
Hyderabad openers Tanmay Agarwal (13 batting) and Tilak Varma (20 batting) ensured that the team didn’t suffer any setbacks as they look to erase the huge deficit.
At Mohali, Punjab thrashed Kerala by 10 wickets and took their points tally to 20, thereby brightening their his chances of qualifying for the quarterfinals.
Karnataka lead Chhattisgarh by 248 runs
Captain Manish Pandey led the way with an unbeaten half-century as Karnataka extended their lead to 248 runs against Chhattisgarh in a Group A Ranji Trophy match here Tuesday.
When the stumps were drawn on the third day, Karnataka were 113 for four in their second innings with Pandey and Shreyas Gopal batting on 57 and 21 runs, respectively.
They stitched a crucial unbeaten 63-run partnership for the fifth wicket, after the hosts were struggling at 50 for four in their second innings.
Chhattisgarh seamer Pankaj Rao, who had bagged seven wickets in the first innings, dismissed three Karnataka batsmen in their second innings.
Karnataka were bowled out for 418 in their first innings, with opener Dega Nischal and Krishnamurthy Siddharth scoring centuries.
Earlier, Karnataka bundled out Chhattisgarh for 283. Ronit More and Abhimanyu Mithun returned figures of five for 48 and four for 64, respectively.
The only batsman who shone for Chhattisgarh was Harpreet Singh, who cracked a determined 120 runs off 239 balls with 17 boundaries.
Amandeep Khare (45) and Ajay Jadhav Mandal (41) were the other handy contributors.
Resuming at overnight 121 for three, Chhattisgarh lost Amadeep Khare after he added two runs to his overnight 43 runs.
Khare was caught by Srinivas Sharath off Mithun, who bagged his fourth wicket.
Ashutosh Singh and Harpreet, who was unbeaten on 53 Monday evening, added 24 runs for the fifth wicket before the former was trapped leg before wicket by More.
Harpreet stayed on the wicket and stitched a couple of crucial partnerships for the sixth and seventh wicket, taking Chhattisgarh to 266 for seven.
RANJI GROUP C: Jammu and Kashmir defeat Assam by 4 wickets
Guwahati (Assam), Jan 1 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir began 2019 in style as they defeated hosts Assam by four wickets in their Elite Group C Ranji Trophy game on Tuesday.
Jammu and Kashmir needed 211 runs for an outright win when the proceedings began on the third day at the Barsapara cricket stadium.
They resumed at the overnight score of 19 for 1.
And for the visitors, one down Shubham Khajuria and skipper Parvez Rasool played identical knocks of 67.
While Khajuria took 194 balls and struck 8 boundaries in his innings, Rasool hit 11 boundaries in his 87-ball knock.
Owias Shah too played his part to perfection with a valuable 31 of 36 balls.
When Khajuria departed, he had taken his team on the cusp of a memorable win and then Irfan Pathan (33 not out) and Musaif Ajaz (7 not out) ensured that there was no further damage and the duo took the side home.
Jammu and Kashmir added 6 points to their kitty.
For the hosts, Arup Das was the pick of he bowlers as he returned with figures of 3-46 but could not help his team record a win.
Meanwhile at Porvorim in Goa, visitors Rajasthan secured the crucial first innings lead with middle order batsman Robin Bist remaining unbeaten on 169 against Goa.
At Palam in the national capital, Services have taken the first innings lead against Odisha, while at Jamshedpur hosts Jharkhand piled up 409 to take the first innings lead against Tripura.
RANJI PLATE: Bihar secure bonus point win against Mizoram, keep QF hopes alive
Continuing his dream season, Bihar skipper Ashutosh Aman put up an all-round show to steer his side to an innings and 216-run win over Mizoram in their Ranji Trophy Plate Group fixture on Tuesday.
Having struck a maiden century in Bihar’s 440 for nine declared, the left-arm spinner claimed 5/28 as Mizoram were shot out for 147 in the second innings.
Leg-spinner Samar Quadri also played a crucial role with a 10-wicket match haul that included 4/50 in the second innings.
The bonus point victory helped Bihar (34 points) cut down the deficit to three points against leaders Uttarakhand with final round to go.
Bihar will face Manipur, while Uttarakhand take on the bottom-placed Mizoram from January 7-10, in a two-way race for the lone quarterfinal spot from the Plate Group.
This was Aman’s eighth five-wicket haul as he now has 57 wickets at an astounding average of 5.80 from 12 innings.
Aman had top-scored with 111 while Vivek Kumar (102) also cracked a century and MD Rahmatullah made 99 in Bihar’s 440 for nine declared.
In reply, Mizoram were bowled out for 77 and following-on, they managed to cross the 100-run mark in the second innings, thanks to a 52-run stand for the sixth wicket between Taruwar Kohli (76) and Sinan Abdul Khadir after resuming the day at 81 for five.
Aman broke the partnership when he pinned Khadir for 15.
Mizoram lost their last four wickets for the addition of just 15 runs with Aman claiming 5/28, including the scalp of Taruwar for 76.
Quadri claimed 4/50 as Mizoram folded for 147 in 62.2 overs to suffer their sixth defeat to remain at the bottom of the table with one point from seven matches.
At the KIIT Stadium in Bhubaneswar, four Meghalaya batsmen notched triple figures with former Delhi wicketkepper Puneet Bisht leading the show with a career-best 343 as Sikkim stared a big defeat.
Meghalaya declared their first innings for a mammoth 826 for seven to take a massive 607-run first innings lead. The three other centurions for Meghalaya were Raj Biswa (175), Yogesh Nagar (148) and Gurinder Singh 101 not out.
At close, Sikkim were 72 for two in their second essay, trailing by 535 runs with eight wickets in hand.
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