BENGAL OVERPOWER ODISHA TO STORM INTO SEMIS
Bengal stormed into the Ranji Trophy semi-finals by virtue of their first innings lead over Odisha after only one session was possible on the final day which was interrupted by bad light, here on Monday.
Resuming on 361 for seven, Bengal lost their remaining three wickets for 12 runs inside six overs to set Odisha an improbable 456.
In reply, Odisha were 39 for no loss in 10 overs when bad light stopped play as both the teams agreed upon a draw with two more sessions left on the final day at the DRIEMS College ground here on the outskirts of Cuttack.
Bengal thus qualified by virtue of their crucial first innings lead of 82 runs, setting up a clash with Karnataka in the semifinal starting from February 29 at Eden Gardens.
Anustup Majumdar, who smashed a career-best 157 to script Bengal’s stunning turnaround to reach 332 after being 46 for 5 in their first innings, was adjudged man-of-the-match.
Majumdar’s lion-hearted effort was then complemented well by Bengal pace troika of Ishan Porel, Mukesh Kumar and inexperienced Nilkantha Das as the trio shared nine wickets among them to secure the decisive lead.
Playing at their home turf, Odisha batsmen then wilted under pressure to be bowled out for 250 after being 135 for one. Bengal did not look back since then, batting out the opposition in the second essay.
The two-time former champions Bengal last made the Ranji semifinals in 2017-18 only to go down to Delhi.
Bengal 332 and 373; 138 overs (Shreevats Goswami 78, Shahbaz Ahmed 64, Abhishek Raman 67, Arnab Nandi 45, Koushik Ghosh 41). Odisha 250 and 39 for no loss; 10 overs. Match drawn.
SAURASHTRA IN SEMIS AFTER DRAW WITH ANDHRA
Saurashtra booked their spot in the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy on the basis of the first innings after their quarterfinal tie against Andhra ended in a draw on the final day here on Monday.
Resuming at the overnight score of 375 for 9, the visitors were dismissed for 426 in 138 overs in the second innings, setting an improbable target of 710 runs for Andhra.
After being bowled out for 136 in the first innings, Andhra finished at 149 for 4 in 51 overs in their second essay before play was called off.
A strokeful half-century by Andhra captain KS Bharat (55, 69 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) was the bright spot in the host team’s second innings.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who is on the fringes of national selection and has been part of various India ‘A’ teams in the recent past, showed why he is rated highly, playing some delightful shots during his knock.
Earlier when Saurashtra resumed, No.10 Chetan Sakariya (29 not out, 99 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) and skipper Jaydev Unadkat (31, 48 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) used the long handle to good effect and added 51 runs.
Chirag Jani, who scored a century in Saurashtra’s first innings, was named man of the match.
Saurashtra 419 all out in 146.5 overs (Chirag Jani 121, Perak Mankad 80; Prithvi Raj Yarra 3/51, K V Sasikanth 3/149) and 426 all out in 138 overs (Perak Mankad 85; Jyothi Sai Krishna 4/74, Mohd Rafi 3/92) drew with Andhra 136 all out in 78.2 overs (C R Gnaneshwar 43; Jaydev Unadkat 4/42, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 3/27) and 149 for 4 in 51 overs (KS Bharat 55 not out, Karan Shinde 27 not out).
GOWTHAM HELPS KARNATAKA SEAL FINAL FOUR SPOT
Off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham snapped seven wickets as Karnataka sealed their place in the semifinals after thrashing Jammu and Kashmir by 167 runs on the final day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal, here on Monday.
Resuming the day at 245 for four, Karnataka added another 71 runs before folding for 316 in their second innings, setting the hosts a target of 331.
Jammu and Kashmir were bundled out for 163, courtesy off-spinner Gowtham’s (7/54) seven-wicket haul.
Earlier, Abid Mushtaq (6/83) claimed six wickets, Parvez Rasool (3/88) took three and Mujtaba Yousuf (1/44) dismissed one Karnataka batsman.
Overnight batsman Krishnamurthy Siddharth (98) missed out on a well-deserved century, dismissed by Mushtaq in the 80th over.
His wicket triggered a collapse as Karnataka kept losing wickets regularly. Srinivas Sharath (34) held on to one end and took the team across the 300-mark before departing in the 105th over.
Chasing 331 to win, opener Shubham Khajuria (30), middle-order batsman Shubham Pundir (31) and tail-enders Aquib Nabi (26) and Umar Nazir (24) tried their bit but none of them could stay longer to raise any hope of a successful chase.
Karnataka 206 all out in 69.1 overs and 316 all out in 106.5 overs (KV Siddharth 98; Abid Mushtaq 6/83) beat J&K 192 all out in 62.4 overs (SP Khajuria 62; M Prasidh Krishna 4/42) and 163 all out in 44.4 overs (SS Pundir 31; K Gowtham 7/54).
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