Gautam Gambhir scored the 43rd and final first-class century of his career as Delhi ensured at least three points by virtue of first innings lead against Andhra on the third day of a group B encounter in the Ranji Trophy on Saturday. At stumps, Delhi ended the day at 409 for 7 in reply to Andhra’s 380 but every other details was of little consequence because of one man playing his last game.
The entire focus was on Gambhir, who is set to hang his boots on Sunday, made it memorable for the 500-odd spectators, who were present at the Feroz Shah Kotla to cheer every run that he scored.
A streaky boundary through the slips took him to 98 and then he square drove pacer Bandaru Ayappa to scamper home for a double to complete one of his more emotionally exhausting hundreds.
While the 100-odd youngsters sporting “Miss you Gauti’ T-shirts were overwhelmed with emotion, the former India opener was muted in his celebrations as he didn’t even bother to open his helmet. He added 113 runs for the second wicket with skipper Dhruv Shorey (98) before India A keeper Kona Bharat finally held onto an edge with off-spinner Shoaib Mohammed Khan being the bowler.
It wasn’t a smooth innings but no one cared for the details like 10 boundaries and 185 balls as he got a generous applause. The Delhi players gave a him a ‘Guard of Honour’, the spectators gave a standing ovation and the entire Andhra team came up to congratulate him. He strode back to pavilion in a matter of fact manner as the interest in the day’s proceedings suddenly waned.
However, it was Shorey, Delhi’s most consistent batsmen over past two seasons, who played with a lot of confidence, wearing the Andhra attack on a low and slow track. He batted patiently playing 259 balls, hitting six fours, adding 86 with Vaibhav Rawal (33) after century stand with Gambhir.
After Rawal was dismissed, Dhruv was stuck and left-arm spinner Manish Golamaru trapped him with a short mid-off fielder. Sai Krishna stationed at the particular position took a smart low catch. But debutant Jonty Sidhu (30), Lalit Yadav (29) and Anuj Rawat (28) took their team past Andhra’s first innings score to ensure three points.
Brief Scores: Andhra 1st Innings 380
Delhi 1st Innings 409/7 (Gautam Gambhir 112, Dhruv Shorey 98, Manish Golamaru 3/126, Shoaib Khan 3/138)
Rajasthan thrash Assam by an innings and 43 runs
Rajasthan pacer Aniket Choudhary grabbed his second five-wicket haul as the hosts recorded an emphatic innings and 43-run win against Assam in their Elite Group C match in Jaipur on Saturday. 28-year-old left-arm pacer Choudhary, who had picked up a five-wicket haul in the first innings, shone in the second innings too to return with exceptional figures of 5-40 as Rajasthan bundled out Assam for 174.
Choudhary ended the match with excellent figures of 10-78 (5-38 and 5-40). This is Rajasthan’s fourth win of the season.
After bundling out Assam for 108 in their first essay at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here, Rajasthan had posted 325 in their first essay to take a healthy 217-run first innings lead, with skipper Mahipal Lomror hitting a stroke-filled 133.
Assam, who began the penultimate day at 109 for 3, slumped to 174 all out in their second essay, as Choudhary and other pacers T M Haq (2-44) and Nathu Singh (2-28) wreaked havoc.
For Assam, only Gokul Sharma (77) and wicket-keeper Kunal Saikia (49) delayed the inevitable. But after the duo fell, it was smooth sailing for the visitors.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh defeated Jammu and Kashmir by 6 wickets in Jammu as experienced Suresh Raina played a crucial knock of 66 not out in the second innings.
At Agartala, hosts Tripura needed another 58 runs for an outright win against Haryana with only three wickets in hand.
At Ranchi, Odisha have a task at hand as they need another 179 runs to win with seven wickets in hand against hosts Jharkhand.
Brief Scores: At Jaipur: Rajasthan 325 beat Assam 108 and 174 (Gokul Sharma 77, Kunal Saikia 49, Aniket Choudhary 5-40) by an innings and 43 runs.
Rajasthan 7 points, Assam 0 points
At Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir 290 and 111 (Ahmad Omar Banday 19, Saurabh Kumar 5-28, Yash Dayal 4-26) lost to Uttar Pradesh 188 and 218/4 (Suresh Raina 66 not out, Rinku Singh 42 not out, Parvez Rasool 2-63 by 6 wickets.
Uttar Pradesh 6 points, J&K 0 points At Agartala: Tripura 250 and 104/7 (Pratyush Singh 23 not out, A R Rana 4-37) versus Haryana 292 and 119 (H J Rana 64, A S Sarkar 3-15).
At Porvorim: Services 184 and 277/5 (Rajat Paliwal 94, Rahul Singh Gahlaut 81 not out, Amit Verma 2-21) versus Goa 259 (Darshan Misal 101, Lakshay Garg 50, Diwesh Gurudev Pathania 5-74).
At Ranchi: Jharkhand 172 and 288 (Saurabh Tiwari 132 not out, Ishank Jaggi 35, Rajesh Mohanty 4-87) versus Odisha 201 and 81/3 (Anurag Sarangi 41, Rahul Shukla 2-12).
Kerala face uphill task against Tami Nadu
Kerala was 27 for 1 in 11 overs at stumps on the third day Saturday,chasing 369 for a win against Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘B’ match in Chennai. K B Arun Karthick (on 12) and Sijomon Joseph (1) were at the crease at close of play.
Tamil Nadu declared their second innings at 252 for 7, riding on half-centuries from captain Baba Indrajith (92) and M Kaushik Gandhi (59) to set the visitors a daunting target.
The home team bowlers came to the fore to dismiss Kerala for 152 in the first innings in response to TN’s 268 early this morning as the visitors could add only one run to the overnight score. Rahil Shah removed Sijomon Joseph (29) to finish with 4 for 32.
Left-arm medium-pacer T Natarajan ended with three wickets and R Sai Kishore had two scalps.
Tamil Nadu started the second innings in a brisk fashion as southpaw Abhinav Mukund and Kaushik Gandhi appeared to be on the lookout for runs.
Mukund hit half a dozen boundaries and looked good for a big one, before off-spinner Jalaj Saxena had him caught behind by Vishnu Vinod for 33 (43 balls),having added 55 runs for the opening wicket.
Baba Aparajith (4) didn’t last long and fell to a catch by Vishnu Vinod of Sandeep Warrier.
Gandhi (59) was involved in a 78-run partnership for the third wicket with skipper Baba Indrajith, who followed up his first innings knock of 87 with another classy effort.
Indrajith (92, 148 balls) hit six boundaries and fell in the quest for quick runs, missing out on a ton.
The experienced Dinesh Karthik, back in the squad after being part of the national T20 team in Australia, failed for a second time, caught by Arun Karthick of left-arm spinner Sijomon Joseph for 1.
N Jagadeesan (19) fell at the stroke of tea, nicking one to the ‘keeper off Warrier, but the overall lead had passed 300 by then.
Debutant M Shahrukh Khan, who made a quick 34 to follow up his first innings knock of 92 not out, was involved in a 62-run partnership with Indrajith for the sixth wicket.
Both fell in quick succession, following which Tamil Nadu declared, leaving Kerala 369 for a victory.
Kerala lost the experienced Jalaj Saxena (12) early in the chase when he gave a catch to Indrajith off Natarajan’s bowling.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 268 in 98 overs (M Shahrukh Khan 92 not out (155b, 8×4, 1×6), B Indrajith 87, M Mohammed 29, Sandeep Warrier 5 for 52, Basil Thampi 4 for 62) and 252 for 7 declared in 70.5 overs (B Indrajith 92, Kaushik Gandhi 59, Shahrukh Khan 34, Sijomon Joseph 4 for 51) vs Kerala 152 all out in 76.5 overs (P Rahul 59 (116b, 5×4, 1×6), Sijomon Joseph 29, T Natarajan 3 for 43, Rahil Shah 4 for 32) and 27 for 1.
At Mohali: Himachal Pradesh 390 all out in 145.1 overs (R R Dhawan 61, N R Gangta 58, A Kalsi 82, M Dagar 71, Sandeep Sharma 5 for 101) vs Punjab 84 all out in 35.1 overs (M J Dagar 4 for 22) and 195 for 8 in 78 overs (Abhijeet Garg 48, Gurkeerat Mann 33, Shubek Singh Gill 39 batting, G K Singh 4 for 43).
At Indore: Hyderabad 124 all out in 35.3 overs (Himalay Agarwal 69 not out, Avesh Khan 7 for 24) and 185 all out in 65.5 overs (Rohit Rayudu 72, Avesh Khan 5 for 30) lost to Madhya Pradesh 562 for 4 declared in 140.4 overs (Ajay Rohera 267 not out, Rajat Patidar 51, Yash Dubey 139 not out) by an innings and 253 runs.
Points: MP: 7, Hyderabad: 0.
Maharashtra take lead against Mumbai
Hosts Maharashtra bundled out Mumbai for 273 to take the crucial first innings lead in their Elite Group A Ranji Trophy game in Pune Saturday. Mumbai, who resumed on the penultimate day at 196/6, had their hopes on stand-in skipper Siddhesh Lad, who was unbeaten on 70. But the right-handed batsman could add only 23 runs to his overnight tally before being caught by Rohit Motani off Samad Fallah.
Young Shubham Ranjane remained unbeaten on 54, but lacked support from the other end as wickets kept tumbling and Mumbai fell well short of the hosts’ tally of 352. For the hosts, Ashay Palkar (4-62) and left-arm medium pacer Samad Fallah (3-55) were the main wicket takers.
Mumbai fought back to reduce Maharashtra to 112 for 5 at close of play at the MCA Stadium in Gahunje here. Skipper Rahul Tripathi (13 not out) and Saytajeet Bachhav (3 not out) were the not out batsmen at stumps for Maharashtra, whose overall lead was 191.
Meanwhile, at Rajkot hosts Saurashtra rode on a splendid performance of their bowlers to defeat Karnataka by 87 runs and took 6 points.
At Vadodara, hosts Baroda defeated Chhattisgarh by nine wickets to fetch 6 points.
At Valsad, centuries by wicket-keeper Nitin Bhille (116) and Mahesh Rawat(119 not out) helped Railways overhaul Gujarats first innings total of 367 and take the lead.
Brief scores: At Pune: Maharashtra 352 and 112/5 (Chirag Khurana 38, Swapnil Gugale 37, Shivam Dube 2-7) versus Mumbai 273 (Siddhesh Lad 93, Aditya Tare 63; A Palkar 4-62).
At Rajkot: Saurashtra 316 and 79 (Snell Patel 22; Pavan Deshpande 3-5) beat Karnataka 217 and 91 (Karun Nair 30, Shreyas Gopal 27; K Makwana 5-28) by 87 runs.
Saurashtra 6 points, Karnataka 0 points.
At Vadodara: Chhattisgarh 129 and 283 (Avnish Singh 79, Manoj Singh 61; L I Meriwala 3-18) lost to Baroda 385 and 31/1 (Kedar Devdhar 25 not out) by nine wickets.
Baroda 6 points, Chhattisgarh 0 points.
At Valsad: Gujarat 367 and 4/0 versus Railways 547/9 Declared (Mahesh Rawat 119 not out, Nitin Bhille 116; H P Patel 3-124).