Rishabh Pant notched up his second first-class century in only his fourth game, a strokeful and unbeaten 155, to keep Delhi in the hunt for the first innings lead against Maharashtra in their Ranji Trophy Group B match on Saturday.
The left-handed Pant, who kept wickets for Delhi for almost two days during Maharashtra’s massive first innings total of 635 for 2 declared, came in to bat when his side was in trouble at 135 for 3 and remained unconquered in a close of play tally of 376 for 5.
Pant, who had represented the country in the last Under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh, batted in an aggressive fashion to strike 6 sixes and 21 fours off the 165 balls he faced till stumps on day three of the four-day match at the Wankhede Stadium.
Pant’s heroics were possible as he was let off thrice by the butter-fingered Maharashtra fielders – on 33, 62 and 93 – and went on to stitch together century stands worth 124 and 117 for the fourth and fifth wickets with Dhruv Shorey (71) and Milind Kumar (45).
Delhi were 51 for two before the innings was steadied by an 84-run partnership between Shorey, who struck 7 fours in 158 balls, and Nitish Rana (44).
Maharashtra pegged Delhi back a bit in the last over to stumps with the second new ball as Mohsin Sayyed, easily the team’s most impressive bowler, sent back Kumar caught behind to end the fifth wicket partnership.
Delhi were 259 runs behind Maharashtra at stumps on a track that still played true without showing many signs of wear and tear as hardly a ball misbehaved throughout the day.
For Maharashtra, Sayyed, who should have had Kumar caught by wicket-keeper More when the batsman was on 4 in a Delhi score of 266 for 4 – returned with good end of day figures of 3 for 73, including that of rival captain and opener Unmukt Chand for 24.
The more experienced Shrikant Mundhe and off-spinner Chirag Khurana picked up the other two wickets to fall.
Brief scores: Maharashtra: 635 for 2 decl. Delhi: 376 for 5 (Dhruv Shorey 71, Nitish Rana 44, Rishabh Pant not out 155, Milind Kumar 45; Mohsin Sayyed 3 for 73).
Rajasthan bowl Assam out for 69, record innings win
Aniket Choudhary grabbed five wickets while his pace colleague Pankaj Singh took four as Rajasthan ripped through Assam second innings batting line-up in a sensational bowling display to register an innings win in their Group B Ranji Trophy match.
Assam, who had scored 195 all out in their first innings, lasted just 20.2 overs in their second essay as they were bowled out for 69 as Rajasthan won the match by an innings and eight runs.
Only three of the Assam batsmen reached double-digit scores and five batsmen were out for duck.
The abject surrender of Assam batsmen against the Rajasthan pace duo of Aniket (5/35) and Pankaj (4/26) could be seen as Rashav Das top-scored with 16 while the next best was a 14 by Arup Das. The best partnership for Assam was the 23 for the eighth wicket between Arup Das and Rishav Das.
Earlier, Rajasthan first innings folded at 272 after resuming the day at 208 for 3. Mahipal Lomror top-scored with 89 off 242 balls as he could add just five runs to his overnight 84.
Rajasthan collected all the seven points while Assam got none.
Brief Scores: Assam: 195 & 69 in 20.2 overs (Aniket Choudhary 5/35, Pankaj Singh 4/26). Rajasthan: 272 all out in 105.4 overs (Mahipal Lomror 89; Arup Das 4/53).
Saurashtra at 96/5, need 116 runs more to win
On a day when 13 wickets fell, Saurashtra were struggling at 96 for five at the end of the third day’s play while chasing 212 for victory against Odisha in a Ranji Trophy Group B match.
Saurashtra need 116 more runs with five wickets in hand. Resuming on 62 for two, ahead by 104 runs due to their first innings lead, Odisha failed to tighten the nooze as Saurashtra clawed their way back into the game with Deepak Punia’s five for 39.
Bowled out for 169 in their second innings with Subhranshu Senapati top-scoring with 57, Odisha took an over lead of 211 runs. Chasing a 212-run target for their first win of the season, Saurashtra lost two wickets in three balls in the fifth over, reeling at six for two, before an 84-run third-wicket stand between Sagar Jogiyani (42) and Sheldon Jackson (43) brought the team back into the game.
However, in the fag end of the day, Odisha took three wickets in 31 balls for one run to leave the contest evenly poised.
Brief scores: Odisha: 228 & 169 (Subhranshu Senapati 57; Deepak Punia 5/39). Saurashtra 186 & 96 for 5 in 52 overs (Sheldon Jackson 43; Dhiraj Singh 2/6).
Jharkhand 309/6 after Ishan Kishan’s unbeaten ton
Wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan compiled a fine unbeaten century to guide Jharkhand to 309 for six on the third and penultimate day of their Group B Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka.
Replying to Karnataka’s mammoth first-innings total of 577 for six declared, Kishan scored his runs off 148 balls and hit 13 boundaries and five sixes at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground.
Experienced hand Saurabh Tiwary struck 91 off 163 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes, while opener Anand Singh contributed 45 and hit seven boundaries.
For Karnataka, Abhimanyu Mithun was the most successful bowler, picking up 2/54, while there was a wicket apiece Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham.
Jharkhand were overnight nine for no loss after being on the field for almost two full days. Jharkhand trailed by 268 runs with four wickets remaining when the stumps were drawn.