Saurashtra, despite a loss in the final round game to Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh on Friday advanced to the knockout stage of the Ranji Trophy from Group B after the Mumbai-Maharashtra game ended in an exciting draw.
Though Saurashtra, Andhra and Maharashtra finished equal on 26 points after the seven rounds of the league phase, the first two teams entered the quarterfinals while Maharashtra missed out because it did not gain any bonus point.
Andhra, which had been on 19 points before the final round match against Assam, routed their opponent by an innings to gain a bonus point which helped them pip Maharashtra.
Mumbai, which was in the reckoning but needed to win or secure a first innings lead to grab three points and reach 26 points, managed only 1 after a tie with Maharashtra on the first innings score of 374 in the final round match.
In Chennai, left-arm spinner S Ajith Ram came up with a six-wicket haul to propel Tamil Nadu to a 59-run win over Saurashtra.
Needing 266 for victory, the visiting team was bowled out for 206 in 68.2 overs as Harvik Desai’s marathon knock of 101 (205 balls, 10 fours, 3 sixes) went in vain.
Mumbai, Maharashtra bow out; Andhra sneaks in
In Mumbai, the match between the home team and Maharashtra saw a topsy-turvy final day. After the two sides scored 384 each in the first innings, Maharashtra were bowled out for 252 in the second innings.
Needing 253 in 28 overs for an outright win, Mumbai batters went on the offensive from the start but the dismissal of skipper Ajinkya Rahane (35) to Pradeep Dadhe and Divyaansh (63) to Satyajit Bachhav pegged them back.
Mumbai was 58 runs short when the game ended.
The drawn match enabled Andhra (26 points) to sneak into the knockouts ahead of Mumbai and Maharashtra along with Saurashtra.
Hyderabad succumbed to a nine-wicket defeat to Delhi to end a dismal season with six straight defeats after a draw against TN in the opening game.
Hyderabad will be relegated to the Plate group next season.
Jharkhand sail into quarter-finals from Group C
Jharkhand became the second team behind Karnataka to sail into the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals from Group C after the match between Kerala and Puducherry ended in a draw and Services thrashed Rajasthan by 183 runs on Friday.
While Karnataka had already secured a last-eight berth following the penultimate round of Ranji matches, Jharkhand had to wait till the last day of the seventh and final round of group matches, which concluded on Friday, to know their fate.
Luckily for Jharkhand, both results went in their favour and they will take on Bengal in the quarter-finals, while Group C toppers Karnataka will play Uttarakhand in the last-eight.
On Friday, Rajasthan needed to score an outright win against Services to enter the quarters, but suffered a huge loss.
Rajasthan, who were chasing an improbable target of 319 to win, were bundled out for 135, with Services pacer Poonam Poonia and off-spinner Pulkit Narang taking five wickets each.
Holders MP, Punjab make it to quarter-finals after drawn matches
Defending champions Madhya Pradesh and Punjab qualified for the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy after finishing in the top two positions in Group D following a draw in their respective matches here on Friday.
While holders MP folded for 331 to concede a first-innings lead to Tripura, Punjab didn’t get to bat as Vidarbha ended their first innings on the fourth day at 273 for six following loss of play due to bad weather.
The draw, however, wouldn’t hurt MP as they finished at the top of Group D table with 33 points from seven matches. Punjab (27) and Railways (22) ended at second and third spots respectively.
Roul takes six wickets as Odisha thrash Bengal by seven wickets
Odisha created a big upset, defeating Bengal by seven wickets on the final day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match on Friday, with pace bowler Sunil Roul wrecking the hosts’ batting lineup by taking six wickets.
Though Bengal had secured a quarter-final berth in the previous round itself, the loss on Friday at the Eden Gardens ahead of the knockout round would have dampened their spirits somewhat.
Uttarakhand became the second team behind Bengal (32 points) to move into the quarter-finals after their match against Haryana ended in a draw.
Uttarakhand earned three points, owing to their first-innings lead to take their tally to 29 points.
Bengal will take on Jharkhand in the first quarter-final, while Uttarakhand will play Karnataka on January 31.