Ranji Trophy round-up: Baroda in driver’s seat against Karnataka; Bengal bundled out for 187

Deepak Hooda scored 51 runs in 60 balls. (File Photo)

On a day when as many as 22 wickets fell on the 22 yards, Vishnu Solanki and Deepak Hooda smashed brilliant fifties to help Baroda take a crucial 111-run lead over Karnataka in the Group A Ranji Trophy match in Vadodara on Monday. Asked to bowl first, Baroda dismissed Karnataka for 112 before the hosts scored 223 runs, riding on Sonalki’s 69 and a 60-ball 51 by Hooda, to take a crucial lead over their rivals.

In the second innings, Karnataka were 13 for 2, trailing Baroda by 98 runs at stumps. Krishnamurthy Siddharth and Karun Nair are batting on 11 and two, respectively at close. Left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt picked both the wickets.

Lukman Meriwala (3/22), Bhatt (3/27), Rishi Arothe (2/34) and Soaeb Tai (2/7) were among the wicket-takers for Baroda, while Shreyas Gopal (4/47) and Shubhang Hegde (4/74) emerged as the wrecker-in-chief for Karnataka.

As the bowlers made merry, Solanki and Hooda were the only batsmen who got half centuries 69 and 51 runs, respectively. For Karnataka, they had to be satisfied with captain Manish Pandey being the top-scorer with 43 runs.

Karnataka made a disappointing start as they were 31 for five in 9.5 overs after left-arm pacers Arothe and Meriwala wreaked havoc. Opting to bat first, Karnataka lost openers Dega Nischal and Ravikumar Samarth for zero and eight, respectively.

Nischal was cleaned up by Meriwala and Samarth was caught by Mitesh Patel off Arothe, as the visitors began their match on a bad note. Krishnamurthy Siddharth and test discard Karun Nair did not last long either as they fell to Arothe and Meriwala, after scoring four and 12, respectively. Shreyas Gopal was out first ball that he faced off Meriwala as the Karnataka lad gave a catch to Deepak Hooda.

Struggling at 31 for five, Pandey and B R Sharath stitched a crucial 54 runs partnership for sixth wicket. Sharath was bowled by Bhatt after scoring 30 runs and Pandey, who had smashed a ton in the last match against Chhattisgarh, top-scored for visitors with 43 runs, before he was cleaned up by Tai.

Karnataka lost last three wickets after adding three runs, with Bhatt and Tai running through the tail-enders.

In reply, Baroda began their innings on similar lines, losing two quick wickets — Kedar Devdhar (0) and Aditya Waghmode (10) — within ten overs. However, Solanki and Hooda sketched 119 runs partnership for third wicket, which gave an impetus to the hosts. Solanki was later cleaned up by Shreyas, while Shubhang Hegde picked up Hooda’s wicket after he gave a catch to Nischal.

Krunal Pandya and Mithesh Patel did not stay long, departing after making seven and nine respectively. They were sent back by Gopal in quick succession. Baroda lost their last four wickets after adding 51 runs.

Brief scores:

Karnataka first innings: 112 all out in 31.2 overs (Manish Pandey 43; Lukman Meriwala 3/22)

Baroda first innings: 223 all out in 51 overs (Vishnu Solanki 69, Deepak Hooda 51; Shreyas Gopal 4/47)

Karnataka second innings 13/2 in 4 overs. (K Siddharth 11; Bhargav Bhatt 2/7)

Karnataka trail by 98 runs.

Vinay Choudhary’s 6 wickets help Punjab bundle out Bengal for 187

Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary could only manage to score four runs. (PTI/File Photo)

Left-arm spinner Vinay Choudhary claimed a career-best 6/62 as Punjab bundled out Bengal for 187 to take early initiative in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B fixture in Kolkata on Monday. The 25-year-old grabbed the key wickets of Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary (4) and the two half-centurions, Shreevats Goswami (57) and Sudip Chatterjee (52), on way to his maiden five-wicket haul, as the home side folded in 69.1 overs at the stroke of tea after electing to bat.

In reply, Punjab were 47/2 at stumps, trailing Bengal by 140 runs with Shubman Gill continuing his sublime form to be unbeaten on 36 (57 balls; 3×4) along with Anmolpreet Singh (1) at the crease.

Bengal pacer Mukesh Kumar dismissed opener Jiwanjot Singh (10) and night-watchman Mayank Markande (0) off successive balls but Gill looked unperturbed on a wicket that had some help for the spinners.

"The key for us was to bowling in pairs. Mayank (Makrande) was bowling a tight line from the other end and it helped me give the breakthroughs," Choudhary said giving credit to their leg-spinner Markande (1/56). He further said Yuvraj Singh’s inputs helped him and he was just keeping his focus without trying too much. "To have a player like Yuvi paaji with you is a big boost. He constantly kept on telling me to stay focus and not try too much. He told me not get panic, and don’t bowl loose deliveries. I just kept bowling to the field."

But it was the pacer Manpreet Singh Gony (2/19), who gave Punjab a superb start, dismissing both the Bengal openers for 21 inside the first hour’s play. Fresh from their century-plus opening partnership in their record 322-run chase against Delhi, Bengal got off to a shaky start with Abhishek Raman getting out for a duck. Gony then trapped last match’s centurion Abhimanyu Easwaran (7) before Choudhary made his presence felt, grabbing the big wicket of Tiwary for four, when the Bengal skipper was caught at slip by his Punjab counterpart Mandeep Singh.

Just when Anustup Majumdar was looking to calm things down, a terrific catch by Gill, running back from square leg, gave Punjab another breakthrough. In the next over, Choudhary had Writtick Chatterjee (0) plumb in front of the stumps, as Bengal lost half of their side inside the first session.

Choudhary was at his best in his second spell (9.1-0-41-4) when he ran through the Bengal batting lineup, breaking the partnership between Chatterjee and Goswami, who added valuable 65 runs for the sixth wicket. "It was a moisture laden wicket in morning. We needed to survive. Now we have to fight back. I’m really disappointed and looking for answers. We should have scored at least 250 runs in the first innings. We are staring at the wrong end of the barrel. It’s now struggle for us," Bengal mentor Arun Lal said, summing up Bengal’s misery."

Brief Scores:

Bengal 187; 69.1 overs (Shreevats Goswami 57, Sudip Chatterjee 52; Vinay Choudhary 6/62).

Punjab 47/2; 20 overs (Shubman Gill 36 batting, Anmolpreet Singh 1 batting).

Mumbai bundle out Chhattisgarh for low score

Former champions Mumbai, out of running for a place in the knock out rounds, finally found some form when they shot out minnows Chhattisgarh for a measly first inning score in their last Group A game at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.

Pace bowlers Shardul Thakur (4 for 32) and Tushar Deshpande (5 for 46) got on top of the rival batsmen soon after Mumbai inserted Chhattisgarh in and terminated the visitors’ first innings at 129 in just 42.1 overs on day one of the four-day match.

In reply, Mumbai made 118 for three with recalled former captain Suryakumar Yadav unbeaten on 31. New opener Vikrant Auti made 43.

In an inconsequential Group A match in Delhi’s Karnail Singh stadium, Maharashtra were dismissed for a paltry 70 by hosts Railways who took the first innings lead by making 180 for 8.

For Maharashtra, Satyajeet Bacchav made the top score of 15 and also grabbed 7 wickets. Mahesh Rawat was Railways’ top scorer (46).

Brief scores: At Mumbai: Chhattisgarh 129 (Ashutosh Singh 30, Amandeep Khare 48; Shardul Thakur 4 for 32, Tushar Deshpande 5 for 46) versus Mumbai 118 for 3 (Vikrant Auti 43, Suryakumar Yadav 31).

At Rajkot: Saurashtra 218 for 5 (Harvik Desai 74, Sheldon Jackson 65, Arpit Vasavada 36 not out) versus Vidarbha.

At Delhi: Maharashtra 70 (Avinash Yadav 4 for 38, Ashish Yadav 2 for 11, Harsh Tyagi 2 for 2) versus Railways 180 for 8 (Mahesh Rawat 46; Satyajeet Bacchav 7 for 70).

Aman, Quadri floor Manipur

Patna, Jan 7 (PTI) Skipper Ashutosh Aman and Samar Quadri shared nine wickets between them as Bihar shot out Manipur for 156 in their must-win final round Ranji Trophy Plate group match at the Moin-ul-haq Stadium in Patna on Monday.

In reply, Bihar were 107/5, trailing Manipur by 49 runs, with Kundan Gupta and skipper Vikas Ranjan batting on 29 and five, respectively. Priyojit Singh was the pick of the bowlers with 3/22 in his seven overs, while Bishworjit Konthoujam (2/39) claimed both the openers to reduce Bihar to 44/2 inside 11 overs.

Bihar are placed second, three points behind leaders Uttarakhand in the Plate Group from where one team will make the quarterfinals.

In Dehradun, Uttarakhand kept their knockout hopes alive, posting a challenging 377 against Mizoram with Saurabh Rawat (102) cracking his second first-class century. Rawat found a fine ally in skipper Rajat Bhatia who slammed a run-a-ball 84 (9×4, 1×6) to add 144 runs for the fifth wicket.

The duo’s partnership revived Uttarakhand from 90/4 in the first session after they were sent in. Malolan Rangarajan also contributed with a vital 58 from 76 balls as Uttarakhand ensured that they have a competitive total in their crucial match.

In reply, Mizoram were eight for no loss in eight overs.

Brief Scores:

In Patna: Manipur 156; 32 overs (Mayank Raghav 79; Samar Quadri 5/49, Ashutosh Aman 4/39). Bihar 107/5; 32 overs (Kundan Gupta 29 batting, Vikash Ranjan 5 batting; Priyojit Singh 3/22).

In Goalpara: Arunachal Pradesh 169; 49.1 overs (Kshitiz Sharma 59; Milind Kumar 5/42, Ishwar Chaudhary 3/55). Sikkim 132/3; 42 overs (Milind Kumar 50 batting, Jahan Uddin 27 batting).

In Dehradun: Uttarakhand 377; 83.5 overs (Saurabh Rawat 102, Rajat Bhatia 84, Malolan Rangarajan 58). Mizoram 8 for no loss; 4 overs.

In Dimapur: Nagaland 387/5; 87.5 overs (Hokaito Zhimomi 177, Nitesh Lohchab 100; Pankaj Singh 3/95) vs Puducherry.

Abhinav Mukund’s century, stand with Indrajith Baba help Tamil Nadu to 215/3

Abhinav Mukund’s ton helped Tamil Nadu make 215 for 3 in 90 overs at stumps on day one against Delhi in a Ranji Trophy. (File Photo)

A patient century by Test discard Abhinav Mukund and his 155-run partnership with captain Baba Indrajith (86) helped Tamil Nadu make 215 for 3 in 90 overs at stumps on day one against Delhi in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘B’ match in Chennai Monday. Mukund, who was dropped when on 97 by Lalit Yadav off Navdeep Saina, reached his ton with a glorious drive through the covers of Shivam Sharma in the 87th over.

The stylish southpaw and Indrajith, who hit 11 fours, came together with the host in a spot of bother at 42 for 2, negotiated the bowling with a mix of caution and aggression. Indrajith, in particular, started slowly before growing in confidence in the company of Mukund, who essayed some elegant shots. The TN skipper, who was let off on 21 at first slip, made the most of that lapse to record yet another half-century.

Speaking at the end of the day, Indrajith said he was happy that his partnership with Abhinav helped the team to overcome the wobbly start. "When I walked out to bat, we were in a spot of bother. We needed a big partnership. The wicket was offering something for the spinners and there was good bounce. The pitch will deteriorate since it’s a red soil wicket and it will take turn from day two," the 24-year old right-hander said.

Indrajith played cautiously while Mukund hit his stride early in the innings and kept the scoreboard moving. The left-handed opener reached his 50 in 102 balls and was on the lookout for runs though he lost fellow opener N Jagadeesan, who fell going for a big hit of left-arm spinner Vikas Sharma.

Baba Aparajith (6) too didn’t last long as he was stumped by Anuj Sharma when he stepped out to a delivery from Shivam Sharma. Mukund and Indrajith, who put on 155 runs from 350 balls for the third wicket, made sure the Delhi bowlers didn’t find any success in the second session. Their solid stand helped the host recover from two early losses and end the day in a good position.

Indrajith, who was looking good to score his 10th first class ton, was snapped up by Dhruv Shorey for 86 to give Mishra his second wicket. Mukund and all-rounder Vijay Shankar (8 batting, 43 balls) ensured the team survived without any further losses despite the Delhi bowlers exerting pressure.

Brief scores (at end of day 1): Tamil Nadu 215 for 3 in 90 overs (Abhinav Mukund 104 batting (244 balls, 11×4), B Indrajith 86 (199 balls 11×4, Vikas Mishra 2 for 71) vs Delhi.

(Toss: TN).

At Amatar: Himachal 257 for 7 in 87 overs (A R Kalsi 89 batting, Rishi Dhawan 58, M D Nideesh 4 for 81) vs Kerala.

(Toss: Kerala).

At Indore: Andhra 132 all out in 54.3 overs (D B Prashanth Kumar 29, Ishwar Pandey 4 for 43, Kumar Kartikeya Singh 3 for 23, Gourav Yadav 3 for 21) vs Madhya Pradesh.

(Toss: MP).

Tripura shot out for 35 vs Rajasthan; Aniket Choudhary grabs 5-11

Rajasthan pacers, who have been impressive throughout the season, yet again wreaked havoc as they bundled out Tripura for a paltry 35 in their Elite Group C match in Agartala on Monday. The pacers were led by left-arm speedster Aniket Choudhary, who returned with exceptional figures of 5-11, in seven overs at the MBB Stadium here. He was ably supported by another left-arm pacer T M Haq (3-1) and Deepak Chahar (1-17).

Tripura ended their innings at 35 for 9 with their skipper S K Patel retiring hurt on 2. Such was Tripura’s misery that only one batsman was able to score in double figures as all other batters faltered after their captain elected to bat.

In reply, Rajasthan made 218 to take a dominant 183-run first innings lead. The visitors were in a spot of bother at 157 for 9, but then their no 10 Choudhary (30 not out) and Haq (37) got involved in a 61-run stand for the last wicket and ensured Rajasthan crossed the 200-run mark.

Tripura were 4 for no loss at close of play, still adrift by 179 runs. Meanwhile, at Rohtak, Haryana shot out Services for 170 with slow-left arm orthodox bowler Tinu Kundu grabbing six wickets.

Haryana ended the day at 10 for 1, losing their opener Ankit Kumar. Haryana still trail by 160 runs.

At Bhubaneshwar, put in to bat, Odisha rode on opener Sandeep Pattanaik’s 100 to reach 229 for 7 at the close of play. Pattanaik struck 10 fours and a six in his 194-ball knock.

At Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, who chose to field, bundled out Assam for 175 and then ended the day at 64 for 1. The Jammu and Kashmir versus Jharkhand match at Jammu did not begin owing to a wet outfield.

Brief scores:

At Agartala: Tripura 35/9 (Neelambuj Vats 11 not out, Rajesh Banik 8, Aniket Choudhary 5-11, T M Haq 3-1) and 4/0 versus Rajasthan 218 (T H Haq 37, Aniket Choudhary 30 not out, M B Mura Singh 4-75).

At Rohtak: Services 170 (Vikas Hathwala 54, A A Bamal 30, Tinu Kundu 6-60) versus Haryana 10 for 1.

At Bhubaneshwar: Odisha 229/7 (Sandeep Pattanaik 100, Shantanu Mishra 59, Amogh Desai 2-44) versus Goa.

At Kanpur: Assam 175 (Pallav Kumar Das 75, Sarupam Purkayastha 35, Yash Dayal 3-15) versus Uttar Pradesh 64/1 (Umang Sharma 32 not out, Ranjeet Mali 1-27).