Crisis man Siddhesh Lad batted stubbornly in making a patient, unconquered 71 to bail out oft-crowned champions Mumbai against Baroda in their landmark 500th Ranji Trophy Group C game that was drawn in Mumbai on Sunday.
The short-statured batsman remained unbeaten after staying at the crease for two minutes over five hours and facing 238 balls in the Mumbai second innings score of 260/7 at the Wankhede Stadium.
The 25-year-old batsman, known for his obdurate measures, stitched together a partnership of 79 runs with Suryakumar Yadav (44) for the sixth wicket to help Mumbai to a tea-time score of 237/6 after the 41-time champions commenced at 102/4.
Lad, on 57 in a score of 236 was caught off Swapnil Singh but was fortunate to escape as it was found to be a no-ball through a referral to the third umpire.
Lad, who struck 7 fours, later got involved in another half century stand with the stonewalling Abhishek Nayar (8) for the seventh wicket to take Mumbai closer to safety after they commenced the last day facing an innings defeat, having conceded a huge first innings lead of 404 to the visitors on Saturday.
Nayar concentrated only in blocking with a string of fielders around the bat for 141 minutes as he faced 108 balls during his 50-run partnership with Lad.
The left handed batsman departed with eleven overs still remaining in the game, edging a ball that spun away from debutant off spinner Kartik Kakade that took the edge and was caught at the wicket.
But Lad, who had scored 117 in the previous away game against Odisha, and Dhawal Kulkarni (8 not out) held on in determined fashion to force a draw after being together for 46 minutes.
Brief scores (Group C):
Mumbai 171 & 260/7 (Prithvi Shaw 56, Ajinkya Rahane 45, Suryakumar Yadav 44, Siddhesh Lad 71*, Dhawal Kulkarni 8*, Swapnil Singh 2/55, Kartik Kakade 2/50) vs Baroda 575/9 decl. Points: Baroda 3, Mumbai 1.
Tamil Nadu 530/8 decl. in 165 overs (M Vijay 140, B Aparajith 109*) drew with Odisha 533/9 in 187.1 overs (Rajesh Dhupar 97, Natraj Behera 91, Shantanu Mishra 71, Biplab Samantaray 50, Sandeep Pattanaik 66; Washington Sundar 4/95, V Yomahesh 3/60). Points: Odisha 3, TN 1.
Andhra Pradesh 402 & 234/4 decl in 46 overs (KS Bharat 50) drew Tripura 315 all out in 99.4 overs & 272/5 in 56 overs (Smit Patel 107*). Points: Andhra 3, Tripura 1.
Bengal suffer first loss
Despite India’s Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and Sudeep Chatterjee scoring half-centuries, Bengal’s batting crumbled and they suffered a 10-wicket humiliating loss at home against Vidarbha in a Group D fixture.
Resuming the day on 86/3 in their second innings after being asked to follow-on, Bengal rode on 148-run partnership by Saha (97) and Chatterjee (82), but none of the others could chip in and they folded for 306 in 101.4 overs, setting a 15-run target.
Sanjay Ramaswamy struck four boundaries to hit off the winning runs as Vidarbha (21 points) climbed up to the top of Group D table with six points from this match.
They are currently six points clear of second placed Punjab. After their first defeat of the season, Bengal slipped to fourth place with 13 points from four matches.
Brief scores (Group D):
Bengal: 207 & 306 all out in 101.4 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 97, Sudip Chatterjee 82, Manoj Tiwary 43; Lalit Yadav 4/54, Aditya Sarwate 3/59) vs Vidarbha: 499 & 18/0 in 1.3 overs. Points: Vidarbha 6, Bengal 0.
Himachal Pradesh: 175 & 167 all out in 49.5 overs (Nikhil Gangta 41; Shahnawaz Hussain 6/53) lost to Chhattisgarh: 456 in 135.2 overs (Rishabh Tiwari 131, Amandeep Khare 78, Manoj Singh 67, Ashutosh Singh 54; Rishi Dhawan 3/127, Sidharth Sharma 3/100) by an innings and 114 runs. Points: Chhattisgarh 7, Himachal 0.
Services: 263 & 190 all out in 55.4 overs (Ravi Chauhan 55; Darshan Misal 7/68) drew with Goa: 270 & 128/4 in 50 overs (Sagun Kamat 57*, Diwesh Pathania 3/37). Points: Goa 3, Services 1.
Karnataka earn three points
Opener KL Rahul (92) missed out on a century after Abhimanyu Mithun orchestrated Delhi’s fall with a five-wicket haul as Karnataka earned three points on the basis of their first innings in the Group A match, which ended in a draw on Sunday.
Karnataka strengthened their top position in the table by taking their tally to 23 while Delhi are second on 17.
Batting first, Karnataka had amassed a mammoth total of 649 all out in the first innings with Mayank Agarwal’s 176 and Stuart Binny’s 118.
In reply, Delhi were bowled out for 301, conceding 348 runs lead to Karnataka after Mithun ripped through the batting lineup by bagging five wickets for 70 runs.
In their second innings, Karnataka put on a total of 235/3 before the stumps were drawn for the final time.
Rahul and Ravikumar Samarth (47) gave the hosts a solid start, putting on a 121 partnership for first wicket. Samarth lost his wicket to Manan Sharma after he was caught by Nitish Rana.
Rahul was fast cruising to his century but fell short after being run out when he was carelessly ambling across the wicket. Rahul hammered 92 runs in 109 balls, hitting nine boundaries and two sixes.
Brief scores (Group A):
Uttar Pradesh 349 & 357/6d in 86.4 overs (U Sharma 148, M Saif 77) drew with Assam 318 & 148/4 in 55 overs (S Roy 62, G Sharma 62). Points: UP 3, Assam 1.
Karnataka 649 & 235/3 in 63 overs (KL Rahul 92, R Samarth 47) drew with Delhi 301 in 95 overs (G Gambhir 144, A Mithun 5/70). Points: Karnataka 3, Delhi 1.
Maharashtra 481 & 186/6d in 37 overs (N Shaikh 40) drew with Railways 381 & 54/1 in 18 overs. Points: Maharashtra 3, Railways 1.
Brief scores (Group B):
Haryana 223 & 179/5d in 55 overs (S Chauhan 65) drew with Rajasthan 150 & 59/7 in 39 overs. Points: Haryana 3, Rajasthan 1.
Jammu & Kashmir 376 & 265/9d in 63.5 overs (P Rasool 70, O Shah 50) beat Jharkhand 292/9d & 243 in 49.4 overs (I Kishan 52, U Singh 47, S Nadeem 53, P Rasool 5/99, A Aziz 5/63) by 106 runs. Points: J&K 6, Jharkhand 0.
Saurashtra 570 & 98/1 in 30.1 overs (R Uthappa 64) drew with Gujarat 413 in 145.1 overs (P Panchal 145, R Bhatt 107, J Unadkat 4/83). Points: Saurashtra 3, Gujarat 1.