Railways fought hard but were defied by Ravindra Jadeja once again as Saurashtra registered a narrow three-wicket at Rajkot on Thursday.
Delhi, meanwhile, toiled against Himachal Pradesh after it looked like they would register an outright win. There were wins for Assam and Uttar Pradesh too. Meanwhile, Rajasthan defied the odds against Services while chasing a 357-run target, getting to an unlikely win against Services. Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad, meanwhile played out a draw.
Delhi fail to bundle out Himachal
Delhi’s left-arm spin duo Vikas Mishra and Varun Sood put up a disappointing show on a helpful last day track as Himachal Pradesh managed to eke out a point.
Needing nine wickets on the final day and Himachal left with an improbable chase of 376, Mishra (2/57 in 33 overs) and Sood (1/51 in 21 overs) failed to break through the opposition middle-order.
HP finished their second innings at 266 for 5, primarily due to Nikhil Gangta (66 no, 184 balls) and Rishi Dhawan (52 no, 110 balls). Sumeet Verma (43, 91 balls) also played his part to perfection as Delhi bowlers sans Ishant Sharma (2/42 in 16 overs) looked below-par.
Brief scores: Delhi 317 and 281/4 decl. HP 223 and 266/5 (Nikhil Gangta 66 no, Rishi Dhawan 52*, Ishant Sharma 2/42)
Jackson, Jadeja star for Saurashtra
Sheldon Jackson hit a strokeful half century while Ravindra Jadeja made a crucial unbeaten 48 to guide hosts Saurashtra to a three-wicket win over Railways in the group A match at Rajkot.
Saurashtra lost seven wickets while chasing 184 for an outright win, but Ravindra Jadeja (48*) held his nervous along with Kamlesh Makwana (14*) to take their side to a victory.
Jackson’s 55-ball 54, which had eight fours and two sixes proved to be the difference among the two sides. Saurashtra were four wickets down for 65 at one stage, but then Jackson and Jadeja pulled the team out of trouble.
Jadeja, who reamined unbeaten on 178 in the first innings, carried on his form and responded to his team’s call.
Brief scores: Railways 200 and 331 (Harsh Tyagi 93) vs Saurashtra 348 and 186/7 (Sheldon Jackson 54, Ravindra Jadeja 48*) Saurashtra won by three wickets.
Share of spoils for TN, Hyderabad
Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad had to settle for one point each as the first innings remained unfinished at Tirunelveli.
In reply to Hyderabad’s 565/8 declared, the home team was at 409/4 in 154 overs riding on tons by Abhinav Mukund (178) and N Jagadeesan (131*) at close of play on the fourth and final day. Resuming at 163 for 2, Tamil Nadu lost skipper Baba Indrajith (33) for the addition of 15 runs.
Wicketkeer-batsman Jagadeesan, who joined the experienced Mukund in the middle, was his aggressive self and came up with some attractive shots. He added 171 runs with Mukund to dash any hopes Hyderabad would have entertained of obtaining a lead.
Hyderabad 565/8 (Akshath Reddy 250, B Sandeep 130, M Mohammed 3/102, K Vignesh 2/102) vs Tamil Nadu 409/4 (Abhinav Mukund 178, N Jagadeesan 131*, CV Milind 2/46)
Aryaman Birla had an option of learning a few boardroom tricks from his business tycoon father Kumar Mangalam but the 21-year-old is ready to carve his own niche albeit on the cricket field.
The youngster on Thursday showed that he at least belongs to the first-class level, scoring a dogged 103 off 189 balls earning a draw for Madhya Pradesh against Bengal in a Ranji Trophy encounter at the Eden Gardens. His maiden first-class century could not have come at a better time and place, with Kolkata being his father’s birth place.
“Obviously there’s a family connection. I’ve been coming here from my childhood days,” he said. It’s very special for me. They would be very happy for me that I got my maiden first class hundred at Eden Gardens,” Aryaman, who had earlier come to Eden Gardens with Royals during IPL, said.
Pondicherry reign supreme
Debutants Puducherry opened their account with three points by virtue of a first innings lead over Meghalaya in the rain-hit match. Resuming the day on 95/4 in their second innings, Puducherry were 129/7 when rain stopped play in 47.1 overs at Puducherry.
With cyclone Gaja looming large, there was no respite from a downpour as only 17.1 overs could be possible and home team got three points, thanks to their first innings lead. Puducherry made 389 in their first innings before bowling out Meghalaya for 326.
Rain remained the common feature in the second match of the group in Jorhat where the final day’s play was abandoned without a ball being bowled as Arunachal Pradesh were lucky to bag three points, thanks to their first innings lead over Mizoram.
Rajasthan, UP register wins
Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Assam registered wins in their respective matches. While Uttar Pradesh thrashed hosts Odisha by 10 wickets in Bhubaneswar, Assam defeated Tripura by a massive 211 runs in Agartala. On the other hand, Rajasthan hammered Services by five wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur while chasing a stiff 357-run target.
Rajasthan rode on a magnificent 159 by their opener Amitkumar Gautam, who struck 13 fours and six other hits over the fence. Opener Gautam, who had fallen cheaply in the first innings, and his partner Chetan Bist (78) laid the foundation of the win with their 170-run stand for the first wicket.
Brief scores: Services 228 and 264 against Rajasthan 136 and 357/5 (AV Gautam 159, Chetan Bist 78). Rajasthan won by five wickets.
Odisha 256 and 221 (Sandeep Pattnaik 46, Shivam Mavi 5/68) versus Uttar Pradesh 437 and 44/0 (Madhav Kaushik 22*). Uttar Pradesh won by 10 wickets.
Assam 327 and 239/6 decl. (Riyan Parag 80) versus Tripura 139 and 216 (Harmeet Singh 33, Mukhtar Hussain 5-73). Assam won by 211 runs