Bengal snatched an exciting one-wicket win against Tamil Nadu to earn six points in a Ranji Trophy match at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai on Saturday. Bengal moved to 12 points and second spot in the points table with its first win of the season.
Then, Gujarat skipper Priyank Panchal stuck a blistering hundred as his side stunned hosts Mumbai by nine wickets. Rajasthan’s winning streak came to a halt against hosts Uttar Pradesh ended in a draw in Kanpur.
Bengal’s thrilling win
Requiring 216 for victory, the visitors scraped home in a tense finish after Tamil Nadu spinner Rahil Shah came up with another five-wicket haul to keep his team in the hunt. Praditpa Pramanik was the hero for Bengal with a knock of 25 (97 balls, 1X6) as he batted with determination under pressure to guide the team home.
Tamil Nadu mounted pressure on the Bengal batsmen with Shah being the dangerman, but they came through showing skills to play on a wearing wicket. The home side began the day looking for wickets and earned early success when the Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary, the key man in the chase, fell leg-before wicket to T Natarajan for 25.
It was anyone’s game as Bengal needed over 100 runs to secure a win. Sudip Chaterjee (40) brought his experience to the fore and scored important runs as the team inched forward.
Tamil Nadu fought back by taking a clutch of wickets as Shah removed Anustup Majumdar, Writtick Bijoy Chatterjee and Shreevats Goswami to leave Bengal tottering at 150/7. Sudip Chatterjee and Pramanik added 55 runs a little over 25 overs, keeping the attack-minded TN bowlers at bay to bring Bengal closer.
Chatterjee was stumped by N Jagadeesan with Bengal nine runs short of the target to produce more drama. Ashoke Dinda (1) was run out by Shah with two runs to get. However, Pramanik and no 11 batsman Ishan Porel scampered through a leg-bye to seal a memorable victory, the first of the season for Bengal.
Gujarat reign supreme
Courtesy of Panchal’s unbeaten 112 off 109 balls, Gujarat overhauled the 204-run target in just 41.5 overs and raced to victory despite conceding the first innings lead to the 41-time champions on the last day of the four-day game.
The 28-year-old Panchal and Kathan Patel (55 in 85 balls) laid the foundation for their come-from-behind win with a 128-run stand for the opening wicket. Panchal hammered 11 fours and 3 sixes in his match-winning knock.
After Kathan Patel fell, Bhargav Merai (34 not out in 57 balls) and Panchal took the side home without much fuss. With this win, Gujarat became the first side to beat Mumbai outright on four occasions. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have won on 3 occasions each.
Earlier, Mumbai resumed the day at 157 for 7 but could add only 30 more runs to their tally as their second innings folded up at 187. In the second essay, Shivam Dubey played a valiant knock of 55, but his efforts went in vain. For Gujarat, pacers Chintan Gaja (4/57) and Roosh Kalaria (4/59) picked up four wickets each.
With this emphatic win, Gujarat have topped Group A and B with 16 points from 2 wins from 4 games, while Mumbai are still searching for their first win after three games.
Rajasthan take 3 points
Rajasthan’s winning streak came to a halt as their Group C game against hosts Uttar Pradesh ended in a draw. But, the visitors grabbed three points on the basis of first-innings lead while Uttar Pradesh had to settle for a single point.
Rajasthan had come to the game with three successive wins. Despite the draw, Rajasthan are on the top of the points table with 21 points from four games while UP are in the second spot having 18 points from four games.
The visitors resumed the final day at 136/4 at the Green Park Stadium here and added another 96 to their tally before being bowled out for 232 in their second essay. UP were set a 330-run target for an outright win.
For Rajasthan, opener Amitkumar Gautam had a game to remember. After scoring 93 in the first essay, he continued his good form and top-scored with a patient 86 in the second, hitting 10 fours and 1 six in his 202-ball knock.
For Uttar Pradesh, slow-left arm orthodox bowler Saurabh Kumar rattled the Rajasthan middle and lower-middle order to return with fine figures of 6-77 in second innings. But as the chase seemed to be out of reach, Uttar Pradesh batted for 36 overs and were 116/2 when the match was declared a draw. It was a batting practice for Uttar Pradesh openers Mohammed Saif (58) and Shivam Chaudhary (36).
Meanwhile, at Cuttack, hosts Odisha notched up a sensational five-wicket win against Tripura.