Shams Mulani and K Gowtham put their respective sides in a position of command thanks to some wonderful all-round performances on day two of the first round of Ranji Trophy matches around the country on Tuesday.
Two-time champions Tamil Nadu need big partnerships to get back into the game against Karnataka while the tournament’s most successful side Mumbai continued their strong start and had the upper hand over Baroda.
Kerala captain Sachin Baby’s 155 put his team in total control against Delhi while Saurashtra were closing in on victory.
Defending champions Vidarbha recovered from losing their top three batsmen against Andhra Pradesh, as Ganesh Satish hit a superb century to push his team into the lead.
Here’s an overview of how things panned out on day two of the Ranji Trophy.
Karnataka’s Krishnappa Gowtham first hit a quick-fire half-century – laced with four fours and as many sixes – to pile on the misery for Tamil Nadu on day two at Dindigul and then dismissed three top-order batsman with the ball.
At the close of play, Karnataka had a handsome lead of 171 runs but not before Tamil Nadu’s top-order batsmen shifted momentum in the contest. Senior openers Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund built a steady 81-run stand before Gowtham removed them in successive overs. Another big blow came in the form of skipper Vijay Shankar, whom Gowtham trapped leg-before.
The onus is now on Dinesh Karthik (23*), Ravichandran Ashwin and the other lower-order batsmen to gain a first-innings lead. It was yet another day where Karnataka edged out their opponents.
Karnataka 336 (D Padikkal 78, P Deshpande 65, K Gowtham 51; R Ashwin 4/79) lead Tamil Nadu 165/4 (A Mukund 47, B Aparajith 37; K Gowtham 3/61) by 171 runs.
Saurashtra close in
Saurashtra were just 66 runs shy of opening their account this season after Himachal Pradesh suffered yet another batting collapse in Dharamsala.
Seventeen wickets fell on day one and Dharmendra Jadeja’s cameo lower down the order gave the visitors a narrow 21-run lead. However, skipper Jaydev Unadkat’s (6/51) put his team in command despite Himachal wicket-keeper Ankush Bains scoring a terrific 74 on a spicy wicket. The left-armer finished with nine wickets in the match.
Chasing 162, Harvik Desai’s 46 has put his team on course for a win. With Pujara, Sheldon Jackson and Jadeja yet to come, Saurashtra will be fancying their chances for an outright win.
Himachal Pradesh 120 and 182 (Ankush Bains 74, Ravi Dhawan 53; Jaydev Unadkat 6-51) lead Saurashtra 141 (Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 47, Snell Patel 42; Vaibhav Arora 6/48) and 96/3 (Harvik Desai 46, Snell Patel 15; Vaibhav Arora 2/29) by 65 runs.
Baby’s day out
Skipper Sachin Baby grinded a listless Delhi attack to hit 155 as Kerala gained complete control, first by posting a mammoth 525/9 and then removing the two opposition openers at Thumba. Baby carried on the good work done on the opening day by Robin Uthappa and Ponnam Rahul (97) with his 274-ball knock laced with 13 hits to the fence.
His innings propelled Kerala past the 500-run mark as a tired Delhi side lost both its openers – Anuj Rawat cleaned by off-spinner Jalaj Saxena and Kunal Chandela (1) edging one to Mohammed Azharuddeen behind stumps off pacer Sandeep Warrier.
Skipper Dhruv Shorey and his deputy Nitish Rana were at the crease and the only other specialist batsman in the side is left-handed Jonty Sidhu. Delhi will first look at a score of 376 to avoid follow-on and take it from thereon. However it looks an uphill task at the moment in the manner the match has panned out so far.
Kerala 525/9 decl. (Sachin Baby 155, Robin Uthappa 102, Ponnam Rahul 97, Salman Nizar 77, Tejas Baroka 3/128, Shivam Sharma 2/112, Vikas Mishra 1/107 in 34 overs) lead Delhi 23/2 by 502 runs.
Haryana gain upper hand
Hosts Haryana took control of its Group C encounter against Maharashtra at Rohtak, reducing them to 88/4 after making 401 in the first innings.
Resuming at 279/3 on the back of tons by opener Shubham Rohilla and middle-order batsman Shivam Chauhan, Haryana added 122 runs more even as the visiting bowlers stuck to their task and picked up wickets at regular intervals.
Rohilla moved from 105 to 142 but could not inspire his team to a bigger score. He was bowled by medium pacer Anupam Sanklecha (4/82).
Sumit Kumar, who made 40 (86 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) ensured that the home side went past 400 as the lower order could not get going. Rohilla (142, 285 balls, 17 fours) and Chauhan (117) had added 221 runs for the third wicket on Monday to resurrect Haryana’s first innings after they were reduced to 24/2.
Gill falls early but Mandeep shines
Shubman Gill (12) fell early for Punjab after Rajasthan were bowled out for 257 in Jaipur. In came skipper Mandeep Singh (122) and senior batsman Gurkeerat Singh Mann (68) to steady the ship for the visitors.
Mandeep was dismissed late in the day but Anmol Malhotra’s steady unbeaten fifty had taken his team to a good position, and Punjab are leading by 33 runs at the close of play.
Rajasthan 257 (Ashok Menaria 60, Salman Khan 53, Siddarth Kaul 4/68) trail Punjab 290/6 (Mandeep Singh 122, Gurkeerat Singh 68, Anmol Malhotra 68*) by 33 runs.
A tremendous lower-order fight from Mumbai’s lower order batsmen took them within touching distance of taking a big first innings lead at Baroda on Tuesday.
At the epicentre of it was Shams Mulani (89), who starred with bat and ball. The 41-time champions were all-out for 431 in the first innings. Later, Baroda opener Kedhar Devdhar (154*) was in terrific touch despite getting little or no support from the rest of his teammates.
Devdhar was unbeaten at stumps with his team nine-down and 130 runs adrift of Mumbai. Mulani, though, was Mumbai’s stand-out bowler too, picking up five wickets.
Railways 253 and 58/5 (Nitin Bhille 18, Shivam Mavi 3/9, Yash Dayal 2/19) lead Uttar Pradesh 175 (Almas Shaukat 92*, Saurabh Kumar 21; Amit Verma 4/52, Himanshu Sangwan 4/71) by 136 runs.
Haryana 401 (Shivam Chauhan 117, Shubham Rohilla 142, AA Sanklecha 4/83, SS Bachhav 3/76) lead Maharashtra 88/4 (Naushad Shaik 23*) by 309 runs.
Tripura 289 (Milind Kumar 59; Harmeet Singh 56, Pratyush Singh 40; Ashish Kumar 3/40, Ajay Yadav 3/61) vs Jharkhand 136 (Virat Singh 47, Vivek Tiwari 30; Rana Dutta 4/42, AK Sarkar 3/43) and 91/2 (Md. Nazim 40).
Services 124 (VS Hathwala 34; AK Das 4/39) and 130/4 (Mumtaz Qadir 39, Rajat Paliwal 36 batting) vs Assam 162 (Riyan Parag 66, Gokul Sharma 32; Diwesh Pathania 5/58, Shadab Nazar 3/44).
Jammu and Kashmir 182 (SP Khajuria 47; RS Shah 3/18) and 304 (Fazil Rashid 73, Abdul Samad 60, Ram Dayal 41) vs Uttarakhand 84 (D Negi 24*; M Mudhasir 5/13, Ram Dayal 4/28) and 18/3.
Chhattisgarh 134 (AJ Mandal 47; Rajesh Mohanty 6/47) and 45/1 (Ashtosh Singh 26*) vs Odisha 215/9 (Sujit Lenka 56, Biplab Samantray 30; Puneet Datey 4/58).
Hyderabad 233 trail Gujarat 295/9 (Manprit Juneja 94, Rujul Bhatt 65, Mehidy Hassan 4/78) by 62 runs.
Andhra 211 trail Vidarbha 268/4 (Ganesh Satish 113*, Mohit Kale 82; C Stephen 3/76) by 57 runs.