Railways created the biggest upset in this Ranji Trophy season so far after they defeated domestic giants Mumbai by 10 wickets within three days at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.
After bundling out Mumbai for a paltry 114 on the opening day, Railways riding on skipper Karn Sharma’s unbeaten 112, grabbed a crucial 152-run first-innings lead. Then Railways pacer Himanshu Sangwan (5/60) took five wickets, as Mumbai were bundled out for 198 in their second essay after Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane failed miserably in the second innings as well.
The 41-time domestic champions resumed the third day on their overnight score of 64/3 and needed to bat as long as possible to avoid an outright defeat or to at least enforce a draw. However, Rahane, who was unbeaten on 3 could add only five runs to his score and was dismissed on eight.
Mumbai 114 and 198 (Suryakumar Yadav 65, Akash Parkar 35*, Himanshu Sangwan 5/60) vs Railways 266 and 47/0. Railways won by 10 wickets.
Axar bowls Gujarat to victory
Spinner Axar Patel (4/50) was on target for Gujarat, who registered a 90-run victory against Kerala on Friday. Openers Vishnu Vinod and Jalaj Saxena gave their side a steady start while chasing 268, but Roosh Kalaria’s struck for Gujarat. Chintan Gaja broke the Kerala middle-order but Sanju Samson was in great form for his 78, which came from 82 balls. The lower order put up no fight after Patel removed Samson and the visitors were bundled out for 177.
In Surat: Gujarat 127 and 210 & Kerala 70 and (target 268) 177 (Sanju Samson 78, Axar Patel 4/50, Chintan Gaja 3/41).
Delhi in line for full points
Ishant Sharma was a picture of commitment while leading the injury-ridden Delhi attack with an eight-wicket match haul to all but ensure an outright victory against Hyderabad on the third day in New Delhi on Friday.
Having dismissed Hyderabad for 69 in the first innings, Delhi were handicapped by Pawan Suyal’s injury but that didn’t deter Ishant from sending down 19 overs, grabbing 4/89 in the visitors’ total score of 298. Ishant finished with a match-haul of 8/108 in 29 overs.
Needing 84 to win, Delhi were 24 for no loss in the second innings and are just 60 runs away from taking full points. If they win by 10 wickets, the team will also walk away with a bonus point.
At a time when the Indian pacers’ workload management has become a focal point and top stars only want to bowl a specific number of overs in red-ball games to get into the groove, the veteran of 96 Test matches toiled hard, bowled those extra overs and also encouraged young Simarjeet Singh (3/80 in 19.4 overs).
Once Suyal was out of the attack with a groin strain, Ishant had no option but to bowl those extra overs and he started in earnest, trapping right-hander Himalay Agarwal in-front and then breaching Bavanaka Sandeep’s (0) defence.
Delhi 284 and (target 84) 24/0. Hyderabad 69 and (f/0) 298 (Tanmay Agarwal 103, Mehedy Hasan 71, Ishant Sharma 4/86, Simarjeet Singh 3/80).
Andhra fight to avoid follow-on
Bengal speedster Ishan Porel blew away the Andhra middle-order with a triple strike as Andhra were reduced to 110/7 on the third day in Kolkata.
Only 46 overs of play were possible on the day due, which has effectively robbed Bengal a chance to get an outright win with a day left. Bengal were all out for 289 in their first innings and Andhra need to score another 30 to avoid the follow-on.
On a breezy winter morning, Andhra had their backs to the wall with Porel dismissing skipper Hanuma Vihari (23) and in-form Ricky Bhui (0) off successive deliveries to finish the day with figures of 3/35.
Porel’s new-ball partner pace partner Mukesh Kumar accounted for 2/36 but Andhra rode on Gnaneshwar’s dogged 45 not out off 145 balls to see through the day. The start too was delayed by one hour and 45 minutes because of the wet outfield as the four-pronged Bengal pace attack used the conditions to their advantage.
Spearheading the Bengal attack in absence of Ashok Dinda, who was axed for misconduct, the lanky 21-year-old Porel looked in good rhythm during the second session when he grabbed three wickets in three overs and was in-line for a hat-trick.
Bengal 289 vs Andhra 110/7 in 46 overs (CR Gnaneshwar 45*; Ishan Porel 3/35, Mukesh Kumar 2/36).
In Nagpur: Vidarbha 338 (Ganesh Sathish 145, Aditya Sarwate 48, Baltej Singh 3/59). Punjab 132/0 (Shubman Gill 70*, Sanvir Singh 56*).
More to follow..