Senior India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Sunday slammed 248, his 13th first-class double century to help Saurashtra post a massive 581/7 declared on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match against Karnataka in Rajkot.

Pujara, who on Saturday joined a select group of cricketing greats by smashing his 50th first-class century, is already the Indian player with most first class double centuries when he scored his 12th double ton in 2017 to go past Vijay Merchant.

With his 248 on Sunday, Pujara also became only the third player to record seven double centuries in Ranji Trophy. He is at joint second with Ajay Sharma two behind Paras Dogra, who played most cricket for Himachal Pradesh.

Pujara also completed 6000 runs in Ranji Trophy during the course of his marathon knock.

He and senior batsman Sheldon Jackson (161) rescued Saurashtra with a massive 394-run stand for the third wicket after they lost their two openers for only 33 runs on the board on Saturday.

Pujara resumed the second day on 162 and raised his double ton on Sunday before being eventually dismissed for 248 off 390 deliveries with help of 24 fours and a six.

In reply, Karnataka were 13/1 in eight overs.

Mumbai on top against TN

Skipper Aditya Tare struck 154 to lead a fine lower-order rally and put Mumbai in command by posting 488 in their first innings on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match against Tamil Nadu in Chennai on Sunday.

Tare, who resumed the day on his individual score of 69, was involved in a 123-run stand for the eight wicket with Shashank Attarde (58).

Tare hit 19 fours and 2 sixes during his 253-ball knock as Mumbai added 204 runs from 59 overs on Sunday from overnight 284/6.

In reply, Tamil Nadu were 66 for no loss with experienced opener Abhinav Mukund batting on 52.

The Tamil Nadu bowlers toiled for five sessions before wrapping up the Mumbai innings with ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3/121) and left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore (4/125) sending down 47 and 46 overs respectively.

Ashwin could not add any wicket on Sunday after he took three on Saturday and found himself being carted for a few sixes.

The Mumbai lower-order continued to make things difficult for the home side bowlers with Tushar Deshpande (39) smashing Ashwin for three huge sixes while No 11 Royston Dias too joined the fun, hoisting B Aparajith for a big one over long-on.

Tare, who had started slowly on the opening day, hit some superb shots as the Tamil Nadu bowlers proved to be ineffective. There was turn for the spinners but the home side bowlers could not quite exploit it as they were not consistent.

Left-arm paceman T Natarajan, after a wicketless opening day, managed to pick up two on Sunday, including that of Tare to a superb catch by Aparajith.

When Tamil Nadu batted, Mukund and L Suryapprakash (11*) were off to a cautious start with the latter being ultra-defensive.

However, Mukund found his rhythm as he cracked some lovely shots on both sides of the wicket.

Speaking at the end of the day’s play, Tare said the best he could do was to lead from the front and he was happy to have done it.

“I have been given the responsibility of leading the side and I had to lead from the front. Either me or (Siddhesh) Lad had to play a big knock. Unfortunately, Lad could not. I felt I needed to be calm at the crease,” he said.

“When you are not doing well, you tend to get tight at the crease. I just wanted to keep myself calm at the crease and take it one ball at a time,” Tare said about his ninth first-class hundred.

Brief scores:

Mumbai 488 all out in 148.4 overs (Aditya Tare 154, Shams Mulani 87, Shashank Attarde 58, Jay Bista 41; R Sai Kishore 4/125, R Ashwin 3/121) vs Tamil Nadu 66 for no loss in 31 overs (Abhinav Mukund 52 batting).

At Rajkot: Saurashtra 296 for 2 in 90 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 248, Sheldon Jackson 161, Perak Mankad 86; Pravin Dubey 2/80, J Suchith 2/129) vs Karnataka 13 for 1 in 8 overs.

At Kanpur: Uttar Pradesh 431 all out in 124.2 overs (Mohd Saif 123, Upendra Yadav 100, RK Singh 62, Almas Shaukat 48; Swapnil K Singh 3/47, Anureet Singh 2/77) vs Baroda 82 for 1 in 25 overs (Aditya Waghmode 34 batting, Vishnu Solanki 34 batting).

At Delhi: Madhya Pradesh 124 all out in 55 overs (Rajat Patidar 38; Himanshu Sangwan 6/33) and 47 for 2 in 19 overs vs Railways 244 all out in 29 overs (Dinesh Mor 45, Mrunal Devdhar 44; Kuldeep Sen 3/36, Mihir Hirwani 3/64).

Big win for defending champs

Bengal batting was in shambles for the second day in a row as defending champions Vidarbha cruised to a nine wicket victory in a Ranji Trophy group A encounter riding on left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate’s six-wicket haul.

Vidarbha scored 212 in their first innings in reply to Bengal’s paltry 170 and then Sarwate spun a web on a difficult track to bowl the visitors out for 99 in their second essay. With 6/47 in the second innings, Sarwate finished with match figures of 10/100.

That target of 58 was achieved with minimum fuss in 13.5 overs losing skipper Faiz Fazal’s wicket as Vidarbha now have 17 points and are in contention for a quarter-final berth from the cross-pool combining groups A and B.

Bengal on the other hand will now find it extremely difficult after another disastrous batting performance with nine batsmen failing to reach double figures.

Veteran Anushtup Majumdar (29) was the only one who showed some resistance as Abhimanyu Easwaran’s lean patch continued. On a pitch that was slightly challenging, save former skipper Manoj Tiwary’s first innings knock, none of the Bengal players were able to show technique to last long enough and fight it out.

Earlier, Vidarbha were reduced to 101/5 at one stage but the two of three Akshays in the line-up – Wadkar (49) and Karnewar (34) added 77 runs for the sixth wicket not only to surpass the Bengal total but also demoralize the opposition on a track which was spinners’ paradise.

Once the lead was 42, it was difficult for Bengal from there.

Brief scores:

Bengal 170 and 99 (Aditya Sarwate 6/47), Vidarbha 212 (Faiz Fazal 51, Akshay Wadkar 49, Arnab Nandi 3/51) and 61/1. Vidarbha 6. Bengal 0.

Gujarat 325. Rajasthan 142/1 (Manender Singh 61 batting).

Hyderabad 225. Andhra 237/1 (Prashanth Kumar 117 batting, Hanuma Vihari 41 batting)

Kerala 227 and 88/5 (Gurkeerat Singh Mann 4/27). Punjab 218.

Nagaland cross 500

Wicketkeeper-batsman Yogesh Takawale slammed an unbeaten 117 as Nagaland batsmen made merry against the Arunachal Pradesh to pile up a mammoth 543/7 declared in their Ranji Trophy Plate group fixture in Sovima on Sunday.

Takawale’s knock from 162 balls, laced with 14 fours, came after No 3 Shrikant Mundhe top-scored for the team with 166 on the opening day at the Nagaland Cricket Stadium.

Mundhe also claimed 3/32 to leave Arunachal Pradesh reeling at 141/4 in 37 overs, trailing by 393 runs.

Resuming the day on 356/5 with Takawale unbeaten on his overnight score of 13, the wicketkeeper batsman continued from where he had left and got a fine support from Sedezhalie Rupero.

The No 7, Rupero, was at his defiant best in his 53 from 120 balls (8x4) as the duo put together 138 runs as Arunachal Pradesh bowlers had a tough outing for second successive day.

Brief scores:
In Sovima: Nagaland 534/7 declared; 140.2 overs (Shrikant Mundhe 166, Yogesh Takawale 117 not out, Hokaito Zhimomi 76, Sedezhalie Rupero 53, Rongsen Jonathan 49). Arunachal Pradesh 141/4; 37 overs (Rahul Dalal 64 batting).

In Balurghat: Bihar 431; 130.2 overs (Indrajit Kumar 134, MD Rahmatullah 71, Atulya Priyankar 64, Kumar Mridul 51). Manipur 40/4; 21 overs.

In Chandigarh: Sikkim 264. Chandigarh 338/8;90 overs (Gurinder Singh 99, Bipul Sharma 58, Raman Bishnoi 51, Uday Kaul 44; Ishwar Chaudhary 4/88).

In Puducherry: Goa 270; 87.5 overs (Amit Verma 121; Ashith Rajiv 5/45) and 0/0; 1 over. Puducherry 260; 65.4 overs (Paras Dogra 194; Felix Almeo 6/73).

In Kolkata: Meghalaya 414/4; 90 overs (Dipu Sangma 114, DB Ravi Teja 119, Sanjay Yadav 107) vs Mizoram.

Kundu triggers Odisha collaps

Left-arm spinner Tinu Kundu grabbed five wickets as Haryana staged a remarkable comeback to take an upper hand in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group C match against Odisha in Rohtak on Sunday.

Haryana, who were bundled out for a paltry 90 after electing to bat, bowled out Odisha for 160 and then replied strongly in their second essay by posting 218/5, taking an overall lead of 148 going into the penultimate day.

Overnight at 141/5, Odisha lost their remaining five wickets with the addition of just 19 runs inside nine overs this morning at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli.

Kundu triggered the collapse by dismissing Sujit Lenka for 26, while skipper Harshal Patel (3/52) removed the set batsman Biplab Samantray (52) who got out immediately after scoring his half century.

Haryana batted sensibly in their second innings with openers Shubham Rohilla (48) and Ankit Kumar (46) putting up a 101-run stand. Himanshu Rana also contributed at number five before Pramod Chandila and Patel saw through the day.

At the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati, Assam replied strongly with 209/3 after Chhattisgarh posted 318 in their first innings, trailing the visitors by 109 runs with seven wickets intact.

Resuming on 276/7, Chhattisgarh got past the 300-run mark with Shashank Singh steering the lower middle order.

Ranjit Mali (4/80) gave the breakthrough and, along with Riyan Parag (3/60), he ran through the tail to wrap the visitors’ first innings in 105.3 overs in the first session.

Assam overcame a shaky start after opener Rahul Hazarika was trapped lbw for one by Veer Pratap Singh, with Rishav Das (99) and Gokul Sharma (50) taking the team forward in a 100-run partnership.

Number three Das was, however, unlucky to miss his second first-class hundred as he was dismissed by Sumit Ruikar in the nervous 99.

Thereafter, it was the skipper Gokul Sharma who led from the front with an unbeaten 50 with Assam’s IPL recruit Riyan Parag at the crease on 24.

Brief scores:
In Guwahati: Chhattisgarh 318 from 105.3 overs (Amandeep Khare 105, Shashank Singh 71, Harpreet Singh 50; Ranjit Mali 4/80) vs Assam 209/3 from 72 overs (Rishav Das 99, Gokul Sharma 50 not out, Riyan Parag 24 not out).

In Agartala: Uttarakhand 90 from 45 overs (Manisankar Murasingh 4/24, Ajoy Sarkar 4/19) vs Tripura 104/2 from 29 overs.

In Rohtak: Haryana 90 and 139/3 from 48 overs (Shubham Rohilla 48, Ankit Kumar 46, Himanshu Rana 40) vs Odisha 160 from 61.1 overs (Biplab Samantray 52; Tinu Kundu 5/25, Harshal Patel 3/52).

In Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir 360 from 93.1 overs (Parvez Rasool 182, Shubham Khajuria 55; Diwesh Pathania 4/103, Sachidanand Pandey 3/85, Poonam Poonia 3/99) vs Services 238/9 from 76.1 overs (Arun Bamal 48, Arjun Sharma 47, Pathania 41).

In Nagothane: Maharashtra 434 from 172.3 overs (Azim Kazi 140, Vishant More 120; Utkarsh Singh 5/130, Rahul Shukla 3/63) vs Jharkhand 2/2 from 1 over.

(With PTI inputs)