Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Round VII, Day 4
4.35 pm Six wins, six draws
Not a bad round at all, yet again, in terms of outright results. Wins for Madhya Pradesh (over group leaders and red-hot Punjab), Bengal, Railways, Delhi, Services and Kerala. The points table will be updated soon. We'll see you all next Ranji round, starting on Saturday, December 22, with all the updates and tidbits.
Speaking of tidbits, I'll leave you with this story from Sharda Ugra, about the Roshanara Club: "Amrit Mathur, best known as CEO of Delhi Daredevils, visited Roshanara and told of his days playing college cricket for St Stephens. There were only three matches that St Stephens played outside their college: vs Hindu College, vs Services at the Air Force ground (now turned into a golf course) and the third at the Roshanara, which was looked forward to with great enthusiasm, because at lunch time, beer was part of the menu!" College kids, playing cricket, having free lunch and beer. The beautiful life.
4.30 pm Final game drawing to an end
In Dhanbad, Jharkhand and Andhra are still playing on (wonder how the light is holding up), Jharkhand declared on 295 for 9 in their second innings, setting Andhra an improbable target of 143. Andhra 32 for 4 in 10 overs ... and the game is eventually over, with Andhra taking three points
4.05 pm Tamil Nadu call off chase
They are happy to settle for three points at Moti Bagh against Baroda. They had to chase 239 to win in 41 overs, but the game has been called off at 108 for 2 after 26 overs. One would have thought a side with just ten points from five games would go hard at this chase, but nope, it wasn't to be. S Badrinath's unavailability with a back spasm a big factor, of course.
3.55 Stalemates across the country
In Rajkot, Mumbai 606 for 5 dec and 169 for 5 (Jaffer 71, Rohit 71) drew with Saurashtra 300
In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 227 and 348 drew with Haryana 276 and 106 for 3 (Saini 68)
In Mysore, Karnataka 619 for 8 dec and 81 for 3 drew with Vidarbha 447
In Porvorim, Himachal 338 and 237 for 4 (Dogra 119*, Mukesh Sharma 51*) drew with Goa 347
3.50 pm Tamil Nadu slow down
They are 92 for 2 in the 23rd over at Moti Bagh, chasing 239 to win in 41 overs. Abhinav Mukund on 43 off 68, Baba Aparajith on 26 off 50.
3.20 pm Kerala win by an innings
Kerala are off the bottom of Group C, the lowest position in the Ranji Trophy, and have sent Tripura there, back in familiar territory really, with a crushing innings-and-77-run win in Agartala. It was the comeback game for Sreesanth. He's had figures of 19-9-36-0 and 19-7-38-2. Nine wickets in the game Manukrishnan and eight for Sandeep Warrier.
2.55 pm Tamil Nadu going for it
M Vijay fell for a run-a-ball 13, Dinesh Karthik promoted himself and fell for a duck, both to Baroda's Ketan Panchal, but Tamil Nadu are scoring at a healthy rate at Moti Bagh. They are 47 for 2 in the tenth over, chasing 239 to win in 41 overs. Abhinav Mukund on 25
2.40 pm Delhi win before tea at the Roshanara
Delhi have knocked down the target of 270 against Maharashtra before tea with seven wickets to spare. Dhawan ending on an unbeaten 116, Vaibhav Rawal on 35, fifties from Mohit Sharma and Mithun Manhas, who changed the tone of the innings, with a 40-ball 51. Dhawan is the Man of the Match. Delhi go third in Group B, but they have only one more game left now. Still, they have made the most of the shift from the Kotla to the Roshanara mandated by the former undergoing preparations for the India-Pakistan game in early January. A five-man all-seam attack took 20 wickets for Delhi, and the batsmen laid to rest all doubts with the side's highest successful chase at the Roshanara. Our senior editor Sharda Ugra will soon be sending in her match report, and also player quotes and analysis.
2.35 pm Scores, scores
Mumbai 606 for 5 dec and 152 for 3 (Jaffer 71, Rohit 55*) v Saurashtra 300
Haryana 276 and 95 for 2 (Saini 67*) v UP 221 and 348
Karnataka 33 for 3 and 619 for 8 dec v Vidarbha 447
Tripura 127 and 180 for 8 (f/o) (Warrier 4-36, Sreesanth 2-38) v Kerala 400
2.30 pm Century for Shikhar Dhawan in Delhi's chase
Sharda says: "Dhawan gets to 100, first a finely cut shot off Chirag Khurana and then a typically turbo-charged single to mid-off. His century came in 185 balls, with ten fours. Dhawan has been the hand on the tiller as Delhi have steamed ahead towards their target, without either pitching or rolling. I would say without hiccups but boats don't hiccup. Delhi 249 for 3 in 63 overs." Just 21 needed now. What a chase, without a hic ...
2.20 pm Maharashtra drop their final hopes at the Roshanara
Says Sharda Ugra: "Vaibhav Rawal dropped, fishing at one from Samad Fallah by Ankit Bawne at gully, on 16. Delhi score 205 for 3. It was a tumbler of a catch but it's been spilt. Shikhar Dhawan has meanwhile rushed out to take on Nikit Dhumal and didn’t connect, the ball scraping along the pitch - he was on 87 and that is a crazy risk to take. And another one, DROPPED. Maharashtra have brought on their part-time bowlers and Rawal hit Sangram Atitkar into the sky towards mid-off. Kedar Jadhav got under the ball, caught it and then in his struggle to maintain his balance, dropped it. Rawal was on 25, Delhi 231 for 3. Atitkar bowls foot-soldier military medium.”
This is getting ridiculous now. Sharda: "Second catch dropped, Dhawan on 91, with Jadhav running around mid-off. Atitkar has got two chances for Maharashtra in his two overs. It was a running catch, backwards and sideways, but to get hands on it and let it go twice, though this time he had a fielder come in from mid-on and add his feet to Jadhav's madly tripping on his own feet."
2.05 pm Take a bow, Devendra Bundela and Madhya Pradesh
It was an unbelievable run. Four outright wins, including two by an innings, in six games, and first-innings leads in the remaining two. Who would beat Punjab? Madhya Pradesh, eventually. The captain Devendra Bundela has been magnificent in the match, hitting a century in each innings, including an unbeaten one in the chase of 190. MP were 8 for 2 this morning, before the allrounder Jalaj Saxena and Bundela took over. Saxena was unbeaten on 72 to go with his 84 in the first innings. Seven wickets for the fast bowler Anand Rajan, five each for Gaurav Yadav and Amarjeet Singh.
Our man Amol Karhadkar spoke to Bundela as he reached a 100 Ranji games earlier this season. Amol also wrote on what it had taken for MP to keep going after the sting operation earlier this year hit them the hardest.
1.55 pm Sharda Ugra replies to feedback
... from our reader Brat who wanted to know why she wasn't taking pictures at the Roshanara Club today. Sharda: "It is impossible to take action pics and type updates of the match simultaneously. While i love taking photos [Note: believe her, she really does], the point is to show readers something other than action shots. Therefore, no pics today."
1.50 pm Tamil Nadu need 239 to win
Baroda's last pair has had partnerships of 80 and 35 in the match now, but Murtuja Vahora has finally fallen for 38. Baroda out for 260, Tamil Nadu need 239 in 40 overs or so. Will they go for it? It is not as easy pitch to bat on at Moti Bagh
1.45 pm Delhi motor past 200
Says Sharda Ugra: "Seven wickets left and 70 to get, the game could end in an hour and a bit, unless there is a spontaneous implosion." This has been some chase alright, Dhawan 72*, Rawal 14*
1.30 pm Rahane goes cheaply again
Ajinkya Rahane, after his 24 in the first innings, has gone caught behind for 6 to Siddharth Trivedi in Rajkot, after Mumbai took a 306-run lead against Saurashtra. Hiken Shah out for a duck, to Trivedi as well. Wasim Jaffer - what would Mumbai do without him - batting on 39, Rohit Sharma on 3. Mumbai 50 for 2 in a largely inconsequential second innings after they decided not to enforce the follow-on
1.20 pm Manhas blitz over at the Roshanara
Sharda Ugra writes in: "Delhi 182 for 3, (46.1 overs). Mithun Manhas c Bawne, b Mundhe 51 (40b, 5x4, 3x6), Shikhar Dhawan batting on 67. The third-wicket partnership has been worth 83 runs in 83 balls. Manhas leaves, caught driving at gully, but he has changed the game."
Sharda on Manhas' innings: "Manhas terminator-powered Mundhe down the ground for a four, and stood with bat on shoulder and hand on hip demanding that the bowlers come up with another offer. Maybe this was the best day to bat today or maybe Manhas wanted to bat out of character.
1.15 pm Karnataka set to take lead
Karnataka have chipped away at the Vidarbha batting in Mysore, and the visitors are now 435 for 9 with the veteran Sairaj Bahutule on 36. Karnataka made 619 for 8 declared. Three points for Karnataka coming up then, which will take them past Vidarbha, but Delhi are looking good for an outright win at the Roshanara, which means a fifth position for Karnataka at the end of the round.
1.10 pm Baroda last pair at it again
Murtuja Vahora and Bhargav Bhatt had put on 80 in the first innings. They have added 18 so far in the second, after Ambati Rayudu fell to Yo Mahesh for 66. Baroda 243 for 9, a lead of 221 over Tamil Nadu
1.05 pm Saxena, Bundela march on
Madhya Pradesh are 124 for 2 in Gwalior, needing 66 more to do what no side has done this season, beat runaway group leaders Punjab. Jalaj Saxena 59*, Devendra Bundela 53*
1 pm Delhi go berserk at the Roshanara
Sharda Ugra is a witness: "An astonishing event, a six for Manhas down widish long off against Nikit Dhumal, and then a fearsome cut which flew above point but landed well in front of the deep point fielder for a humble single. On the 5th ball, Dhawan skipped down the track and drove past extra cover. Lovely precise use of the feet, the nearby trains are tooting in appreciation. The ante has been upped even more. Manhas upper cut to Dhumal for six. Looks like they want to end this quickly, a SECOND six, hooked Dhumal over the man at long leg, it was an edge but it travelled, third ball FOUR, a pull.
"A glass is heard shattering in the Delhi dressing room - maybe they're breaking plates in celebration Greek style. Dhumal has gone for 17 runs in the over. the 10 overs after lunch have brought 63 runs. Delhi are going like a (ha ha) train: they need 107 now. The total virtually halved and beheaded after lunch. Delhi are 163 for 2 in 43 overs. Maharashtra are being shredded and the Delhi batting has finally turned up."
12.50 Update from Sharda Ugra at the Roshanara
Says Sharda: "Post lunch, Shikhar Dhawan steps out and caresses one through midwicket for four off Samad Fallah. Dhawan he has now reached his 50 (120b, 4x4). Now Mithun Manhas gets one past midwicket off Fallah. Sanklecha replaces Shrikant Mundhe.
"And a lunch update: vegetarian today as it is a Tuesday, so hat-trick of shahi paneers and some excellent methi aloo, and udad ki daal. For all those with sweet teeth: caramel custard and in case you didn't like that enough, strawberry ice-cream."
Delhi 158 for 2 chasing 270 v Maharashtra
12.30 pm Innings win for Railways
The Railwaymen have crushed the defending champions Rajasthan by an innings in Bhubaneshwar. The legspinning allrounder Karan Sharma has run through the visitors' batting with a career-best eight-wicket haul. Railways jump to fifth position in Group A with this win. Rajasthan, with their third successive loss, remain bottom of the group with five points from six games. A backdoor entry into the knockouts appears extremely unlikely now, and the fairytale of the previous two years seems to be coming to an end.
Final scores: Railways 405 (Shukla 109, Madkaikar 86) beat Rajasthan 135 (Anureet 5-40) and 258 (f/o) (Bist 68, Menaria 56, Chouhan 51, Karan 8-97) by an innings and 12 runs
12 noon Scores
UP 227 and 348 (Dwivedi 121, Harshal Patel 4-100) v Haryana 276
Himachal 338 and 73 for 3 v Goa 347
Jharkhand 257 and 128 for 2 v Andhra 410
11.55 am Madhya Pradesh need 104 more
The much-improved Jalaj Saxena, with a few A tours behind him, and the captain Devendra Bundela have revived the MP chase in Gwalior. Punjab's Sandeep Sharma, the leading wicket-taker of the season, had them 8 for 2, but thirties from Saxena (84 in the first innings) and Bundela (108 in the first innings) have lifted MP to 86 for 2. Target 190
11.50 am Baroda fight
The No. 10 Murtuja Vahora, who made 47 in the first innings in a last-wicket stand of 80, has faced 46 deliveries for his 22. The captain Ambati Rayudu is still around on 64, and Baroda are 218 for 8 at Moti Bagh, they lead Tamil Nadu by 196 now.
11.35 am Mohit Sharma falls at the Roshanara
Sharda Ugra says: "Oye wicket!! Mohit lbw Fallah, Mohit was going forward to defend, the ball came back in, he had survived about five lbw appeals before this. Mohit made 51 (91b 9x4). At lunch, Delhi are 100 for 2 in 33 overs, Shikhar Dhawan 42 (101b), Mithun Manhas hasn't scored. Maharashtra are still 4-5 overs short but it's a bright day, so you never know how much can be completed." Target 270
Interesting one this: "Hats off to the umpires: the one standing at the far end, Sitaram Prabhu, noticed the scoreboard was showing Dhawan's score short by 1 run. He let the scorers know and the scoreboard was changed," Sharda writes.
11.30 am All over for Rajasthan, almost
In their follow-on innings, the defending champions have lost their final hope, Robin Bist, for 68 to Railways' legspinning allrounder Karan Sharma, who now has 6 for 95 in Bhubaneshwar. They are 253 for 8 now, and still need another 17 to make Railways bat again. Five points from five games, the second-worst showing among 27 teams in the tournament.
11.25 am Mumbai take a 306-run lead, and bat again
Saurashtra have kept Mumbai in the field for just under 132 overs to make 300. Mumbai are assured of three points with a huge lead, but have decided not to enforce the follow-on. Can't blame them too much, with the next round starting after three days, and this match going on in the batting paradise of Rajkot. Four wickets for Dhawal Kulkarni then, and a maiden, unbeaten century for No. 6 Aarpit Vasavada
11.15 am Update from Sharda Ugra at the Roshanara
The story so far, since the previous update: Sharda says, "Dhawan's da man: he took a short step out to Dhumal and flicked him through square leg for a boundary. Mohit Sharma plays a glide, Chirag Khurana stops it at point with a handsome dive and is left clutching his side. Things happening in Samad Fallah's first over of his second spell. Dhawan trying to step out again, inside edges it onto his pad, struck low. Tried it a second time, ball straightening and hitting him again. Two balls then played defensively, and defensively, two fielders have reached the boundary for the first time all morning, one at third man and one at deep point. Mohit gets to fifty, pulls Fallah for four, then next ball flicks to the boundary. He is called Louie for some reason in the Delhi team. 50 (84b 116m 9x4)." Delhi 96 for 1 in chase of 270. Under 59 overs to go now
11 am Services win see-saw battle
The game of the seventh round has been won by Services at the Palam ground in Delhi. The final scores: Services 221 (Paliwal 120, Dayal 5-71) and 134 for 5 (Yashpal 61, Paliwal 47*) beat Jammu & Kashmir 85 (S Yadav 4-35) and 269 (Dayal 62, Gupta 58, Ian Dev 52, Nishan 5-73, S Yadav 4-79) by five wickets.
Of course, these innings totals do not reveal the multiple collapses and recoveries both sides had. And what a performance from 21-year old Rajat Paliwal, who made his third century of the season after Services were 39 for 6 in the first innings.
10.40 am Wintry morning at the Roshanara
Sharda Ugra says: "It is 13 degrees in bright sunshine in Delhi: the great hospitality of the Roshanara Club and the kindness of the DDCA have ensured that I have had three tumblers of tea so far. The breeze is biting less. We are not in the sun but rather in a press tent with eagle-eyed scorers Jatin Sood and Mr Lakhotiaji, as he must respectfully be called in Delhi."
Sharda has her eye on the cricket too: "Shikhar Dhawan is on fire, he particularly roasted an on-drive, through mid wicket, and the ball is lost in the knee height shrubbery of the boundary, the beautifully manicured shrubbery. It has now been returned to the bowler and Sanklecha returns. Impeccable defence from Dhawan." Delhi 67 for 1 in 23 overs chasing 270 to win against Maharashtra
10.35 am Karnataka surge in Mysore
They haven't had the services of the captain Vinay Kumar, who has been off the field with a sore ankle. But Abhimanyu Mithun has sent back the centurion Amol Ubarhande, having him caught by Manish Pandey. Mithun had also dismissed Shalabh Shrivastava for 97 earlier in the morning. Hemang Badani has now fallen to the left-arm spinner KP Appanna. Vidarbha 339 for 5, and Karnataka's 619 is now far, far away.
10.30 am Badri worry for Tamil Nadu
I am told that S Badrinath has had a back spasm last evening and is doubtful to bat, whenever Tamil Nadu manage to bowl Baroda out, that is. Ambati Rayudu is batting solidly on 39, and Baroda are ahead by 135 with four wickets remaining. I am also informed that it's not been easy to score on the Moti Bagh pitch so any chase of over three runs an over (200 or so in 65 overs) will be difficult.
10.20 am Services march towards victory
Has been a total cracker of a game this one. J&K crumbling to 85, Services recovering from 39 for 6 to 221, J&K having their own recovery from 112 for 6 to 269, and Services, set 134 to win, seem to be on their way to victory now, having accomplished the game's third recovery, from 7 for 3 to 105 for 4. Yashpal Singh, third-highest run-getter this season, with more than 700, has reached his fifty at Palam, Delhi.
10.10 am Early breakthrough for Karnataka
In Mysore, Karnataka have ended the double-century partnership between Amol Ubarhande and Shalabh Shrivastava. Abhimanyu Mithun has had Shrivastava caught for 97. Ubarhande there on 137. The veteran Hemang Badani has come in to bat. Vidarbha 330 for 3, still miles behind Karnataka's 619 for 8 declared.
10.05 am Tamil Nadu ahead at Moti Bagh
The visitors have taken two more wickets this morning, reducing Baroda to 153 for 6, which means a lead of 131. Ambati Rayudu is there on 37, but there is little batting left to support him
10 am Rajasthan falling apart, again
Yet another poor performance from the defending champions, who are now 199 for 5 after being made to follow-on by hosts Railways in Bhubaneshwar. They still require 71 more to make Railways bat again. Four wickets for the legspin of Karan Sharma. Ashok Menaria gone for 56, Rashmi Parida for a duck, and Puneet Yadav for 5. Robin Bist 47*
9.55 am Sandeep Sharma strikes for Punjab
And already, MP have lost the experienced wicketkeeper-opener Naman Ojha, who has gone caught behind off the fifth ball of the chase to the season's leading-wicket taker, the India Under-19 fast bowler Sandeep Sharma
9.50 am MP need 190 to win
Punjab fought after being made to follow-on, but they have been dismissed finally, in 97.1 overs, for 364, which makes for a lead of 189 over hosts Madhya Pradesh in Gwalior
9.45 am Unmukt Chand gone
Sharda writes in: "Unmukt Chand tried to cut Mundhe and chopped the ball onto his stumps. He was trying to play aggressively, hitting an uppish cover drive off the third ball he faced. He faced seven balls, and was out in the fourth over of the morning. In that time though, he did not look to settle in, but rather was trying to play 'aggressive' taking off down the wicket for a single which wasn't there and had to be turned back by the normally sprint-ready Shikhar Dhawan. Mohit Sharma, the No. 3 also a leftie has tried to be composed but survived two leg-before appeals, one off Fallah and one off Mundhe. There is much discontent at the use of the heavy roller which may have the ball keep low and therefore set up a few lbws. After 10 overs, Delhi 23 for 1." Target 270
9.40 am Update from the Roshanara Club, Delhi
Some early morning thoughts from our senior editor Sharda Ugra: "Play began at 9 am at the Roshanara Club and Delhi's last chance to get a look-in at the knock-outs of the Ranji Trophy. A heavy roller taken by Delhi today to give themselves a chance of subduing the spark and life under the wicket. Does Delhi have the batsmen to do it? Look at the line up: S Dhawan, U Chand, M Manhas, R Bhatia followed by two exciting left-handers Mohit Sharma and Vaibhav Rawal. Will they? The Maharashtra attack of Samad Fallah, Shrikant Mundhe, Nikit Dhumal and Anupam Sanklecha had them out for 193 in the first innings."
9.30 am Morning all, final day of round seven is upon us ... and all updates shall be coming your way soon ...
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo