Railways defend small target as UP crumble for 72
Railways 182 and 161 (Ghosh 57, Rajpoot 4-43) beat Uttar Pradesh 250 and 72 (Avinash 4-26, Anureet 3-25) by 21 runs
Railways defended a target of 94, skittling Uttar Pradesh out for 72 on the third day in a come-from-behind win in their first-round match in Lucknow. It was the second-lowest fourth-innings defence in Ranji Trophy history.
Anureet Singh and slow left-arm spinner Avinash Yadav reduced UP to 28 for 6 inside 11 overs, and left-arm pacer Deepak Bansal joined in to pick up two wickets - including that of UP captain Suresh Raina - as Railways wrapped up a sensational 21-run win.
Railways began the third day 27 for 3 in their second innings, still trailing UP by 46 runs. Overnight batsmen Arindam Ghosh (57) and Vidhyadhar Kamath (30) added a further 69 runs in the morning, before Kartik Tyagi dismissed Kamath to end an 86-run fourth-wicket partnership. Abhishek Yadav (20) scored crucial runs after that, but the recovery was ended by Ankit Rajpoot and legspinner Zeeshan Ansari. Railways eventually folded for 161.
UP's top order faltered in their chase, with Avinash and Anureet removing both openers inside three overs. Himanshu Asnora fell in the fifth over, before Anureet trapped the next two batsmen lbw. By then UP were 28 for 6, staring at defeat. Raina top-scored with 29, and was seventh out with 45 still to get. Rinku Singh remained unbeaten on 23, but received no support from the tail, and UP were all out in the 26th over. Avinash finished with a match tally of seven wickets, while Anureet ended the game with six. Barring Rinku and Raina, the other nine UP batsmen scored 15 between them, including four ducks.
Assam 60 for 3 (Roy 28, Saini 2-13) and 258 trail Delhi 435 (Gambhir 137, Rana 110, Rawat 71, Abu Nechim 7-68) by 117 runs
Delhi increased their advantage over Assam at Feroz Shah Kotla after fifties from Anuj Rawat (71) and Manan Sharma (69) helped the home side finish their first innings on 435 from an overnight score of 269 for 4. Delhi bowlers, led by Navdeep Saini's brace, then took three top-order wickets before stumps as Assam were struggling at 60 for 3 at the end of day's play. They trail by 117 runs.
Gautam Gambhir could add only one run to his overnight score of 136 before he was bowled by Abu Nechim in the day's second over. Pulkit Narang was the next man to go, but Rawat and Manan then put together 122 runs for the seventh wicket to take Delhi past the 400-run mark. Nechim returned once again to break the partnership, and then cleaned up the tail to finish with figures of 7 for 68, but by then Delhi had already taken a 177-run lead.
Assam looked to wipe out that deficit in their second innings, but both openers fell cheaply to Saini. Kulwant Khejrolia then dismissed Assam captain Gokul Sharma - with the visitors at 26 for 3 - but Sibsankar Roy (28*) and Tarjinder Singh (8*) saw the day off with no further casualties.
Meanwhile, for the third day in a row, there was no play possible in the match between Hyderabad and Maharashtra in Hyderabad.