Ranji Trophy 2003-04

Munaf and Powar destroy Kerala

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

December 11, 2003

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Elite Championship Fifth Round

Mumbai 350 (Kambli 102, Chandran 7-71) beat Kerala 165 and 94 by an innings and 91 runs
Scorecard
Kerala suffered an ignominious defeat at the Wankhede Stadium, and their historic first encounter with Mumbai ended on a sad note. Mumbai added 50 runs in the morning, with Vinod Kambli completing a fine century. Prasanth Chandran's 7 for 71 turned out to be the highlight of the match for Kerala. Then came 50 overs of doom when Munaf Patel (3-34) and Ramesh Powar - with exceptional figures of 4 for 16 in six overs - gained Mumbai a bonus point with an innings win.

Baroda 223 (Martin 92) and 11 for 0 trail Delhi 510 for 7 dec by 276 runs
Scorecard
Delhi relied on the pace-spin combination of Amit Bhandari (4-57) and Sarandeep Singh (3-45) as Baroda followed on at Vadodara. Jacob Martin's 92 was the only melodious note in a batting dirge as Delhi pressed for their first win of the season. Martin hit 13 fours in his 167-ball innings, and Baroda will need similar efforts to prevent a heavy defeat tomorrow.

Punjab 395 for 8 (Kakkar 82, Gagandeep 50) lead Railways 390 by 5 runs
Scorecard
Ankur Kakkar's patience and valuable contributions from the tail enabled Punjab to nudge past the Railways score at Delhi. Pankaj Dharmani and Reetinder Singh Sodhi began the day on a positive note as they added 56 runs for the fourth wicket. With the score at 191 for 3, Jai Prakash Yadav triggered a mini-collapse by snapping up three wickets in the space of five runs. But Railways saw all their hopes of a first-innings lead gradually evaporate as Gagandeep Singh and Amit Uniyal put on 85 for the seventh wicket, with Gagandeep capping a fine performance on the field with a round half-century. By gaining the first-innings lead, Punjab took a big step towards recording their first outright win of the season.

Uttar Pradesh 267 and 73 for 3 lead Andhra 237 (Gnaneswara 111) by 103 runs
Scorecard
Gnaneswara Rao's fighting hundred at Kanpur could not prevent UP from gaining a vital 30-run lead. Raja Prasad (48) played ally to Gnaneswara in a 109-run stand. Ashish Zaidi (4 for 92) finished as the most successful bowler for the hosts. Though UP lost three wickets before the close, their 103-run lead just gives them the edge.

Hyderabad 252 and 41 for 2 trail Bengal 388 (Das 91, Sanyal 59, Yadav 5-124) by 95 runs
Scorecard
A solid batting display from Bengal, lead by Arindam Das, put them in a relatively cushy position against Hyderabad at Kolkota. Sandip Sanyal clubbed a boundary-laden half-century but the acceleration was provided by the lower order. Saurasish Lahiri (41*), Laxmi Ratan Shukla - who has been up and down the order this season, and made 34 here - and Utpal Chatterjee (31) played breezy knocks and took them to a commanding 388. Shivaji Yadav's teasing offbreaks accounted for five wickets, but they came at a hefty price of 124 runs.

Gujarat 196 (Mathur 6-52) and 94 for 1 trail Rajasthan 259 and 110 by 79 runs
Scorecard
Rajasthan collapsed in a huge heap at the KL Saini Stadium in Jaipur, then Gujarat set off confidently in pursuit of 174 and their second victory of the season. Things were not so bleak for Rajasthan in the morning, though. S Mathur lapped up the last Gujarat wicket to finish with a fine six-wicket haul, and a lead of 63 seemed priceless. Then came 41.3 overs in which Rajasthan were skittled out for 110, Siddharth Trivedi and Lalit Patel taking three victims each. Gujarat need 80 runs to wrap up the game tomorrow, and with Akash Christian still unbeaten they will expect to canter home.

Assam 134 and 158 for 6 (Saravanan 61*) trail Tamil Nadu 310 and 277 for 6 dec (Badrinath 115*, Suresh 73) by 295 runs
Scorecard
Tamil Nadu stood on the threshold of victory at Chennai, and need only four wickets to wrap things up. S Badrinath upped the ante with a quickfire century, building on the good foundation laid by Somasetty Suresh, his captain. TN declared at 277 for 6, setting Assam a humungous 453 to chase, and snapped up six wickets before stumps, to close in on their third victory of the campaign.

Plate Championship Third Round

Maharashtra 500 for 2 (Aphale 215*, Kanitkar 123*, Jadhav 89) lead Goa 326 by 174 runs
Scorecard
Kaushik Aphale and Hrishikesh Kanitkar bludgeoned 273 for the third wicket at Pune, as the Goa bowlers toiled all day without much reward. Aphale's effort included 20 fours and two sixes, while Kanitkar laced 16 boundaries in a breezy knock. Dheeraj Jadhav - who had made a double-century in the previous match - fell 11 short of a hundred this time, and Maharashtra finished with a round 500 at stumps.

Tripura 235 and 83 for 3 lead Jammu & Kashmir 210 (Mahajan 64, Dar 51, Kapoor 5-87) by 108 runs
Scorecard
J&K marginally fell short of Tripura's total despite fine half-centuries by Dhruv Mahajan and Manzoor Dar at Jammu. Aashish Kapoor, the former India offspinner, was the pick of the bowlers with five scalps. Tripura trudged along in their second innings, and had lost three wickets for 83 by the close.

Bihar 337 (Rajiv Kumar 124) and 55 for 3 beat Vidharbha 244 and 146 by 7 wickets
Scorecard
Shankar Rao finished with ten wickets in the match as Vidharbha plummeted to 146 in their second innings at Nagpur. Only Alind Naidu and AV Deshpande passed 20, and it took only 43.5 overs for Vidharbha to slide to defeat. Chandrashekar Atram threatened a minor miracle when he reduced Bihar to 15 for 3, before the two Kumars, Rajiv and Ratan, knocked off the 55 needed for victory.

Himachal Pradesh 116 and 83 for 2 trail Orissa 309 for 8 dec (Parida 50) by 357 runs
Scorecard
Rashmi Ranjan Parida cracked 50, and three other batsmen got close, as HP were set a daunting 440 for victory in the final innings at Cuttack. Shiv Sunder Das, Subrat Behera and Sanjay Satpathy passed 40, to put Orissa in command. Sangram Singh was the most successful bowler for HP, with 4 for 28. HP lost two wickets before the close, with Sandeep Sharma's elegant 40 providing a vestige of hope.

Saurashtra 214 and 79 for 5 lead Services 216 (Yashpal 77, Doshi 5-41) by 77 runs
Scorecard
The Services tail winkled out a slender two-run lead before the bowlers gave them the upper hand by the end of the third day's play at Delhi. Yashpal Singh fell after making a fine 77 (169 for 7), but the last three batsmen helped Services scrape past Saurashtra's first-innings total. Nayan Doshi, the left-arm spinner, was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets. Saurashtra found the wiles of Fazil Mohammad (3-34) too hot to handle when they batted the second time round, and stuttered to 79 for 5 by stumps, thus handing Services a distinct advantage.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is on the staff of Wisden Cricinfo in India.

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Group C: Goa v H. Pradesh at Porvorim
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Group B: Haryana v Vidarbha at Rohtak
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Group C: Jharkhand v Tripura at Dhanbad
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Group C: Kerala v Hyderabad at Wayanad
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Group B: Maharashtra v Punjab at Pune
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Group A: Railways v Karnataka at Delhi
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Group C: Services v Andhra at Delhi
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Group A: Tamil Nadu v M. Pradesh at Chennai
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Group A: U. Pradesh v Mumbai at Kanpur
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