Ranji Trophy 2003-04 December 27, 2003

Rajasthan cave in at Hyderabad

Elite Championship Seventh Round

Hyderabad 389 beat Rajasthan 235 (Saxena 62, NP Singh 6 for 70) and 145 by an innings and 9 runs
Rajasthan collapsed in a heap - twice - as Hyderabad wrapped up the match with a day to spare and almost made sure of a semi-final berth. Rajasthan managed 235 in the morning with Narender Pal Singh, the medium-pacer, destroyed them with 6 for 70. Vineet Saxena was chiefly responsible for Rajasthan reaching the total but they still fell four runs short of avoiding the follow-on. They mustered only 145 when they batted again with Sankinani Vishnuvardhan and Daniel Manohar grabbing seven wickets between them. Gagan Khoda's 45 was the only act of resistance, but even that couldn't prevent Rajasthan being relegated into the Plate division.

Railways 353 and 84 for 8 lead Baroda 217 (Bhoite 55, Harvinder 5 for 40) by 220 runs
Baroda recovered from a perilous position (73 for 5 overnight) and had Railways tottering at the end of the third day at Vadodara. Ajit Bhoite stood up to be counted while the rest played around him to script a tremendous recovery. Tushar Arothe(29), Rakesh Patel (22) and Valmik Buch (24) played their part as Baroda nudged past the follow on mark. Harvinder Singh had got them into the quagmire last evening as he tore through the top order. Railways were in shambles in the second innings with only Raja Ali's 37 providing any substance. Yet, Railways have a lead of 220 and may well fancy defending a target on the final day.

Punjab 70 for 5 trail Mumbai 224 (Gagandeep 5-68) by 154 runs
After only 47 minutes of play was possible on the second day, Mumbai had Punjab on the run on the third day at Mohali. They stretched their overnight 180 for 8 to 224 and then picked up five wickets while giving away just 70 runs. The Punjab top order was a tatters as Usman Maulvi (2 for 28) and Swapnil Hazare (3 for 27) did the early damage. Manish Sharma battled out over an hour and a half for 18, the top score of the innings so far, striking three boundaries in the process. After he was dismissed with 45 on the board, Punjab lost two more quick wickets.Pankaj Dharmani (15), the captain, and Reetinder Sodhi (0) fell in quick succession to the nippy seamers of Hazare. As another truncated day ended, with less than 46 overs possible, Mumbai held all the aces.

Kerala 214 and 32 for 1 trail Uttar Pradesh 214 and 255 (Prakash 79, Elahi 74*) by 191 runs
At Palakkad, UP lost their last six wickets for 42 runs and undid all the good work that the top order had done. R Prakash and Rahat Elahi, both finishing with half-centuries, had taken UP to 181 for 2 before they pressed the suicide trigger. Prasanth Chandran and Sreekumar Nair claimed three wickets each and Kerala were set to chase 223 in their final innings. They lost Sujit Somasundar for 20 and may just avoid being relegated if they pull off the victory. For UP the last six batsmen, who added only 72 runs in the whole match, might have ruined all their chances of a last-four spot.

Assam 285 and 52 for 1 trail Karnataka 475 (Rowland 210, Joshi 110, Ganesh 55, Konwar 5-150) by 126 runs
Barrington Rowland fine double-century and Sunil Joshi's supporting act at Bangalore enabled Karnataka to inch closer to a semi-final spot. Rowland, who has been the mainstay of the Karnataka batting this season, slammed 26 fours in his 434-ball innings. Joshi's aggressive knock included two sixes while there was a 59-ball blitz from Dodda Ganesh towards the end that took them to 475. Arnald Konwar, the most successful of the Assam bowlers, picked up five wickets but they came at a hefty price. Joshi picked up an early wicket when Assam batted again. Karnataka have to get a bonus point to make sure of a place in the semi-finals and they can get that by winning by either an innings or by 10 wickets.

Gujarat 179 and 74 for 1 trail Bengal 479 (Das 215*) by 226 runs
Bengal took a massive 300-run lead on the back of a 488-ball double-hundred from Arindam Das who carried his bat at Ahmedabad. Devang Gandhi chipped in with 90 yesterday while Das found an able ally in Saurashish Lahiri (40) today. Hitesh Majumdar, the medium-pacer, was the pick of the Gujarat bowlers with 3 for 83. After being shot out for only 179 in their first innings, Gujarat finished the day with the loss of only Nilesh Modi with Akash Christian, who was unbeaten on 37.

Andhra 417 for 7 (Venugopal Rao 142, MSK Prasad 71, Gnaneswara Rao 53) v Delhi
Venugopal Rao, with a marathon 524-minute century, led the way as Andhra piled on a huge total on the second day at Vishakapatnam. He was supported by MSK Prasad and Gnaneswara Rao who both built patient half-centuries. Towards the end of the day, RV Ch Prasad's lively 41 compounded Delhi's woes as he slammed six fours and remained unbeaten at stumps. Though wickets were hard to come by, the Delhi bowlers maintained their economy and Kunal Lal (2 for 83) was the most successful of the lot.

Plate Championship Fifth Round

Jammu & Kashmir 170 for 5 (Kavaljit 72*, Gupta 54, Pandey 5-58) trail Madhya Pradesh 443 (Sodhi 54, Khajuria 5-115) by 273 runs
At Jammu, J&K lost half their side, all to Sanjay Pandey, in response to MP's huge total. After Devinder Bundela and Nikhil Patwardhan had slammed half-centuries yesterday, Harvinder Sodhi helped himself to one and MP gained some valuable batting practice in their last league game. Sameer Khajuria's 5 for 115 was the bowling highlight for J&K. Kavaljit Singh, who earlier played for Hydrabad, notched up an unbeaten 72 and his 120-run stand with Ashwani Gupta held things together. But Pandey's medium pace accounted for Gupta, apart from four others, and MP were in control when stumps were drawn.

Haryana 143 for 4 trail Vidarbha 226 by 83 runs
Heavy fog resulted in Vidarbha bowling only 32.3 overs at Rohtak in their needle clash with Haryana. Both the Haryana openers, Jitender Singh and Chetan Sharma, had set up a solid foundation yesterday with both garnering 40's. Chandrashekar Atram(3 for 47) provided Vidarbha with some hope as Haryana lost four wickets for 49 runs. In a winner-takes-all situation just 83 runs stand between Haryana and the semi-finals berth.

Orissa 4 for 1 trail Services 268 by 264 runs
In the 20 overs that were bowled at Delhi, Debasis Mohanty ran through the Services lower order with the last four wickets adding only 25. Mohanty finished with impressive figures of 4 for 64 and was supported by Srikanth Jena's effort of 3 for 55.

Saurashtra 220 and 108 for 1 (Waghela 56*) trail Goa 434 (Phadke 132, Kolambkar 120, Dani 80) by 106 runs
After conceding a 214-run lead, the Saurashtra openers delivered a steady riposte at Margao. Kanaia Waghela's unbeaten half-century shone bright and Saurashtra lost only one wicket when play was called off. Earlier, Goa prospered thanks to centuries from Vivek Kolambkar and Mandar Phadke while Amit Dani provided a late-innings impetus with a 107-ball 80 and added 53 with Avinash Aware - who used up 41 balls for nothing. Shitanshu Kotak snapped up three wickets but the run-flow was never stemmed.