Ranji Trophy 2003-04 November 26, 2003

Karnataka and Railways register first win of the season

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Karnataka 145 and 350 (Rowland 81, Arunkumar 58, Bharadwaj 50) beat Rajasthan 168 (Khoda 61, Kanwat 54, Ganesh 5-72) and 254 (Kanwat 84, Gupta 58, Ganesh 6-91) by 69 runs
Scorecard
Karnataka registered their first victory of the season as Dodda Ganesh's six-for dashed Rajasthan's hopes at Jaipur. Chasing 328 for victory, Rajasthan were on course at 200 for 5 with Rahul Kanwat (54) and Pankaj Gupta (58) at the crease. But three wickets from Ganesh and two from Sunil Joshi settled the issue as Rajasthan fell 69 runs short.

The bowlers made merry on the first two days as Karnataka were bowled out for 145. Ganesh made sure that Rajasthan gained only a slender lead despite half-centuries from Gagan Khoda and Rahul Kanwat. But the Karnataka batting showed marked improvement the second time around, with Barrington Rowland leading the way with a patient 81. However, the match belonged to Ganesh, who fittingly took the final wicket, to complete the victory.

Railways 234 and 244 for 7 (Jai Yadav 101) beat Delhi 195 (Manhas 62) and 278 (Chawla 82, Dahiya 61) by 3 wickets
Scorecard
Jai Prakash Yadav's century steered Railways to a thrilling three-wicket victory over Delhi at the Karnail Singh stadium in Delhi. Pradeep Chawla got good support from the tail as Delhi added 80 runs to their overnight total. At 96 for 4 Railways' task seemed insurmountable, until Yadav stood up to be counted.

Both teams had disappointed in the first innings with the bowlers calling the shots. Mithun Manhas's 62 was the only half-century scored by either team in the first innings. Delhi put up a better show in the second innings with Vijay Dahiya giving good support to Chawla. Even that was just not enough as Delhi tumbled to their second defeat in as many matches.

Tamil Nadu 188 (Badrinath 86, Paul 7-44) and 397 for 4 (Badrinath 190, Sharath 101*) and 188 (Paul 7-44) drew with Bengal 400 (Haldipur 100, Sanyal 89)
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S Badrinath and S Sharath hit centuries as Tamil Nadu hung on for a draw against Bengal. Badrinath hit a massive 190, which included 32 fours and one six, while Sharath remained unbeaten at the end with a composed 101. Shib Paul toiled all day and took three wickets in his 35.4 overs.

Earlier in the match Nikhil Haldipur and Sanjib Sanyal ensured that Bengal, for the first time this season, posted a worthy total. A depleted Tamil Nadu, without three of their main batsmen, crumbled to the medium-pace of Paul on the third day. Badrinath played the lone had with a fighting 86. Bengal were definitely better off at the end, but an outright victory would have smelt sweeter.

Uttar Pradesh 205 (Pandey 77*) and 205 for 7 (Raina 50, Bahutule 6-48) drew with Mumbai 332 (Morris 93*, Thakkar 71)
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The Uttar Pradesh batsmen grimly hung on for a draw even though Sairaj Bahutule threatened to run through them at Lucknow. Suresh Raina and Jyoti Yadav shared a useful partnership, and Rizwan Shamshad also contributed with 35. Bahutule picked up six of the seven wickets to fall, but in the end Mumbai had to be content with first-innings points.

The UP batsmen had struggled on the first day with only Gynendra Pandey's 77 saving their blushes. The Mumbai top-order also found the going tough, although Robin Morris flayed the bowlers in his quickfire 93 and gave Mumbai a great chance. In the end, it counted only for first-innings honours.

Hyderabad 410 for 9 (Yadav 91, Khaleel 89, Anirudh 68, Vinay 53, Konwar 6-141) drew with Assam 537 (Sathish 133*, Sukhvinder 112, Saravanan 89, Das 71)
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It was batsmen all the way at Guwahati as Hyderabad refused to get bowled out and finished the match unscathed. Assam did not even get first innings points since they could not bowl out Hyderabad even once. Arjun Yadav and Ibrahim Khaleel missed out on hundreds, but spent sufficient time in the middle to ensure a drawn result.

Ono the first two days, the Assam batsmen had made merry with R Sathish and Sukhvinder Singh feasting on centuries. Only the two offspinners, JS Yadav from Hyderabad and Assam's Arnald Konwar, had a good time with the ball, picking up five and six wickets respectively.

Andhra 458 (Venugopala Rao 115, Srinivas 116, Prasad 82) drew with Kerala 354 (Hemanth 94, Oasis 51)
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Andhra gained valuable first-innings points against Kerala at Vishakapatnam. After Andhra piled up 458 on the first two days, Shahid Shabuddin and Shankara Rao picked up four wickets apiece to bowl out Kerala for 354. Hemanth Kumar hit 94 and Sunil Oasis chipped in with 51, but in the end their efforts were in vain.

Plate Championship First Round

Vidarbha 220 (Khare 56, Kapoor 6-84) and 287 (Gawande 60) drew with Tripura 336 (Sachdev 110, Jaiswal 76, Acharya 6-65) and 70 for 4
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A six-wicket haul by Aashish Kapoor could not ensure victory for Tripura, as the game petered out to a dull draw. Vidarbha's innings closed at 220, after the lower order rallied around Samir Khare (56), which set Tripura a target of 172. But 34 overs were not enough, and Tripura shut shop, ending the day at 70 for 4.

The match was notable for Kapoor's match haul of 10 for 185, which kept his team in contention. Vidarbha's batsmen spent a lot of time at the crease, but unlike Tripura's Chetan Sachdev (110), could not convert their starts into substantial scores.

Orissa 466 for 8 (Mullick 134, Behera 87, Mohapatra 83, Jakati 5-99) beat Goa 235 (Swapnil 126, Mohanty 5-44) and 132 (Bipin 5-46) by an innings and 99 runs
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Goa's first match of the season ended in defeat, as it took Orissa only 33.3 overs to wrap up a comprehensive win. Goa's second batting collapse dashed any hopes of a draw, as Orissa bundled out nine batsmen on the final day for only 91 runs. Bipin Singh, the medium-pacer, played the lead role, claiming a career-best haul, dismissing half the side for just 46 runs.

In Goa's first innings, Ashok Swapnil scored an unbeaten 126, even as wickets tumbled at the other end in the face of probing bowling by Mohanty and Bipin Singh. More than half the Goa total of 235 came off Swapnil's bat. The Orissa openers replied with a hundred partnership, but were both dismissed when centuries were there for the taking. Pravanjan Mullick did not miss out, however, scoring a blazing 134 off 163 balls, and Orissa declared at 466 for 8. Goa's best bowler by far was Shadab Jakati, who claimed 5 for 99 with his left-arm spin. Ultimately, the batting was toothless and Goa succumbed to a heavy defeat.

Haryana 304 (Shafiq 71, Sunny 66, Ganda 57, Khajuria 5-117) and 102 for 2 (Jitender 56*) beat Jammu & Kashmir 96 (Vashisht 6-32) and 309 (Mahajan 63, Dar 50, Vashisht 6-102) by 8 wickets
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Gaurav Vashisht picked up 12 wickets in the match as Haryana comfortably beat Jammu & Kashmir by eight wickets at Rohtak. After following on, J&K put up a better batting display in the second innings, but a target of 102 was hardly threatening and Jitender Singh, Haryana's captain, hit an unbeaten 56 to ease them home.

After collapsing for 96 in the first innings, the J&K batsmen built useful partnerships with Dhruv Mahajan and Manzoor Dar notching up half-centuries. Haryana had scored 304 after batting first, with Shafiq Khan top-scoring with 71.

Himachal Pradesh 291 (Virender Sharma 134, Fazil 5-73) and 118 for 5 (Bisla 76*) beat Services 233 (Reddy 66, Verma 58, Malik 5-56) and 175 (Chawda 56, Malik 6-42) by 5 wickets
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Maninder Bisla hit an unbeaten 76 and helped Himachal Pradesh begin the season on a winning note against Services. Services, 79 for 2 overnight, collapsed in a heap as Vikramjeet Malik picked up 6 for 42. Krushnasinh Chawda, the opener, was the only one who passed 50 in the Services second innings.

Earlier, Virender Sharma's 134 had swelled the HP innings to a healthy 291. Services too had a good start, but ultimately had no answer to Malik's tricks.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is on the staff of Wisden Cricinfo in India