Ranji Trophy 2004-05

Delhi survive by the skin of their teeth

Cricinfo staff

November 10, 2004

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Sourav Ganguly stretches his leg during Bengal's match against Karnataka © Getty Images
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Delhi survived by the barest of margins at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, drawing the game with only their last pair standing. They had to chase 157 in 30 overs, but messed it up in the pursuit of runs. It was a surprising turnaround for Gujarat, who trailed Delhi by 216 when they began their second innings. At the end of the third day, they were 205 for 5, still nine runs behind, but today the overnight batsmen, Kirat Damani and Bhavik Thaker, remained unbeaten till the team was 68 runs ahead.

Damani scored 86, with eight fours, Thaker was last man out for 95, with 12 fours, and Gujarat had managed to post a healthy total of 372. Soon after, Delhi were in trouble. They were 37 for 2 within six overs, and though they continued to score quickly, they just kept losing wickets. The eighth fell for 90, with eight overs still remaining. Mithun Manhas was out just before the day ended, but Rahul Sanghvi and Amit Bhandari did not fall, giving Delhi the unlikeliest of escapes.

Murtaza Lodhgar played a big role for the second time in Karnataka's 116-run loss to Bengal with another five-wicket haul at the Jadavpur University Campus in Kolkata. Karnataka fell for 226, well short of the target of 343. Sujith Somasunder top-scored with 46, and was followed by Stuart Binny (42) and Vijay Bhardawaj (40). Lodhgar ended with innings figures of 5 for 89, and a match haul of 11 for 117. It was a match keenly watched because Sourav Ganguly's form had been questioned since the start of the series against Australia; he managed 32 runs in two innings.

Tamil Nadu won by an innings and 108 runs against a hapless Hyderabad side that failed to go past 190 in either innings. Ramakrishnan Ramkumar did the damage, claiming 6 for 71 to go with his first-innings six-wicket haul. It gave him match figures of 12 for 128 at the Chidambaram stadium. Hyderabad scored 190, with Daniel Manohar the top-scorer. Tamil Nadu claimed a bonus point for the innings victory, in addition to the regular four for a standard win.

The game between Mumbai and Railways petered out to a dull draw after Mumbai sat tight on their first-innings lead, and scored only 219 runs in 86 overs at the Karnail Singh stadium in Delhi. Vinayak Mane remained unbeaten on 111, an effort that consumed nearly six hours, and Vinit Indulkar scored 52. Mumbai reached 221 for 3, and took away two points for the lead.

Jyoti Yadav scored 103 to set up a competitive declaration by Uttar Pradesh, who scored 317 for 8, but Punjab preferred to play it safe and not mount a challenge on the target of 279. They ended at 164 for 5, with Yuvraj Singh unbeaten on 41. Reetinder Singh Sodhi brought an end to UP's innings, claiming 4 for 39 in nine overs.

Andhra played at a snail's pace, drawing their game with Madhya Pradesh. They took away two points for their first innings lead. Venugopal Rao, unbeaten on 60, and Reddy, who scored 56, played patient knocks at the Maharani Usharaje Trust Cricket Ground in Indore. They reached 195 for 3 when stumps were called and the game was drawn. For four days, runs came at the trickle of 2.57 runs an over.

Assam continued to pile on the runs on the last day of their game against Baroda, and had two century-makers as the match was drawn. They made their way to 360 for 4 at the Nehru Stadium, with Zuffri (106) and Saravanan (102 not out) running up patient hundreds. However, Baroda were awarded the points for their lead in the first innings.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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