Ranji Trophy round-up, Elite Group, 2nd day December 25, 2005

Delhi triumph in low-scoring game

Cricinfo staff

Delhi 131 (Kartik 8-40) and 127 for 3 (Gambhir 43) beat Railways 77 and 180 (Yadav 90, Sharma 5-39) by 7 wickets

Delhi clinched a low-scoring match by seven wickets to register their first win of the Ranji Trophy season. In a game which lasted just two days, they recovered from a poor first-innings effort to bowl Railways out for just 180 in their second dig, and then knocked off the 127 required for victory losing just three wickets. Despite losing Virender Sehwag for a duck in their run-chase, Delhi won comfortably thanks to a 76-run stand for the second wicket between Gautam Gambhir, the Indian opener, and Shikhar Dhawan. Both thwarted the Railways bowlers, including Murali Kartik, who had taken 8 for 40 to destroy Delhi's first innings; in the second, he could only manage 1 for 53 from 15 overs. Railways' star in their second innings was Jai P Yadav, who struck a fine 90, the only half-century of the match, but the rest of the batsmen had no answers to Abhishek Sharma, who picked 5 for 39 with his legspinners to restrict Railways to a manageable total.

Punjab 130 and 69 for 5 (Zaheer 5-41) trail Baroda 262 (Martin 80, Williams 50*, Gagandeep 5-84) by 63 runs

Zaheer Khan ran red hot for the second successive day as Punjab wilted against his fiery onslaught at Baroda, trailing by 63 and facing a prospect of a humiliating innings defeat. Zaheer, who had nailed four Punjab batsmen yesterday, jolted them again in the second innings with a spell of 5 for 41 in only nine overs. Things hadn't begun too well for Baroda with Gagandeep Singh, the Punjab opening bowler, engineering a fightback. Reeling at 132 for 6, just two runs ahead of the Punjab total, Baroda were bailed out by a fighting 80 from Jacob Martin, their captain, who got some valuable support from the lower order. Martin, who batted for close to five hours, received able support from Rakesh Patel and Zaheer, at No. 11, and added 97 runs with the two. Once Baroda had risen, Zaheer tore apart the Punjab top order and put them in sniffing distance of a win.

Maharashtra 108 (Vinay Kumar 5-22) and 78 for 0 (Satbhai 53*) trail Karnataka 260 (Uthappa 96) by 74 runs

Vinay Kumar, a right-arm seam bowler, and Chandra Sekhar Ragavendra, a left-arm spinner, combined to put Karnataka on top at Bangalore. Vinay took 5 for 22 while Ragavendra nailed 4 for 37 - best first-class figures for both - as Maharashtra were bundled out for 108 in their first innings. Forced to follow on, they put up a much better show, reaching 78 without loss by close of play on the second day. Dheeraj Jadhav, the left-handed opener, top-scored with 30 in Maharashtra's first innings, and was forced to retire hurt on 15 in the second, but Satyajit Satbhai, his opening partner, kept the innings going with an unbeaten 53.

Tamil Nadu 208 for 8 (Karthik 98*) trail Mumbai 430 (Jaffer 162, Shetty 77) by 222 runs

Dropped from the Indian squad, Dinesh Karthik, the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper, hit back in style but his team was in the doldrums at close of play on the second day at the Wankhede Stadium. Karthik blasted 15 fours and a six in an unbeaten 98 which came off just 111 balls, but his sparkling effort was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal batting display, as Tamil Nadu struggled to 208 for 8, still 222 behind Mumbai's first-innings effort of 430. Tamil Nadu started badly, losing Hemanth Kumar in the first over for a duck, and they kept going downhill - when Hemang Badani, their captain, was dismissed, they had slumped to 91 for 6, before Karthik began his spirited fightback. For Mumbai, Ramesh Powar was the most successful bowler, taking 3 for 84 with his offbreaks.

Bengal 405 for 7 (Dasgupta 124*, Jhunjhunwala 72, Das 64) v Gujarat

Deep Dasgupta worked his way to his fifth first-class century as Bengal ground their way to 405 for 7 at close of play on the second day of their match against Gujarat in Surat. Resuming at 195 for 3, Bengal continued to remorselessly pile on the runs. Dasgupta led the way with an unbeaten 124 off 278 balls, and received fine support from Shibsagar Singh, who plodded his way to an unbeaten 46 from a monumental 230 deliveries. The two added 172 in an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership as Bengal recovered from a shaky 233 for 7. For Gujarat, Siddharth Trivedi was the most successful bowler, toiling 46 overs for impressive figures of 4 for 81.

Andhra 192 for 4 (MSK Prasad 79, Venugopal 70) trail Haryana 206 by 14 runs

MSK Prasad and Venugopal Rao produced gritty 70s as Andhra drove home their advantage on the second day of the Elite B clash against Haryana at Anantpur. Haryana managed to add only 10 more runs to their overnight 196 as Syed Sahabuddin and Co. mopped up the last four wickets in just six overs. Andhra began shakily, losing Krishna Singh for a duck, but Prasad guided them to safety with a doughty 220-ball 79. He was soon joined by Venugopal, who cracked nine fours in his 70, and their 115-run stand put Andhra in firm control of the game.

Hyderabad 278 for 6 (Anirudh 95, Manohar 54) lead Services 196 by 82 runs

Led by Anirudh Singh's fine 95, Hyderabad were in control of their Group B encounter against Services at the Gymkhana Ground, with an 82-run lead at the end of the second day's play. Anirudh smacked 12 fours and a six in his patient effort and ensured that Hyderabad gained the vital first-innings lead. Daniel Manohar (54), Vinay Kumar (49*) and VVS Laxman also played their part as Hyderabad got themselves into a cosy position. Fazil Mohammed and H Naidu, the opening bowlers, picked up five wickets between them but Services' low total had already pegged them back considerably.