Ranji Trophy round-up, Elite Group, 2nd day January 4, 2006

Sriram's unbeaten 88 powers TN to commanding position

Cricinfo staff

Tamil Nadu 218 and 164 for 3 (Sriram 88*) lead Bengal 145 (Ganguly 59) by 237 runs

Yo Mahesh, the debutant, Rajagopal Sathish and Rajamani Jesuraj grabbed two wickets apiece as Tamil Nadu shot out Bengal for 145 before Sridharan Sriram's unbeaten 88 powered them to 164 for 3, 237 runs ahead, by the end of the second day at Kolkata. Sourav Ganguly fought a lone battle with a 95-ball 59 before dragging a MR Srinivas delivery onto his stumps. Mahesh, the 18 year old, struck twice early to remove Abhishek Jhunjhunwala , the overnight batsman, before Jesuraj, the lanky seamer, picked up two wickets to end with a five-for. Ganguly carried his lone fight with the ball as well, removing Aashish Kapoor, who replaced K Vasudevadas as the opener in the second innings, and Sridharan Sharath, the veteran but Sriram lifted TN to a position of relative strength by close of play. Bengal, with nine points from five games, will be hoping to grab as many points as they can and secure a semi-final spot while Tamil Nadu will try to get at least two points to avoid being relegated to Plate.

Andhra 79 for 2 trail Punjab 316 (Mongia 132*) by 237 runs

Dinesh Mongia's third hundred of the season gave Punjab a first-innings total of 316 but Andhra's bowlers did a good job of running through the middle order on the second day's play at Visakhapatnam. Mongia's innings accounted for close to half of Punjab's total, and it was another reminder to the national selectors that he is in fine form. To top it off, he gave his side a vital breakthrough in his first over of the day, dismissing Tirumal Suman for 10 as Andhra slowly began their innings. MSK Prasad, Andhra's wicketkeeper, and Venugopal Rao, the captain, were the not-out batsmen as Andhra ended the day 237 behind Punjab.

Delhi 213 for 2 (Chopra 81*, Dhiwan 82) trail Karnataka 283 (Akhil 62) by 70 runs

Shikhar Dhiwan and Akash Chopra shared a 142-run opening partnership to lift Delhi to a strong position at 193 for 2, 90 runs in arrears, after Balachandra Akhil's half-century had steered Karnataka to 283 on the second day at Bangalore. Anil Kumble toiled hard, bowling 24 overs for just one wicket, but couldn't separate the Delhi openers. Dhiwan, the left-hand bat, was the first to go, falling to Sunil Joshi, after a well made 148-ball 82. Chopra, India Test discard, along with Virender Sehwag took Delhi to a commanding position by close of play. It's a crucial tie for Delhi as they have only 6 points in five games and need at least 2 points from this tie to avoid relegation.

Hyderabad 142 and 59 for 1 trail Uttar Pradesh 337 for 8 (S Shukla 116, Kaif 91, Chawla 54, Ojha 6-128) by 139 runs

Vital innings from Anurag Shukla and Mohammad Kaif gave Uttar Pradesh a 198-run lead over Hyderabad - despite career-best bowling figures from Pragyan Ojha, the 19-year-old left-arm spinner - before UP prised an early to wicket to leave Hyderabad on 59 for 1 at Lucknow. Resuming the second day's play on 58 and 31 respectively, Shukla went on to score his maiden first-class hundred in good time, while Kaif was unlucky to miss the landmark, caught behind by Ibrahim Khaleel off Kaushik Reddy. Piyush Chawla, UP's talented legspinner, chipped in with 54 after Ojha ripped through the middle order with six wickets.

Railways 43 for 0 trail Maharashtra 237 (Jadhav 82, Kanitkar 55, Bahutule 54*) by 194 runs

Jai Prakash Yadav cleaned up the tail with a four-wicket haul after Kulamani Parida and Harvinder Singh had grabbed two wickets apiece as Maharashtra, comfortably placed at 136 for 1, collapsed to 237 before Amit Pagnis steered Railways to 43 for 0 by the end of the second day at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Things would have been far worse for Maharashtra if not for a fighting unbeaten half-century from Sairaj Bahutule. Dhiraj Jadhav and Hrishikesh Kanitkar, the overnight batsmen, added 81 runs today to extend their partnership to 127 runs and threatened to take the game away from Railways before Sanjay Bangar removed Kanitkar to open the floodgates. Railways, with only 4 points in five games, lie at the bottom of the table along with Maharashtra and face the threat of relegation.

Baroda 362 for 2 (P Shah 177*, Solanki 107) v Services

Maiden hundreds from Pinal Shah, Baroda's wicketkeeper, and Rakesh Solanki gave Baroda a commanding first-innings total against Services on the second day at Palam. Solanki's was the only wicket to fall during the day, stumped off Amrinder Singh's slow medium pacers. Shah, playing just his fourth first-class match, hit 21 boundaries in an unbeaten 172 to give his side a dominant start to the match. Jacob Martin, who leads his side's run-scoring list, was unbeaten on 40 at stumps. Baroda sit comfortably on top of the Elite Group B points table, and look intent on gaining valuable batting practice from this match.

Mumbai 195 for 8 (Muzumdar 64) trail Gujarat 200 by 5 runs

J Makla and Hitesh Majmudar shared five wickets between them to engineer a collapse as Mumbai crumbled from 103 for 2 to 195 for 8, 5 runs in arrears, on the second day at Ahmedabad. Amol Muzumdar's 64 lifted Mumbai, perched on top of the group table, close to wrestling a first-innings lead. Earlier, Gujarat, placed fourth in the table, added 10 runs to their overnight score to end their first innings at 200.