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February 18, 2013
Yusuf Pathan found his touch again with a typically aggressive 116, off only 102 balls to help Baroda overhaul Saurashtra's 299 at the Poona Club Ground, but it was a tense affair with Baroda getting there by one wicket. It was a terrific knock under pressure as Baroda were in trouble at one stage at 29 for 3 and later 127 for 5. Jyot Chhaya joined Pathan at the fall of the fifth wicket and the pair added 135 for the sixth wicket with Chhaya blasting five sixes in his 55-ball 82. The stand took the game away from Saurashtra. Pathan had all but taken Baroda over the line, when he was dismissed by Jaydev Unadkat 19 away from the target. His was the eighth wicket to fall, giving Saurashtra the edge. Bhargav Bhatt made the difference with a 13-ball 21 to help Baroda sneak home. Earlier, half-centuries by Sheldon Jackson and Rahul Dave took Saurashtra to a tall score. Dave missed his century by four runs.
D Subramanian made it a debut to remember as his 61 helped Mumbai beat Maharashtra under lights in Pune. His half-century, plus a couple of 40s by Siddhesh Lad and Aditya Tare helped Mumbai to 255. For Maharashtra, Ankit Bawne was the only player to offer resistance with 63. The middle order failed to contribute as Mumbai took control after the 35th over and restricted Maharashtra to 205.
Centuries by the openers Robin Uthappa and KL Rahul helped Karnataka to their fourth straight win, over Hyderabad in Porvorim. Karnataka posted 305 and half-centuries by Hanuma Vihari and Bavanaka Sandeep kept Hyderabad in the hunt, but a four-wicket haul by Stuart Binny sealed the match for Karnataka. Hyderabad won the toss and had to wait 34 overs for their first breakthrough. Uthappa and Rahul added 206 before Uthappa was trapped lbw for 103. It was a continuation of Uthappa's dream run, which includes recent scores of 169, 54 and 49. Rahul was dismissed four overs later for a 107-ball 110, which included nine fours. Manish Pandey made a quick 42 to help Karnataka get close to 300, but the rest of the batting collapsed. Ironically, the Hyderabad bowler who bowled the maximum quota of 12 overs was their most expensive, Ashish Reddy, who leaked 88 but picked up three wickets. Hyderabad responded strongly with a stand of 140 between Vihari and captain Sandeep for the third wicket. SL Akshay's spell changed the course of the game. The seamer got rid of Vihari for 84, and then Sandeep for 72. With both well-set batsmen dismissed, Karnataka made further inroads. Akshay's spell led to Hyderabad losing four wickets for 27, with the bowler finishing with figures of 4 for 50. Binny cleaned up the lower order to help Karnataka win by 47 runs.
Half-centuries by Sanju Samson and Sachin Baby helped Kerala to their third win, beating Tamil Nadu by five wickets in Margao. Tamil Nadu chose to bat first and it was their captain Dinesh Karthik who led the way with a 55-ball 73 that included eight fours and three sixes. Yo Mahesh smashed 40 off 18 balls to lift Tamil Nadu to 257 for 7. Sreesanth was expensive, conceding 83 off his 11 overs. The chase was led by Samson and Baby, who came together at 127 for 4 in the 28th over and added 94 for the fifth wicket. Baby fell for 61, but Samson remained unbeaten on 85 to see his team through.
A knock of 125 from opener Srikar Bharat, his highest List A score, and a combined bowling effort led Andhra to a 170-run victory over Goa in Vasco da Gama. Chasing 261, Goa, with eight batsmen scoring in single digits, folded for 91. The 119-run opening stand between Bharat and Prasanth Kumar, who scored 37, and a 74-run stand between Bharat and B Sumanth, who scored 45, were the bedrock of Andhra's innings. In reply, Goa were jolted early by seamer Syed Sahabuddin, who reduced them to 19 for 3. Andhra bowlers kept chipping away at Goa, and the game was wrapped up by the 26th over.
It was a low-scorer at Eden Gardens as Bengal beat Jharkhand by three wickets chasing a modest 162. Bengal justified their decision to field when they had the opposition at 84 for 6. Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Iresh Saxena made inroads in the top and middle order, before Shami Ahmed took three lower-order wickets to bowl out Jharkhand in the 38th over. Kumar Deobrat was the top scorer with 45. Bengal got off to a poor start, losing their top three to single-figure scores. A couple of 30s by Subhomoy Das and Wriddhiman Saha put Bengal on the recovery path. Things got tight at 136 for 7, but Shami's three sixes in his unbeaten 23 ensured the hosts got through.
Another low-scorer was played out at the Jadavpur University Complex in Kolkata, as Odisha beat Tripura by four wickets. Odisha chose to field, and all seven bowlers contributed in bowling out Tripura for 165 within 46 overs. Manisankar Murasingh was the top scorer with 32. Odisha got of to a poor start when they lost two wickets by the fifth over. Tripura sensed they were in with a chance when they had the opposition at 87 for 5. A stand of 51 between Lagnajit Samal and Rakesh Mohanty put Odisha back on track. Mohanty remained unbeaten on 42.
An unbeaten 101 off 94 balls by Jatin Saxena helped Madhya Pradesh beat Rajasthan by six wickets at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. The Madhya Pradesh bowlers did well to restrict Rajasthan to 211 after winning the toss. Wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik was the top scorer with 63 and the only batsman to pass fifty. Anurag Singh finished with 3 or 41. Saxena came in at the fall of the first wicket, in the third over, and stayed till the end. He hit 15 fours in his knock and shared stands of 83 and 87 with Anand Singh and Rameez Khan respectively.
It was a one-sided affair at the Emerald High School ground in Indore as Uttar Pradesh piled on 286 and thrashed Vidarbha by 96 runs. Uttar Pradesh were put in to bat and there were half-centuries by Tanmay Srivastava, Prashant Gupta and Akshdeep Nath. An opening stand of 94 between Srivastava and Gupta set the platform and towards the end, Nath smashed an unbeaten 70 off just 47 balls to push Uttar Pradesh to 286. Akshay Kolhar was the only batsman to offer resistance for Vidarbha with 76. Imtiaz Ahmed was the most effective bowler for UP with 3 for 38.
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After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test