Wilkin Mota stars in one-run win for TSC
A combined bowling effort from State Bank of Hyderabad inflicted a second consecutive defeat on All India Electricity Board in Visakhapatnam. Vinay Dandekar picked up three wickets and was supported by Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Rana Chowdhary who picked up two each. The problem for SBH was the failure of their batsmen to convert starts. T Suman made a fluent 32, P Srihari Rao chipped in with 37 while wicketkeeper M Srinivas contributed an unbeaten 33. They were not helped by the appalling lack of support from the other end, as the AIEB bowlers kept chipping away.
AIEB would have backed themselves to chase down 172 but they didn't have to go that far. Rain intervened when they were on 99 for 2 in 20.3 overs, well past what they required at that stage in the event of an interruption.
In a thrilling contest in Chennai, Tata Sports Club survived a spirited chase by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and prevailed by one run to open their mark in the BCCI Corporate trophy.
The chase of 265 was dealt a major setback when Abhishek Nayar's fluent knock of 85 was terminated by Gaurav Jathar. At 138 for 4, it seemed TSC were in control but captain VA Indulkar and wicketkeeper Uday Kaul struck half-centuries to surge BPCL back in the game. Indulkar was more measured while Kaul stepped up with four fours and a couple of sixes. Just as it seemed BPCL would upstage their opponents, Wilkin Mota struck twice, ending the threatening stand and then dismissing Sairaj Bahutule. Mota bowled the final over and Bahutule fell first ball but BPCL were still favourites, requiring 4 off 5 balls with Kaul still batting. However, they managed just two more, failing to dispatch Mota, and slipped to an agonising defeat.
The star with the bat for TSC was Dhruv Singh, who led his team's recovery from 109 for 5 with an attacking 115. He was supported down the order by Mota, who chipped in with 30 - part of a decisive all-round effort - and Ajit Agarkar, who blasted 31 off 19 to stretch his team's score to one they barely managed to defend.
Air India eased to their second straight win in the tournament, beating Chemplast by six wickets in Hyderabad. Even a century from Napoleon Einstein and a score of 278 wasn't enough in the wake of a solid reply from AI's batsmen. Captain Mohammad Kaif took the lead in steering his team home, making an unbeaten 82 in 88 balls including four fours and two sixes. And there was ample support from the rest. Hrishikesh Kanitkar scored a run-a-ball 53 in a 118-run stand with Kaif, while Sushant Marathe and Chandan Madan put the chase on track with a 70-run stand. Victory was secured without much fuss with 14 balls to spare.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited edged State Bank of Mysore by five runs in a fascinating encounter in Hyderabad. Both teams were bowled out, there were no half-centuries in the match and yet there were 575 runs scored in all.
BSNL opted to bat and seemed to be on track for a more challenging score with a series of consistent contributions from the batsmen in the top and middle orders. Monish Mishra made 39, NS Negi made 41 and Niranjan Behera chipped in with 36 but what was missing was a more substantial innings. Chethan William grabbed three wickets while every other bowler chipped in with at least a wicket to keep BSNL in check and restrict them to a score of 240.
SBM were in a good position to secure a win at 152 for 3 but offspinner Kamlesh Makvana broke a 76-run stand between William and B Akhil. He dismissed both batsmen and left-arm spinner Kuldeep Diwan stepped in to trigger a collapse where the last five wickets fell for 31 runs to deprive SBM of a win.
State Bank of Patiala and Income Tax (India) served up the third closely-fought game of the day, with the former prevailing by 17 runs in Bangalore. SBP batted first and squandered an excellent start provided by their openers, R Rehni and Ravi Inder Singh, who added 101. Inder Singh made 75 but there were no major contributions from the rest. Spinners Ankit Sharma and Parag Khanapurkar grabbed seven wickets between them to help skittle out SBP for 218. SBP held the edge in the chase, limiting IT for 104 for 6 at one stage. But wicketkeeper Amol Ubarhande and Rohit Dahiya tried to revive the innings with a 57-run stand for the seventh wicket, but SBP fought back. Mukesh Sharma chipped away at the rest of the line-up, finishing with 5 for 26, and ending IT's innings with more than three overs to spare.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation raced to victory against Madras Rubber Factory at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Despite good starts, the MRF top-order batsmen fell in pairs. The openers Thalavan Sargunam and S Anirudha fell with the score on 87, Sridharan Sriram and Y Gnaneswara Rao then fell in a space of three runs. Venugopal Rao remained unbeaten on 83 but MRF had been in a position to post more than 242 for 6. The score proved inadequate. Praveen Kumar, who opens the bowling for India, shone in his role as a batsman at the top of the order, giving the ONGC innings a boost with a quickfire 54. His opening partner Sandeep Sharma made 75 while Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir remained unbeaten to steer their team to victory with 73 balls to spare.