Delhi take full seven, Karnataka three in thriller
Delhi 331 (Manhas 161*, Narwal 66, Mohanty 4-81) and 82 for 0 (Dhawan 55*) beat Odisha 143 (Natraj Behera 35, Manan Sharma 4-30) and 269 (Podder 85, Suyal 5-93) by 10 wickets
Delhi made an impressive comeback from their defeat at the hands of Uttar Pradesh in the first round with a 10-wicket win over Odisha at home. With a side missing all the Test stars, they dominated the first two days, and persevered on the last two to take away all seven points from the game. They are now joint leaders in Group B, along with UP and Vidarbha.
Odisha were 41 ahead with four wickets still in hand, but Pawan Suyal dealt them a body blow in the seventh over of the day by taking out the captain Natraj Behera. He followed it up with the wicket of Basant Mohanty. He might have missed the hat-trick, but the required damage was done. When he got rid of Deepak Behera later, he had completed his second five-for in 10 games.
Chasing 82, the openers might have been under some pressure to make sure they won by 10 wickets to get the bonus point, but if they were they didn't show it. They chased the target down in just 15 overs, with captain Shikhar Dhawan scoring 55 off 49 balls.
Tamil Nadu 538 for 4 dec. (D Karthik 154*, Aparajith 112, Prasanna 74*, Badrinath 72, Abhinav 51, A Karthik 50) drew with Karnataka 562 for 6 (Satish 200*, Gautam 130*, Pawan 69, Uthappa 53)
The spinners might have disappointed in this high-scoring game on a square turner, but the teams somehow managed a thrilling first-innings finish that gave Karnataka three points. Ganesh Satish and Muralidharen Gautam played the innings of their lives to turn a hopeless situation for Karnataka - 289 for 5 - into a successful chase of 539.
When the two came together, it seemed the best Karnataka could have done was cost Tamil Nadu the two extra points by batting out more than two sessions. They went into lunch needing 196 to overtake Tamil Nadu's score, who in turn needed five wickets. After lunch, though, the batsmen surprised everyone by adopting an attacking approach, taking 33 runs in the first six overs. Tamil Nadu went back on the defensive, and Satish and Gautam kept punishing the loose balls, which were abundant.
Tamil Nadu's spinners - like Karnataka's - disappointed, picking five wickets in 124 overs between them. Tamil Nadu also bowled 18 no-balls, and more crucially dropped four catches. However, they were handed a lifeline when Gautam dislocated his shoulder while celebrating his hundred and had to retire-hurt.
Sunil Raju, his replacement, scored 13 off 60, bringing the remaining overs into the picture. Tables had turned. Now Tamil Nadu were looking to deny Karnataka the two extra points.
At the fall of Raju's wicket, Gautam came back to re-inject urgency into the chase. The two kept getting the loose balls, but it was also a test of endurance: Satish batted for close to 11 hours in the Chennai heat and Gautam was coming back from his injury.
With eight overs to go and 14 runs to defend, L Balaji asked for the new ball, and that only hurried the process. Satish brought the lead with the cover-drive, and kept on batting until he had brought up his maiden double-century, whereupon the game was called off.
Vidarbha 264 (Badani 111*, Shrivastava 63) and 218 for 4 (Fazal 98, Shrivastava 65*) drew with Baroda 514 for 7 dec. (Solanki 120, Chauhan 118, Yusuf Pathan 78, Waghmode 62, Rayudu 58)
Baroda made a declaration late on the third day and took a wicket before stumps, but couldn't do enough on the next day to force an outright result. They even got two early wickets, but Faiz Fazal's patient 98 forced them to settle for a draw and three points.
Fazal batted for 342 minutes for his 98, and enjoyed support from Shalabh Shrivastava, with whom he played out 50.2 overs for the fourth wicket. Shrivastava brought up his second half-century of the match. When Fazal got out to Waghmode, missing out on a century, the players decided to call the match off.
Maharashtra 764 for 6 dec. (Jadhav 327, Motwani 147, Atitkar 80, Bawne 78, Khadiwale 68) drew with Uttar Pradesh 669 for 7 (Srivastava 179, Chawla 156*, Dagar 126, Alam 70, B Kumar 62*)
You could see the merit behind Maharashtra's move of not declaring until they had completely batted Uttar Pradesh out of the game. The pitch remained flat, and UP batsmen filled their boots, including Piyush Chawla. Three UP batsmen reached their career-best scores, and even 765 looked achievable given enough time.
Only Suresh Raina missed out on easy runs when he was bowled second ball for a duck. Tanmay Srivastava made 179, Mukul Dagar 126, and Chawla entertained the sparse crowd with an unbeaten 156 off 140 balls, hitting 18 fours and eight sixes.
The teams, though, refused to call off the farce, and played out all the mandatory overs. To completely take the mickey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar hit two sixes off the last two balls of the match, finishing with an unbeaten 62 himself.