Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Group A, Round 4, 2nd day November 25, 2012

MP ahead despite Ahmed hat-trick

ESPNcricinfo staff

Bengal 200 for 6 (Saha 87) trail Madhya Pradesh 342 (Ojha 99, Bundela 61, Birla 50, Ahmed 7-79) by 142 runs

Shami Ahmed took a hat-trick in the morning to close out Madhya Pradesh's innings at 342 though MP remained ahead as Bengal's batsmen failed to follow up the good work. MP began on 322 for 5, and would have had at least 400 on their minds, but lasted only 13 overs as Ahmed took all five wickets to fall to finish with 7 for 79. His hat-trick accounted for the last three men in the MP line-up - Anand Rajan, Amarjeet Singh and Ishwar Pandey - in the 103rd over. Bengal also lost three quick wickets to be at 19 for 3 before Writam Porel and Wriddhiman Saha stabilised the innings with a 68-run stand. Saha went on to make 87, his fifth 50-plus score in six Ranji innings this season, and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala made an unbeaten 41 but MP were still the likelier team to take the first-innings lead.

Saurashtra 90 (Sandeep 7-25) and 212 for 7 (Jogiyani 72*, S Kaul 4-55) lead Punjab 205 (Jiwanjot 61, Trivedi 5-64) by 97 runs

Saurashtra's batsmen put on a better show in the second innings but it wasn't enough to prise the match from Punjab's control. After being bundled out for 90 on the first day, Saurashtra had little hope of salvaging anything from the game, but they began spiritedly, keeping down Punjab to 205 despite the prolific Uday Kaul remaining unbeaten on 41. Siddharth Trivedi, who has been a regular for Rajasthan Royals over the past few years, did the most damage, finishing with 5 for 64. Their chase was undermined by Siddarth Kaul taking four wickets by the 18th over, with Saurashtra still to wipe out the deficit. That included the dismissal of the most well-known player in the side, Ravindra Jadeja, falling lbw for a duck. After having a big impact in the past two matches - a triple-century against Gujarat, and a nine-for against Hyderabad - Jadeja has failed with the bat twice here, and hasn't got to bowl so far. Sagar Jogiyani's unbeaten 72 held the innings together, but India U-19 bowler Sandeep Sharma struck three times to complete his ten-for and leave Saurashtra 97 ahead with only three wickets remaining.

Hyderabad 138 for 1 (Akshath Reddy 63*, Vihari 53*) trail Mumbai 443 (Shah 156, Rohit 112, Nayar 64, Tare 62, Ashish Reddy 4-77) by 305 runs

After being pounded on the first day by Mumbai, Hyderabad had a much better second day but still have plenty to do to bring the match back on level terms. They started brightly by quickly dismissing the overnight batsmen, Hiken Shah and Rohit Sharma, both of whom had made centuries on Saturday. Abhishek Nayar, who has hit two unbeaten hundreds in his two Ranji innings this season, added a half-century but four of the next five batsmen made 2 or less, and Mumbai were dismissed for 443, a far lower total than they would have expected after beginning the day on 325 for 2. Mumbai were also hurt as one of their specialist batsmen, Suryakumar Yadav, couldn't bat due to an injury. Ashish Reddy, the fast bowler who took eight wickets on debut earlier this week, was again Hyderabad's most effective bowler, taking 4 for 77. Hyderabad's batsmen built on the good work of their bowler, with the new captain Akshath Reddy and Under-19 batsman Hanuma Vihari hitting half-centuries.

Gujarat 117 (Parthiv 55, Bangar 5-12) and 54 for 0 trail Railways 308 (Paunikar 85, Rawat 66, Bangar 61) by 137 runs

Railways remained in charge though they lost their final five wickets for 10 runs and Gujarat's openers dourly batted out 35 overs. After bowling out Gujarat for 117 in the first innings, Railways posted a 300-plus score to tighten their grip on the game. Their captain Sanjay Bangar followed up his five-for with a 61, and their wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat made 66 that was enough for them to weather a lower-order collapse, which had them falling from 298 for 5 to 308 all out. Gujarat's openers then crawled along at 1.54 runs an over to finish at 54 for 0, still needing to bat out a minimum of three sessions to stay in the game.