Pandey five-for leads Madhya Pradesh to improbable win
Madhya Pradesh 342 (Ojha 99, Bundela 61, Birla 50, Ahmed 7-79) and 233 (Birla 74, Sharma 73, Ahmed 4-72, Singh 3-31) beat Bengal 299 (Jhunjhunwala 107, Saha 87, Pandey 5-87, Rajan 3-94) and 138 (Pandey 5-58) by 138 runs
A Bengal collapse on the final day, propelled by seamer Ishwar Pandey who claimed five wickets, took Madhya Pradesh to a 138-run victory in Indore. The win didn't look probable until the final innings, in which Bengal needed to bat out 58 overs to save the game; considering their respectable first-innings performance, that didn't look beyond them.
Their openers started positively, scoring 43 runs in seven overs before Pandey struck. Another seamer Anand Rajan, soon dismissed the other opener, Parthasarathi Bhattacharjee, and effected two run outs to leave them struggling at 76 for 4 in the 21st over. A third fast bowler, Amarjeet Singh, combined with Pandey to run through the rest of the line-up that was without Manoj Tiwary due to a finger injury. Only wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha tried to hold one end up, but after scoring 29, he was bowled by Pandey. At 119 for 8, the contest was effectively over, and the last two wickets were taken by Pandey as Bengal were bowled out for 138 in the 46th over, with more than 11 overs remaining in the day.
Bengal's fast bowler Shami Ahmed was the highest wicket-taker of the match with 11 wickets, and Pandey finished with ten wickets. This was their best bowling figures in first-class cricket.
With this defeat, Bengal are the only team in Group A to have lost two matches so far.
Mumbai 443 (Shah 156, Rohit 112, Nayar 64, Tare 62, Reddy 4-77) drew with Hyderabad 669 (Reddy 196, Vihari 191, Sandeep 117, Sumanth 69, Reddy 56, Chavan 3-184)
Hyderabad, after witnessing Mumbai score 443 in the first innings, set about consolidating on their strong overnight score of 423 for 3, in what turned out to be a one-innings-a-side draw. By the time they were bowled out on the final day, they had scored a mammoth 669, their fourth-highest score in first-class history. Besides Akshath Reddy and Hanuma Vihari, who were dismissed for 196 and 191 respectively on the third day, Bavanaka Sandeep was the other centurion, with a ton on the final day.
Gujarat 117 (Parthiv 55, Bangar 5-12) and 551 for 8 dec (Juneja 153*, Kalaria 100, Parthiv 65, Smit 55, Gohel 53) drew with Railways 308 (Paunikar 85, Rawat 66, Bangar 61, Kushang 4-87, Kalaria 3-67)
Fighting centuries by Manprit Juneja and Rush Kalaria took Gujarat to a position of dominance against Railways before the match was drawn on the final day. After having being bowled out for 117 in the first innings, Gujarat were always scrapping to avoid defeat. But Railways' opportunities were snuffed out by Gujarat's commanding batting performance that helped them amass 551 for 8. Due to the first-innings deficit, though, they gained only one point out of the match.
Resuming at 288 for 6, Juneja and Dhurv added 95 runs, before the most productive stand of 156 between Juneja and Kalaria, who has played for India at the Under-19 World Cup. Juneja was unbeaten on 153, and Kalaria scored 100, his highest in his short first-class career.
Both the teams have drawn all their matches so far.