Draw in Mumbai after madcap day
Punjab 580 (Mandeep 211, Amitoze 91) and 59 (Chavan 9-23) drew with Mumbai 485 (Rohit 203, Pawar 78, Gony 5-87) and 61 for 2
On a manic day at the Wankhede Stadium in which 19 wickets went down, Punjab secured the first-innings lead well after lunch but were still in danger of losing outright to Mumbai. Left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan had figures of 9 for 23, the third-best bowling analysis in Ranji history, to skittle Punjab, the most dominant batting outfit this season, for 59. That left Mumbai with an improbable chase of 155 in 11 overs. They began with gusto but gave up the hunt at 62 for 2 after six overs.
In the morning, Mumbai had looked on course for a first-innings lead, as Rohit Sharma made a double-century and guided his side to 427 for 4 with the help of the consistent Abhishek Nayar, in reply to Punjab's massive 580. His run-out for 203, however, sparked a collapse that resulted in five wickets going down for four runs as Manpreet Gony sliced through the Mumbai tail. Nayar and the No. 11 Balwinder Sandhu put on 54 for the final wicket before Harbhajan Singh ended the innings by dismissing Nayar.
With Punjab batting after taking the first-innings lead, a drab finish seemed on the cards, as is the case in so many Ranji matches, but Chavan and Mumbai provided plenty of excitement. Despite the late scare, though, Punjab remain runaway leaders on 32 points, with more than double the points of the second-placed team.
Gujarat 312 (Parthiv 92, Gohel 63) and 105 for 2 beat Rajasthan 294 (Kanitkar 100*, Dhurv 6-65) and 119 (Dhurv 8-31) by eight wickets
After five draws in a row, Gujarat got their first win of the season thanks to left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv's 8 for 31 that demolished the Rajasthan batting. Dhurv had already taken six wickets in the first innings, giving him match figures of 14 for 96, the best-ever by a Gujarat bowler. It had been a tense first-innings battle on the third day, that Gujarat just about managed to win and the game was expected to peter out on the final day. Instead, Dhurv ripped through the inconsistent Rajasthan batting and shot them out for 119. Gujarat were left with a target of 102, which they knocked off comfortably. The win lifts them to 15 points, jointly in second place with Saurashtra. Defending champions Rajasthan remain rooted to the bottom of the table, with only five points from five matches.
Saurashtra 209 (Jadeja 70, Saxena 5-17) and 333 for 8 (Jackson 118*, Jadeja 68, Vasavada 59, Saxena 6-133) beat Bengal 112 (Tiwary 55*, Jadeja 4-48, Doshi 3-24) and 160 (Jadeja 4-50) by 270 runs
Bengal collapsed to Saurashtra's spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Nayan Doshi to suffer a 270-run loss - their third in six games - in Rajkot. Resuming at 65 for 3, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala departed within the first ten overs of the morning session, after which wickets fell regularly. Laxmi Shukla struck three sixes and four boundaries to push the score, but he didn't last long. At 150 for 5, opener Rohan Banerjee fell to Jadeja for 47, and the innings lasted another 3.2 overs. Bengal were handicapped by the absence of their captain Manoj Tiwary, who was out of the game due to a back injury.
For Saurashtra, the seeds of victory had been laid on the third day, when they had reduced Bengal to 65 for 3 after setting them a target of 431. Sheldon Jackson had scored an unbeaten century as Saurashtra consolidated a 97-run first-innings lead with an impressive batting performance. Jadeja celebrated his Test call-up with 138 runs and eight wickets in the match.
Railways 214 (A Yadav 53, Pandey 6-61) and 251 for 8 (Rawat 106, Madkaikar 52) drew with Madhya Pradesh 377 (Rameez 128, Rajan 69, Bangar 4-81)
When the final day began, Railways seemed set to lose - they were at 54 for 5 in the second innings, still trailing by over a hundred runs against Madhya Pradesh. A fighting century from Mahesh Rawat and his dour 148-run partnership with PM Madkaikar, however, helped Railways salvage a draw, and MP had to contend with three points. As important as the runs the pair added were the overs they consumed, batting out nearly half the day. Though both were dismissed late in the third session, they had done enough to secure the draw. MP are now in fourth spot with 14 points, two spots ahead of Railways who only have seven.