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December 24, 2012
Punjab 268 (Uday Kaul 93, Mandeep 66, Sidhana 50) need 231 runs to beat Gujarat 266 and 232 (Juneja 79, Ladda 4-112)
Punjab gave themselves a chance of winning their fifth game of the season - no side has won more than two - but before that, Uday Kaul gave them the first-innings lead as he added 31 with the last man Sarabjit Ladda. Punjab began the day on 227 for 7, still well behind Gujarat's 266. They were 237 for 9 when Ladda, playing his first first-class game in two years, joined Kaul, who pushed Punjab to 268 before falling to Rush Kalaria on 93. Ladda then picked up four wickets as Gujarat, on the lookout for quick runs to try and force a result, were dismissed for 232. Manprit Juneja led the way with 79, but he had little support. It was left to Kalaria's unbeaten 33 to drag Gujarat from 148 for 7 to set Punjab a chase of 231 on the final day.
Mumbai 304 and 192 for 5 (Jaffer 67) lead Madhya Pradesh 244 (Choudhary 76, Harpreet 50) by 252 runs
Mumbai took the first-innings lead in Indore against Madhya Pradesh but slowed down considerably in their second innings despite desperately needing to push for an outright win. Ajit Agarkar struck early in the morning to remove Satyam Choudhary when MP resumed on 191 for 5 but Harpreet Singh and Ankit Sharma resisted. Abhishek Nayar, as he has done through the season, delivered the crucial wicket of Harpreet, bowling him with an inswinger which the batsman left alone. A couple of poor decisions brought the end of the MP innings on 244, giving Mumbai a lead of 60. With Kaustubh Pawar steady at one end, Aditya Tare and then Wasim Jaffer made quick runs, but Mumbai got stuck after the duo fell. Hiken Shah took 75 balls to make 18 and Suryakumar Yadav 28 to make 5. Ishwar Pandey was again among the wickets after his six-for in the first innings.
Hyderabad 337 and 130 for 6 (Karan 3-59) lead Railways 213 (Shinde 5-78) by 254 runs
Fourteen wickets went down in Hyderabad as Railways collapsed from a strong position and Hyderabad limped past 100 in their second innings. Railways, on 145 for 2 at the start of the day, were dealt twin blows by Ashish Reddy, who dismissed the captain Sanjay Bangar and Nitin Bhille. Offspinner Amol Shinde took over after that, taking five of the remaining six wickets as Railways crumbled to 213. Hyderabad had a big lead in the bag, but it was now the turn of the Railways spinners. Karan Sharma and Murali Kartik took five wickets between them after Anureet Singh struck with the second ball of the Hyderabad innings. Hyderabad closed on 130 for 6, but their overall lead was a healthy 254.
Saurashtra 228 (Makvana 54, Jackson 54, Pankaj 5-61) and 11 for 0 need another 295 runs to beat Rajasthan 299 and 234 for 9 dec (Chouhan 76, Saxena 65)
Pankaj Singh's 17th five-wicket haul in 67 first-class games helped Rajasthan take a decent lead against Suarashtra and fifties from Sourabh Chouhan and Vineet Saxena gave the visitors a target of 306 in Jaipur. Saurashtra began on 213 for 7 in reply to Rajasthan's 299 and Pankaj needed less than four overs to dismiss the remaining three batsmen. He bowled Kamlesh Makvana for his overnight score of 54, and did the same to Sandip Maniar. Chouhan retired on 6, and Rajasthan lost the captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar for a duck when he was bowled by Maniar. First-innings centurion Ashok Menaria came in and made a breezy 46. Chouhan returned to join Saxena after Menaria fell and was seventh man out with the score on 220. Rajasthan declared on 234 for 9, and Saurashtra reached 11 for no loss at stumps.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test