Ranji Trophy 2013-14, Group B, 3rd round, 2nd day November 22, 2013

Bengal take lead despite Pujara ton

ESPNcricinfo staff

Bengal 303 (Shukla 155) and 5 for 0 lead Saurashtra 225 (Pujara 102, Dinda 4-65) by 83 runs

Cheteshwar Pujara's 24th first-class hundred was not enough to make Saurashtra surpass Bengal's score of 303 as Ashok Dinda's four-for restricted them to 225. Apart from Pujara, only one other Saurashtra batsman crossed 20 to give Bengal a 78-run first-innings lead.

Saurashtra started the day at 0 for 0 and struggled to get long partnerships going, the longest one being 56 for the sixth wicket between Pujara and Chirag Jani. The openers were caught behind within six deliveries, Laxmi Shukla dismissed two middle-order batsmen - Sheldon Jackson and Aarpit Vasavada - and Saurashtra slipped to 175 for 6. However, Pujara, along with Jani, Kamlesh Makvana and Saurya Sanandiya, took them past 200 but was bowled for 102. Dinda removed Pujara, Makvana, Sanandiya to finish with 4 for 65.

Bengal openers Saurashish Lahiri and Arindam Das played one over and stretched the lead to 83 at stumps.

Services 256 for 3 (Paliwal 92*, Yashpal 81*, Jalaj Saxena 3-63) lead Madhya Pradesh 239 (Ojha 63, Yadav 4-63) by 17 runs

Fifties from Pratik Desai, Rajat Paliwal and Yashpal Singh took Services to a commanding position when they crossed Madhya Pradesh's score of 239, for the loss of only three wickets.

After MP added three runs to their overnight score of 236, Services were given an opening stand of 42 before offspinner Jalaj Saxena dismissed Soumik Chatterjee and Nakul Verma for 8 and 4 respectively. Desai and Paliwal then steered Services to safety with a partnership of 52, but Saxena struck again and sent Desai back for 58.

There was no more luck or success for MP as Paliwal and Yashpal scored fifties, their fifth and 33rd in first-class cricket respectively, and helped them pass 250 with an unbroken partnership of 150 to stretch the lead to 17.

Uttar Pradesh 171 for 5 (Dagar 69, Prashant 55*) trail Tamil Nadu 297 (Prasanna 118, Aparajith 60, Crist 58, Imtiaz 4-79) by 126 runs

Tamil Nadu's tail-end batsmen stretched the total close to 300 on the second morning, and Uttar Pradesh will need similar defiance from their lower order if they are to match that first-innings score in Meerut. Mukul Dagar and Prashant Gupta struck half-centuries for UP, but with Tamil Nadu making regular breakthroughs, the visitors ended the day clearly ahead.

Read the full report here.

Rajasthan 142 for 6 (Saxena 73*, Anureet 3-48) trail Railways 283 (Bhille 60, Shukla 54, Pankaj 4-96) by 141 runs

Anureet Singh's three wickets put Rajasthan in trouble on the second day in Jaipur as they lost six wickets for 126 runs. Opener Vineet Saxena was unbeaten on 73 and was the only batsman to provide resistance after Railways added 60 to their overnight score to finish at 283.

Mahesh Rawat and Anureet stretched the score as Anureet scored 20 and Rawat registered his 25th first-class fifty. In reply, Rajasthan's opening stand was broken in the first over by Anureet. He also removed No. 3 Robin Bist for 11 a few overs later. With support from Krishnakant Upadhyay, Anureet's third wicket reduced Rajasthan to 52 for 4.

Saxena continued at the other end to score a fifty but he was running out of partners even after stands of 30 and 44 with Chetan Bist and Dishant Yagnik respectively. Rajasthan were left struggling at 142 for 6, still 141 behind, with Saxena at one end as they tried to reduce their deficit.