Parthiv ton piles pressure on Punjab
Punjab 131 for 1 (Vohra 50*, Jiwanjot 51) trail Gujarat 467 (Parthiv 113, Panchal 105, Venugopal 95, Gohel 54, Ladda 5-138) by 336 runs
Parthiv Patel recorded a second century for Gujarat in the match. Venugopal Rao could have upped that count, but his 95 was part of six scores of fifty or more in Mohali. Punjab legspinner Sarabjit Ladda did his best to restore parity though with 5 for 138 and forced the visitors from 432 for 4 to 467 all out.
Much of that vast total was the result of the 188-run partnership between Parthiv and Venugopal. They were together for almost 50 overs even as Punjab dipped into every resource they had. Including the part-time spin of their opening batsman Jiwanjot Singh. And the tactic worked. Venugopal was stumped after 187 balls, 12 of which were hit to the boundary. Parthiv, however, went on to make 113 to add to his 122 and 50* from the last match against Andhra.
Just when it looked like Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh was running out of options, Ladda had Parthiv caught for his first wicket of the match, and proceeded to demolish the tail with his third five-wicket haul in first-class cricket, completing it in his 43rd over. That runs remained on the pitch was made clear when Punjab batted. Jiwanjot cracked 51 off 75 balls, with six fours, but was dismissed in the 27th over. His partner at the top, Manan Vohra is not out on 50 off 112 balls as Punjab negotiated the remaining 11 overs without any further trouble.
Andhra 96 for 0 (Bharat 50*) trail Baroda 302 (Devdhar 97, Swapnil 74, Stephen 4 for 72) by 206 runs
Swapnil Singh had finished five runs shy of his half-century at stumps in Vizianagaram. Baroda were 234 for 7 as Andhra kept true to their pre-season plan of giving their seamers the best chance of picking wickets. CV Stephen, one of four specialist seamers, led the way with 4 for 72. Notably there have been 147.2 overs of play, spin was used for only 13 of them and has not yielded a single wicket yet.
Part of the reason might be down to the Baroda tail's resilience. Swapnil made 74, led an eighth-wicket stand of 78 - the visitors' best - and was the final wicket to fall with the score on 302. He struck four fours and three sixes. But Andhra's openers Srikar Bharat (50 off 127) and DB Prashanth (38 off 102) provided a very solid start, taking their team to 96 for 0 in 38 overs.
Uttar Pradesh 169 for 2 (Srivastava 75*) trail Railways 375 (A Singh 101, F Ahmed 74, Ghosh 50, Kuldeep 3-64) by 206 runs
A collapse that began in the wee hours of play yesterday continued for Railways. They were 304 for 3 with just under five overs till stumps on Thursday, which had been enough for Uttar Pradesh to snag two wickets. On Friday, Railways resumed today on 316 for 5 and finished on 375.
Praveen Kumar, the UP captain, struck the first blow in the sixth over of the day and 89th of the innings to have his opposite number Mahesh Rawat lbw for 7. Karn Sharma was caught behind in the 94th over off Ankit Rajpoot. Nine balls later, the specialist batsman Arindam Ghosh was dismissed for 50 and Railways finally succumbed in the 102nd over. Their first five wickets had given them 305 runs. The last five only 70 more.
The lift provided by the UP bowlers - all five specialists used were among the wickets with left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav taking 3 for 64 - seeped into the batting as well. Opener Tanmay Srivastava has recorded his third fifty-plus score in as many matches and is not out on 75. His partner Almas Shaukat cracked 10 fours and two sixes in his 76 and UP finished the day at 169 for 2 in 71 overs.
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