Ranji Trophy 2015-16, Group B, 8th round, 2nd day November 24, 2015

Jalaj Saxena helps MP set Mumbai 280 target

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mumbai 162 (Saxena 5-66, Ankit 5-80) and 0 for 0 need another 280 runs to beat Madhya Pradesh 240 and 201 (Saxena 79, Bundela 42, Thakur 3-33)
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File photo - Jalaj Saxena's all-round contributions earned Madhya Pradesh © MPCA

Jalaj Saxena took his fourth five-wicket haul in seven matches, also taking his season tally to 40 wickets, then strapped up his pads and struck 79 of the 201 runs Madhya Pradesh put up in the second innings. That meant Mumbai were set a target of 280 to win in Indore.

Resuming their first innings at 72 for 6, Mumbai's final four wickets contributed 90 runs. Still Madhya Pradesh stuck to Plan A. They used just two spinners throughout the innings - Saxena and Ankit Sharma, who both collect five-fors - to bundle Mumbai out for 162, and collect a substantial lead of 78.

Mumbai took a hint from their first innings and started with a spinner of their own and reaped immediate reward. Vishal Dabholkar had Tanmay Srivastava stumped off the second ball of the innings. Saxena and Harpreet Singh temporarily steadied the ship with a 44-run stand before wickets fell in regular intervals thereafter to leave Madhya Pradesh at 110 for 5.

Captain Devendra Bundela (42) and Saxena added 48 for the sixth wicket, but Saxena's dismissal elicited a collapse as Mumbai bore into the lower order to bowl Madhya Pradesh out for 201. Shardul Thakur and Iqbal Abdullah picked up three wickets apiece.

Railways 182 and 194 for 8 (Yadav 55*, Wakaskar 38, Sudhakar 4-49) lead Andhra 114 (Prasanth 49, Karn 5-30, Anureet 3-25) by 262 runs
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Railways, who had made only 182 in their first innings, bounced back on the second day to take a first-innings lead. Karn Sharma and Anureet Singh combined to take eight wickets as Andhra were bowled out for 114 in Delhi.

Prasanth Kumar - the only Andhra batsman to score above 15 - offered some resistance with his 49, before Karn, who took his third five-wicket haul in as many matches, had him caught with the score at 92. The tail crumbled thereafter and Railways gained a lead of 68.

But Andhra's bowlers kept their hopes alive as D Siva Kumar removed Ashish Singh in the fifth over. Saurabh Wakaskar (38) and V Cheluvaraj (18) held things steady with a 58-run partnership, but B Sudhakar broke through and went on to take three further wickets to ensure Railways did not run away with the game. At least until Ashish Yadav came in at No. 8 and struck a counterattacking 55 to stretch the lead to 262 at stumps.

Tamil Nadu v Gujarat
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A second consecutive day's play was washed out without a ball being bowled in Tirunelveli. With hopes of an outright win fading away, both teams will be looking to garner first-innings points if play is possible on the final two days. Gujarat are second on the points table with 22 points, while Tamil Nadu are sixth.

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  • NITESH on November 24, 2015, 17:32 GMT

    I think jalaj saxena should be considered for the next level, the Indian cap.. see his performances with the bat

  • parameswaran on November 24, 2015, 16:21 GMT

    While Mumbai struggled, Shardul showed he can bowl on any surfaces. Impressed with his long spells.

  • sam on November 24, 2015, 15:57 GMT

    It's a pity that Jalaj Saxena has not got his India cap at least in ODIs despite being a standout all-rounder in the domestic circuit. I can understand when people say Rishi Dhawan isnt that good because he bowls 123-125k but why not try Jalaj Saxena; lead spinner and Opening batsman for Madhya Pradesh and still averages 38 with the bat and 28-29 with the ball. Probably at least as good as Binny with the bat if not better but far better with the ball (a genuine spinner). One of the major reasons Saxena doesn't get India call-up is that he hails from MP which has not produced too many India cricketers so he does not have too many backers.

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