Tamil Nadu v Punjab, Group B, Dindigul December 2, 2015

Harbhajan seven-for bowls Punjab into knockouts

ESPNcricinfo staff

Punjab 206 (Yuvraj 49, Sran 33, Chandrasekar 3-43) and 174 (Khera 43, Rangarajan 4-53, Chandrasekar 4-56) beat Tamil Nadu 68 (Rajwinder 6-29, Harbhajan 3-30) and 69 (Harbhajan 7-37) by 243 runs
Scorecard

File photo - Harbhajan Singh claimed match figures of 10 for 67 © AFP

Nineteen wickets fell on the second day as Punjab decimated Tamil Nadu by 243 runs in Dindigul to confirm their berth in the quarter-finals. Harbhajan Singh took 10 wickets in the game, including a seven-for in the second innings to help bowl TN out for 69.

Resuming the second day at 36 for 1, Punjab lost early wickets as TN clawed their way back into the match by reducing the visitors to 76 for 6. The momentum swung again as Punjab's lower order stitched together useful stands to add to an already substantial lead of 138.

Wicketkeeper Gitansh Khera, batting at no. 8, smashed a 40-ball 43, which was also the second-highest score of the match and remained unbeaten as Punjab were bowled out for 174, with a lead of 312. Malolan Rangarajan and DT Chandrasekar claimed four wickets apiece.

Requiring 313 for a place in the knockouts, TN stuttered and stumbled again in their second innings as Harbhajan ran through the batting to leave them at 48 for 6. Partnerships were hard to form, with the highest being 25 between Vijay Shankar and B Aparajith - the latter top-scored with 32 - for the third wicket. Eventually, TN were bowled out for 69, taking their match tally to 137.

Andhra 58 (Ankit 6-17) and (f/o) 159 for 5 (Kaif 51, Bharat 49) trail Madhya Pradesh 279 (Rameez 89, Harpreet 81, Ayyapa 5-66, Kishore 4-86) by 64 runs
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Spectacular figures from Madhya Pradesh's left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma - 18-10-17-6 - left Andhra in disarray at Holkar Stadium in Indore. The visitors were bowled out for 57 in 38.2 overs and were asked to follow-on, at which point Mohammad Kaif struck a fifty to take his team to 159 for 5 at stumps. Andhra are still 64 runs behind.

Madhya Pradesh played three spinners, in addition to the slow-bowling allrounder Jalaj Saxena, and got them into the fray early. Ankit took the new ball took out five of the top-six batsmen to wrap up his fifth five-wicket haul, which also became his career-best figures. The 279 that his batsmen put up in the first innings seem more than enough to get the bonus-point victory they need to sneak into the knockouts.

MP, currently in sixth place on the points table, had early success today - DB Prashant Kumar was bowled by Ishwar Pandey, the only seamer MP were playing, in the third over. But the next strike came only off the fifth ball of the 18th. The problem for Andhra though was their score at that point: it was only 18, and they were going at run-rate of less than 1 per over.

With a spinner-friendly pitch and four practitioners among the hosts, there was no respite once that incision was made. Mihir Hirwani did not bowl, 22-year old offspinner Saransh Jain picked up two wickets and Saxena finished with 11-5-15-1. Only one batsman - Ashwin Hebbar with 13 - made it to double-figures. The seven extras were the joint second-highest score.

Uttar Pradesh 134 for 5 (Umang 74*) trail Baroda 321 (Rayudu 70, Waghmode 56, Pathan 48, Chawla 3-41) by 246 runs
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Munaf Patel (2 for 15) and Yusuf Pathan (2 for 38) led Baroda's bowling effort to keep Uttar Pradesh to 134 for 5 in their first innings at stumps in Greater Noida. That the hosts got that far was down to Umang Sharma's ninth first-class half-century. He will need to stay in for a bit longer to reduce their current first-innings deficit - 187 runs. Only a bonus-point victory can keep UP's chances of progressing alive. The same is the case for Baroda.

Umang had sucked into the middle in the fourth over thanks to Munaf bowling opener Amit Mishra for 4. UP slipped to 26 for 2 not long after, but Umang restored some stability and took the team's score fifty. That was when Yusuf struck - two wickets in successive overs including that of Suresh Raina for 5. While the rest of the batsmen struggled to even get a start, Umang's innings lasted 155 balls, included eight fours and he made sure he was unbeaten on 74 at stumps.

Baroda's bowlers were only one-half of the story. Irfan Pathan played the lead role in the other half. He struck 48 off 92 balls, including three fours and two sixes, to make sure the final five wickets of the innings contributed 79 runs. He shared a 44-run stand for the eighth wicket with Pinal Shah, who also chipped in with 38 off 52 balls.

Gujarat 102 for 3 (Merai 41*) trail Mumbai 531 (Herwadkar 192, Yadav 104, Iyer 75, Axar 3-99) by 429 runs
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Mumbai hoisted themselves to 531 and Shardul Thakur used the benefit of scoreboard pressure to take a couple of wickets and leave Gujarat at 102 for 3, still trailing by 429 runs at Wankhede stadium. The visitors need a first-innings lead to assure themselves of a spot in the quarter-finals.

Akhil Herwadkar will take credit for the hosts' dominant position, having scored 192 off 326 with 22 fours and two sixes. It was the 21-year old's highest first-class score. The other centurion Suryakumar Yadav fell adding only one run to his overnight 103 and the rest of the Mumbai line-up faded away; only Siddhesh Lad and Iqbal Abdulla could get into double-figures among the bottom six, but that didn't matter considering the work done by the top order. For Gujarat, Axar Patel took 3 for 99 while RP Singh, Rush Kalaria and Jasprit Bumrah picked up two wickets each.

Gujarat's reply began well enough - the openers Asad Pathan and Priyank Krit Panchal - put on 41 runs in 11.1 overs. But then came the wobble. Seamer Balwinder Sandhu dismissed Pathan for 6 off 30 balls. Thakur got rid of Panchal for 36 off 45 and Manprit Juneja for a duck in successive overs. Bhargav Merai is not out on 41 off 66.

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