Unadkat's nine helps Saurashtra stroll into semis
Saurashtra 375 (Jogiyani 130, Jackson 122, Yadav 5-81) beat Vidarbha 151 (Unadkat 5-70) and 139 (Jaffer 48, Unadkar 4-35) by an innings and 85 runs
Saurashtra thrashed Vidarbha by an innings and 85 runs to book their place in the Ranji Trophy semifinal for the first time in three seasons. Jaydev Unadkat, the left-arm seamer, picked up four wickets in the second innings to take his match tally to 9 for 116 as Vidarbha were bowled out for 139 shortly after tea on Day 3. Deepak Punia, the medium pacer, took three wickets in the second innings.
Vidarbha, who resumed on 17 without loss after Saurashtra took a 224-run lead, lost wickets in clumps, with the highest partnership of the innings being the 44-run fifth-wicket stand between Ravi Jangid and Wasim Jaffer, who top scored with 48. Umesh Yadav, who picked up five wickets in the first innings, was absent hurt after injuring his ankle on the field on Thursday.
Punjab 137 and 224 for 8 (Gurkeerat 64, Sidhana 43, Arup 6-82) need another 64 runs to beat Assam 323 and 101 (Arup 31, Sran 5-43, Kaul 4-25)
Assam collapsed to 101 in their second innings but seamer Arup Das' 6 for 82 took them closer to a semi-final spot, wrecking Punjab's chase of 288 on the third day in Valsad. Punjab had reached 224 for 8 by close of play, and need another 64 runs with two wickets in hand.
Arup cut through Punjab's top order, sending back the openers and No. 3 batsman Uday Kaul by the 10th over to leave the side at 26 for 3. Gurkeerat Singh and Mandeep Singh resisted briefly with a 70-run partnership for the fourth wicket but both batsmen fell to pacer Dheeraj Goswami. Gurkeerat fell after compiling a brisk 64 off 55 deliveries with 12 fours and two sixes. Arup then returned to prise out the lower order, getting rid of Mayank Sidhana, Harbhajan Singh and Siddarth Kaul.
Punjab might have fancied their chances of a semi-final spot after they had bowled Assam out for 101. The batting side, who had a first-innings lead of 186, had resumed the third day at a shaky 23 for 4 and were soon tottering at 53 for 8. Arup had a handy contribution with the bat, too, scoring a rapid 31 off 18 deliveries with three fours and two sixes. His innings nudged Assam past the 100-run mark, eventually setting Punjab a target of 288. Assam lost all their wickets to pacers - Barinder Sran took 5 for 43, Siddarth Kaul had returns of 4 for 25, his second four-for in the game, and left-arm pacer Deepak Bansal chipped in with one wicket.
Jharkhand 172 (Kaushal Singh 43, Herwadkar 3-26, Thakur 3-37) and 28 for 1 trail Mumbai 416 (Herwadkar 107, Suryakumar Yadav 75, Nadeem 5-140) and 245 (Iyer 81, Nayar 43, Quadri 5-62) by 462 runs
Jharkhand were faced with an uphill climb, with Mumbai holding the aces in their quarterfinal fixture in Mysore. After deciding against enforcing a follow-on, Mumbai, who took a 244-run lead, pressed forward courtesy Shreyas Iyer. The 20-year old struck nine fours and two sixes in his 106-ball 81. In doing so, he became the third youngest Mumbai batsman after Rusi Modi and Ajinkya Rahane to score 1000 runs in a Ranji Trophy season. Abhishek Nayar, the stand-in captain, built on the ground work laid by Iyer with a sprightly 43 even as Samar Qadri, the legspinner, took 5 for 62 to bring an end to Mumbai's innings on 245.
Set 490 to win, Jharkhand, who were bowled out for 173 in the first innings, lost Anand Singh early as Iqbal Abdulla, the left-arm spinner, had him caught by Iyer. Shiv Gautam and Virat Singh saw off a nervous 20-minute passage through to stumps as Jharkhand ended the day on 28 for 1.