Chhattisgarh script historic win on debut
Ranji Trophy debutants Chhattisgarh opened their campaign with a historic nine-wicket win over Tripura in Ranchi. Left-arm spinner Ajay Mandal's 4 for 55 bowled Tripura out for 149 in their second innings on the third day, leaving Chhattisgarh with a target of 13. Earlier, Ashutosh Singh's 140 had given the side a 137-run first-innings lead.
Chhattisgarh missed an opportunity to secure a bonus point when Rishabh Tiwari was trapped lbw by Rana Dutta in the second over. Sahil Gupta, who made a golden duck in the first innings, and Amandeep Khare took the team home in the fourth over. Mandal, who came into his own with the ball in the second innings, finished with match figures of 7 for 96.
The previous team to win its first Ranji Trophy match was Punjab, who competed as a unified side for the first time in the 1968-69 season. Prior to that, Northern, Eastern and Southern Punjab had participated in the competition at various times.
Himachal Pradesh and Andhra's clash continued to be affected as rain had a major say for a second successive day in Bhubaneswar. Only 27.2 overs were possible on the third day, with Andhra moving on to 47 for 1 in response to Himachal's 357. Srikar Bharat, the opener, was trapped lbw in the fifth over by Rishi Dhawan, before Prasanth Kumar and Hanuma Vihari, the captain, saw off the rest of the session.
Himachal's innings was built on the back of Prashant Chopra's 117 on the opening day, which had taken them to 318 for 7 in 80 overs. No play was possible on the second day, before rain curtailed Saturday's play too.
At Brabourne Stadium, Haryana grabbed a first-innings lead of 51 after posting 248 in their first innings. Services then made a strong start to their second innings and pushed ahead again; they were 148 for 2 at stumps.
The day had begun with Haryana batting. Opener Shubham Rohilla missed out on a maiden first-class ton by eight runs. With the score at 177 for 4, the team benefited from Rajat Paliwal (33) and Joginder Sharma's (46 not out) sturdy contributions.
For Services, legspinner Muzzaffaruddin Khalid and left-arm spinner Vikas Yadav picked up four wickets each. On the back of that, Services' top three made solid contributions. Captain Soumik Chatterjee shared an opening partnership of 54 with Anshul Gupta. Wicketkeeper batsman Nakul Verma led another half-century stand for the third wicket and finished the day unbeaten on 54.
In a curtailed game, at Bengal Cricket Academy Ground, Kerala stretched their first-innings score to 306, with Sanju Samson adding 12 to his overnight tally to finish on 154. Jammu & Kashmir's reply was derailed by left-arm-spinners Iqbal Abdulla (3 for 32) and KS Monish (2 for 6). They were 106 for 5 at stumps in the first innings, trailing by 200 runs.
Kerala had begun the day on 282 for 7 but were bowled out six overs later. Seamer Samiullah Beigh added two more wickets to his overnight tally to finish with 6 for 82. J&K's batsmen then got off to a blistering start with Adil Reshi's 40 off 38 balls dominating an opening stand of 57 with Shubham Khajuria. But once he got out, trapped lbw by Abdulla, Kerala made regular breakthroughs and regained control.
In Nagpur, Bavanaka Sandeep (108) joined Akshath Reddy as a first-innings centurion as Hyderabad posted 388. They established a first-innings lead of 224 runs, having bowled Goa out for 164, thanks to a career-best performance of 4 for 14 by seamer Mohammed Siraj playing in his second game. Goa openers Amogh Sunil Desai and Swapnil Asnodkar saw off the 2.3 overs to stumps; they are trailing by 219 runs in the second innings.
Hyderabad had begun the day on 188 for 4, with Reddy on 105 and Sandeep giving him company on 18. Reddy added 23 more before being caught behind off left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati for 128. Sandeep took over, adding 115 runs for the seventh wicket with Mehdi Hassan, who contributed 62. For Goa, offspinner Amit Yadav picked up 3 for 73.