Appanna leads Karnataka to easy win
KP Appanna produced the best first-class bowling performance of his fledgling career as Karnataka overwhelmed Railways by an innings and 51 runs at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. The 22-year-old left-arm spinner took 6 for 68 in the second innings to go with 5 for 39 in the first, giving him a career best 11 for 107 in the match. Railways had started the day on 33 for 2, still 180 runs behind. Their extended that to 66 for 2 before Appanna had Sanjay Bangar out lbw. A few overs later, Appanna ended Shivakant Shukla's determined vigil, the opener having grafted to 34 in a shade under three hours. At that stage, the visitors were 87 for 4 and the rest of the batsmen succumbed at regular intervals as Railways collapsed for 162.
Uttar Pradesh held the upper hand in their game against Saurashtra after taking an 81-run first-innings lead and then extending it to 256 runs with six wickets still in hand heading into the final day at the Cantonment Board Ground in Meerut. After UP had lost their last six wickets for 96, Saurashtra followed suit, losing their last six wickets for 67 runs. Having started the day on 208 for 6, the visitors folded for 281 despite Jaydev Shah's 112. Five bowlers shared the wickets, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking 3 for 26. Unbeaten half-centuries from Mohammad Kaif and Arish Alam then took UP to 175 for 4 in their second-innings.
Manpreet Gony and debutant Brainder Sran combined to give Punjab an unlikely eight-wicket win over Orissa at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. Punjab had needed wicketkeeper Gitansh Khera to make an unbeaten 47 at No.9 just to scrape out a four-run first-innings lead, but then Gony and Sran took over and dismantled Orissa for 73 in their second-innings. Sran struck the first blow when he had opposing captain Natraj Behera caught for a duck. Gony then took two of the next three wickets, as Orissa slumped to 25 for 4. Sran then nipped out the middle order while Gony knocked over the tail to leave Punjab needing 70 runs for the win, a target they hunted down for the loss of two wickets. Gony had figures of 5 for 13 from 8.5 overs while Sran ended with 4 for 27 from 13 overs, giving him a total of seven wickets on debut. Harbhajan Singh, the India offspinner, took just one wicket in the game.
India opener Abhinav Mukund ground out a double-century and though none of the other Tamil Nadu batsmen made more than 37, they managed to take a 55-run first-innings lead over Haryana and secure three points at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. Abhinav, who had already completed his century on day two, extended his partnership with KM Gandhi to 99 before the latter fell for 16, the start of a slide in which the hosts lost five wickets for 75 runs. No.8 Sunny Gupta then hung around to make 37, adding 70 for the eight wicket with Abhinav, to swing the momentum back Tamil Nadu's way. Abhinav was eventually out for 204, having taken Tamil Nadu past Haryana, and No.9 Yo Mahesh, who made 30 not out, pushed their total to 403.
Irfan Pathan, the India allrounder, ripped out the heart of the Madhya Pradesh batting line-up to leave Baroda needing just 54 for victory at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara. The Baroda openers knocked off 25 of those runs, before falling in quick succession. Rakesh Solanki and Ambati Rayudu then took them within six runs of the target before stumps.
Having begun the day on 176 for 2, Naman Ohja and Devendra Bundela had gamely resisted everything the Baroda attack through at them in the first session, but Bhargav Bhatt broke through after lunch to dismiss Ohja for a painstaking 94 from 250 balls, and end a 104-run partnership. Irfan, armed with the second new ball, then removed Abbas Ali and Harpreet Singh in the same over, getting both to edge balls leaving the left-hander. Two overs later he had Bundela caught behind as well and it looked like Baroda might wrap up the game on the third day. However TP Sudhindra (49) and Ankit Sharma (42) added 77 for the eight wicket to deny the hosts an innings victory. Irfan completed his five wicket-haul with the wicket of Sudhindra, the last man to fall, giving him figures of 8 for 77 for the match.
Gujarat forced Delhi to follow-on before picking up a further five wickets to close in on victory at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Valsad. Eighteen-year-old Unmukt Chand, who made 93, and Rajat Bhatia, with 45, were the only Delhi batsmen to put up much resistance as the visitors folded from 119 for 3 to 233 all out. Part-time seamer Priyank Panchal brought the curtain down swiftly on Delhi's first innings by taking 3 wickets for no runs in 2.1 overs.
The visitors got off to a terrible start in their second innings, losing Chand for 0 and Milind Kumar for 1 inside six overs, before Shikhar Dhawan and captain Mithun Manas added 91. While Manas dropped anchor, Dhawan took on the bowling, smashing 16 fours as he raced to 77 from 78 balls. However, Ishwar Chaudhary had Dhawan caught behind off the first ball of the 29th over and Delhi lost two more wickets to end the day on 170 for 5. Manas was still at the crease, having made exactly 50, but the visitors still trail by 117 and will be hard pressed to save the game.