Ranji Trophy Plate League, 3rd round, 2nd day November 18, 2010

Maharashtra fight back with Khadiwale century

ESPNcricinfo staff

Group B

Opener Harshad Khadiwale's first century of the season took Group B table-toppers Maharashtra from a difficult position to one of strength as they finished day two at 342 for 8 against Andhra Pradesh. Maharashtra started the day in Vishakapatnam with their season's 100% record under threat as Andhra had reduced them to 66 for 4 on a rain-curtailed day one. But they still had their leading run-getter Khadiwale in the middle, and that proved vital as he scored more than half Maharashtra's runs on day two, getting to 183 with 21 boundaries. Wicketkeeper Rohit Motwani scored his third half-century in as many games in a 229-run partnership with Khadiwale. Andhra fought back in the final session of the day, with left-arm spinner Shankara Rao dismissing Khadiwale and P Vijaykumar getting two quick wickets including Motwani's within a seven-over period where Maharashtra lost four wickets for 13. Tail-enders Sajin Sureshnath and Akshya Darekar frustrated Andhra for the next 14 overs to consign them to another morning in the field.

Kerala inched to a 39-run lead against Vidarbha with six wickets still in hand, thanks to a century opening partnership between VA Jagadeesh and Abhishek Hegde on day two in Malappuram. Hedge and Jagadeesh gave Kerala a solid start after Vidarbha were out for 138, but it was slow going after Hegde was dismissed for 45, as the hosts scored at less than two an over in the latter half of their innings. Jagadeesh followed up his century against Jammu & Kashmir in Kerala's last game with a half-century. Vidarbha's final three wickets lasted less than seven overs in the morning as Kerala seamer Sony Cheruvathur started the day where he left off from Wednesday - when his three wickets helped reduce Vidarbha to 134 for 7 - completing his five-for as Vidarbha added only four to their overnight total.

Jasvir Singh scored 112 and three other batsmen scored half-centuries for Services as they amassed their highest total of the season, declaring at 453 for 7 on day two in their match against Jammu & Kashmir at the Harbax Singh Stadium in Delhi. The ploy to give J & K an uncomfortable five overs to bat at the end of the day worked as seamer Nishan Singh dismissed J & K opener Ian Singh for 1, leaving J & K at 11 for 1 at stumps. With Services resuming at 119 for two, J & K picked up the wicket of Soumyaranjan Swain, Services' leading run-getter this season, early on. But that was all they had to smile about for a long time as Jasvir and allrounder Yashpal Singh put together 160 for the fourth wicket. Yashpal fell nine runs short of his century, but wicketkeeper Sarabjit Singh and left-handed batsman Soomik Chatarjee notched up another century partnership as Services took a stranglehold on the game. Services, who are languishing at second from bottom in the Group B table, will be hoping that the total is enough to guarantee them at least three points.

Group A

Goa's lower order capitalised on the platform set on day one, taking them to a total of 583 against Jharkhand in Porvorim. Jharkhand seamer Rahul Shukla got rid of Wednesday's centurion Reagan Pinto just four overs into day two and then had Rahul Keni out lbw in the same spell, but Goa's tail frustrated Jharkhand as the last four wickets cost the visitors 332 runs. Shadab Jakati, the Chennai Super Kings left-arm spinner, scored 67 putting together 101 for the seventh wicket with seamer Saurabh Bandekar. Even the last wicket pair of Amit Yadav and Sher Yadav would not grant Jharkhand any respite putting together 48. Jakati gave Goa a breakthrough three overs before stumps on day two, dismissing Jharkhand opener Sachin Prasad to leave Jharkhand at 38 for 1.

Tripura's woeful form continued at the Gymkhana Ground in Hyderabad as the hosts already lead by 137 with six wickets in hand. Hyderabad's strategy of blooding youngsters continued to work. Eighteen-year-old Bavanka Sandeep, who scored a hundred on debut in Hyderabad's last match against Jharkhand, looked set for another ton, as he ended day two at 76 not out with his team at 277 for 4. Nineteen-year-old Akshath Reddy scored his maiden first-class half-century at the top of the order, hitting nine fours in his 70. Tripura are treading water at the foot of the Group A table, having lost both their previous games and only once scored over 200 in four innings. The 140 they managed, after starting the day at 122 for 6, is actually their second-highest total of the season.

Rajasthan took the advantage in their match against Madhya Pradesh reaching 248 for 3 at stumps on day two at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur with Robin Bist closing in on what would be his first century of the season. This match will break the deadlock between the two sides at the top of the table, but only four overs were possible on day one with Rajasthan starting day two at 4 for 0. That was soon 5 for 1 as MP seamer Amit Mishra trapped Aakash Copra, who has played 10 Test matches for India, in front. Amit then picked two more wickets, including that of Rajasthan captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar, before Bist and Rashmi Parida, who scored 70, put together an unbeaten 170-run stand.

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