Ranji Trophy Plate League, 4th round, 2nd day December 2, 2010

Tripura out for 55 as Rajasthan go top

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Group A


Tripura were bowled out for less than a hundred for the fourth time this season, as Rajasthan moved to the top of the table with a 10-wicket win on the second day at the International Cricket Ground in Kota. Rajasthan seamer Pankaj Singh finished with 14 wickets in the match, the best bowling performance in the Plate Leauge this season.

Tripura were bowled out for 95 in the first innings, but did even worse at the second attempt. Pankaj struck in the first over and by the end of the third Tripura were 8 for 3. There were some signs of a fight from the middle order but the last six wickets fell for 10 as the visitors were out for 55, their lowest total this season. Tripura had actually made a positive start to the day, taking seven Rajasthan wickets for 51 to leave themselves 55 behind after the first innings. That, ironically, was exactly how much they scored, leaving the hosts just one run to win.

Wilkin Mota, the Kings XI Punjab and Tripura medium-pacer, took 5 for 62 to rattle Rajasthan's middle and lower-middle order. Aakash Chopra top-scored for Rajasthan with 62. Rajasthan are now six points clear of everyone else in Group A, though their nearest rivals Madhya Pradesh are also in a commanding position in their fourth round match.

It was Madhya Pradesh captain Devendra Bundela who helped his team reach that position against Jharkhand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. The hosts reached 510 for 8, with Bundela getting 145, and were 379 runs ahead by the end of the second day. MP were always set for a big lead after bowling Jharkhand out for 131 on the first day, but the extent of it was increased by contributions from the lower-middle order. After Bundela and Anand Rajan, who made 84, had built a platform for MP, Jharkhand took two quick wickets to leave the hosts at 315 for 5. But Nos.7, 8 and 9 all contributed for MP, with left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma unbeaten on 59 at stumps.

Goa pushed on to a big total against Hyderabad on the second day at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium as the lower order made useful contributions to support centurion Reagan Pinto. The 19-year-old Pinto had already completed his second successive century on the first day and went on to get 154 on Thursday as Goa reached 482 in their first innings. Goa seamer Robin D'souza scored 49 at No.9 as Goa continued to have partnerships right down to the last wicket. Hyderabad had made some progress in trying to overhaul Goa's total by the end of the day, with Ravi Teja's 81 helping them get to 133 for 1.

Group B


Laggards Jammu & Kashmir made a comeback on the second day at the Gandhi Memorial Science College Ground in Jammu, as they managed to reduce Andhra Pradesh to 219 for 6. Andhra are still 34 runs short of J & K's total but still have Bodapati Sumanth, batting on 52, at the wicket. Andhra seemed to lose their wickets in pairs. After they made a solid start, Goa seamer Abid Nabi struck twice in three overs to leave them at 79 for 2. Then, as Sumanth and opener Hemal Watekar were rebuilding, Goa seamer Mohammed Mudhasir dismissed Watekar for 71 and next man in AG Pradeep for a duck, two balls later, to leave Andhra in trouble at 137 for 5.

Only 27 overs of play were possible on the second day in the match between Maharashtra and Kerala as rain hit the Nehru Stadium in Kochi. Kerala seamer Sony K Cheruvathur took a wicket in the first over of the day and then Sangram Atitkar reached a half-century for Maharashtra, as they reached 217 for 4. With only 89 overs played over the first two days, a result looks unlikely but Maharashtra will want to build a big total and then try to take at least three points for a first-innings lead to widen the gap over Kerala at the top of the Group B table.

Vidarbha's batting continued its downward spiral as they were bowled out for 147 to give Services the advantage after the second day at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. By the time Services reached 15 for 0 at stumps, they were ahead by 102. Vidarbha started the season by getting 506 against Andhra, but have struggled ever since. Their last three innings scores prior to this game read 61, 138 and 139. The day saw 15 wickets fall in all, as Services lost their last five in the morning, after adding just 28 to their overnight score. Services' bowlers shared the wickets with offspinner Arnav Kush leading the pack with his 4 for 30.