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November 11, 2008
Orissa 46 for 0 trail Saurashtra 620 for 4 (Pujara 302*, Jadeja 232*) by 574 runs
Triple-centuries seem to come by every other game for Cheteshwar Pujara. He had scored two in one week last month in the CK Nayudu Under-22 tournament, and today he pushed from his overnight 128 to become the first Saurashtra batsman to make a triple ton. His partner in the run-fest, Ravindra Jadeja, scored his maiden century, ending unbeaten on 232. The unbroken fifth-wicket stand was worth 520 runs, the two scoring 347 in 72.5 overs on the second day. It was the second-best partnership in Indian cricket - after Vijay Hazare and Gul Mahomed's 577-run stand for Baroda against Holkar in 1946-47 - and the highest fifth-wicket partnership in any first-class cricket, beating the unbroken 464-run stand between the Waugh twins for New South Wales against Western Australia in 1990-91.
Following the declaration, Orissa's openers played out the remaining 15 overs. For Saurashtra, it was a welcome bounce back after their innings defeat to Gujarat, a timely wake-up call for last season's surprise semi-finalists from their recently-promoted neighbours.
Rajasthan 133 and 57 for 6 (Saxena 36*, Kakkar 3-6 Gagandeep Singh 2-2) trail Punjab 232 (Sohal 106, Gajendra Singh 4-67) trail by 77 runs
A second straight defeat looms for Rajasthan after another poor performance from their batsmen, who didn't seem to have learnt any lesson from Day 1, when they were reduced to 22 for 7. Trailing by 129, Rajasthan's second-innings performance was equally inept, and at 57 for 6 they still need 72 runs to make Punjab bat again.
Gagandeep Singh and Manpreet Gony were Punjab's stars on the first day and they prised out three wickets in the first four overs in Rajasthan's second innings. Left-arm spinner Ankur Kakkar took the remaining wickets in a six-over spell of 3 for 6, and Rajasthan will now rely on their lower order, who had pushed them to 133 in their first innings, and Vineet Saxena, who's unbeaten on 36.
If 12 wickets fell on the first day, there were 14 on the second. Rajasthan fought well after Punjab looked poised for a big lead at 171 for 2. Sunny Sohal scored a second century in as many games, and got support from Uday Kaul. Both batsmen, though, fell in the space of eight runs. Pankaj Dharmani and Kakkar ensured there wasn't a quick collapse, but both failed to further the advantage after adding 44 for the fifth wicket. The final six wickets fell for 49 runs. Left-arm spinner Gajendra Singh finished with four in the innings, and Venugopal Rao, the new Rajasthan captain, took two. Rao also got a pair, one of two batsmen to do so for Rajasthan - they have a total of seven ducks so far in the match.
Gujarat 77 for 6 (Kulkarni 4-32) trail Mumbai 486 (Jaffer 172, Rahane 104, Muzumdar 61, Parmar 6-143, Makda 3-59) by 409 runs
The second day at Surat's Lalabhai Contractor Stadium also saw 14 wickets fall. Gujarat offspinner Mohnish Parmar triggered a collapse to restrict Mumbai, resuming on 327 for 2, to 486, but Dhawal Kulkarni's four-wicket burst left the hosts in a slump at 77 for 6.
Kulkarni, who took 13 wickets on his Ranji Trophy debut, furthered his wickets' tally in the tournament to boost his team's chances of a win. He struck at regular intervals, with Sairaj Bahutule and Ajit Agarkar taking one wicket each. Nilesh Modi and Bhavik Thaker, unbeaten on 23, were the only two batsmen to reach double figures, and it will take a big fightback for Gujarat, who won their first game handsomely over Saurashtra, to get back into the game.
Jaffer, overnight on 172, was trapped leg-before by Ashraf Makda without adding to his score, and Amol Muzumdar scored 18 more before he was out to Parmar for 61. Makda and Parmar combined for the eight Mumbai wickets on Tuesday. Six of those batsmen failed to consolidate after going past 15, but in hindsight 486 looks a winning total.
Uttar Pradesh 251 for 8 (Srivastava 79, Kaif 51, Praveen 38*, IK Pathan 5-70) lead Baroda 235 by 16 runs
Down to 9 for 3 in reply to Baroda's 235, Uttar Pradesh recovered to take the first-innings lead in Vadodara. Despite Irfan Pathan's 5 for 71, half-centuries for Tanmay Srivastava and captain Mohammad Kaif, and useful 30s from Ravikant Shukla and Praveen Kumar gave last season's finalists the edge.
Pathan, who removed Anshul Kapoor for a duck in his first over on Monday, dismissed Praveen Gupta and Tahir Abbas off successive deliveries this morning - both were out for ducks as well. Kaif and Srivastava then revived the innings with a 122-run fourth-wicket partnership. Kaif was dismissed by left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar for 51, a patient knock that came off 174 deliveries. Srivastava was next to go, before Ravikant Shukla and Bhuvneshwar Kumar pushed them from 154 for 5 to 199 for 6. Pathan and Pawar struck to leave UP at 210 for 7, but Praveen Kumar, who like Pathan was dropped from India's ODI squad to face England, made a 30-ball 38 to help his side to the first-innings lead.
Delhi 124 for 3 (Chopra 51, Dhawan 47, Ashwin 2-15) trail Hyderabad 334 (Pai 130, Abhinav 76, Sangwan 4-86) by 210 runs
Hyderabad could add only 87 to their first-day score of 247 for 5, all out for 334, before defending champions Delhi reached 124 for 3 in reply by stumps. Pradeep Sangwan took two wickets, including that of overnight centurion Anoop Pai for 130, and there were two run-outs as Hyderabad went at less than two an over on the second day. Delhi's openers put on an 80-run stand, but both Shikhar Dhawan and Aakash Chopra were unable to convert their starts. Medium-pacer Ashwin Yadav took 2 for 15 in his ten overs.
Andhra 262 for 6 (Watekar 142, Fallah 5-65) v Maharashta
Harshad Khadiwale made 103 and Rohan Bhosale made an unbeaten 72 to put Maharashtra on course for the first-innings lead in Nasik. The two added 158 for the first wicket after Andhra were bowled out for 348.
Andhra, resuming on 262 for 6, lost three wickets for 20 overs before they were boosted by a last-wicket stand of 38. Samad Fallah finished with 6 for 102, while Bangladesh left-arm spinner Enamul Haque jnr finally grabbed his first Ranji wicket; he took 0 for 171 in the first match against Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka 82 for 1 trail Tamil Nadu 531 (Vidyut 193, Suresh Kumar 90, Joshi 4-136) by 449 runs
S Vidyut punished the lacklustre Karnataka bowlers ruthlessly on day two at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Beating his personal best and missing his first double-century by seven runs, Vidyut took Tamil Nadu to a position from where they could seriously control the game. (Read the full report here.)
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