Karnataka ride high on Mithun hat-trick
Karnataka 405 (Pandey 194, Srivastava 4-75) and 311 for 5 dec (Pawan 78, Uthappa 56, Dravid 51*) beat Uttar Pradesh 279 (Amir 61, Praveen Gupta 55, Mithun 6-86) and 252 (Bhuvneshwar 63, Kaif 54, Mithun 5-95) by 185 runs
Abhimanyu Mithun emulated Javagal Srinath's feat from 1989-90, taking a hat-trick on first-class debut. Mithun dismissed Piyush Chawla, Amir Khan and RP Singh in consecutive deliveries, RP being his tenth wicket in the match. It had been a listless morning session for Mithun, in which he leaked plenty of runs. He made amends after lunch though; first getting Chawla to edge to second slip, then taking out Amir's legstump with a yorker before sealing the hat-trick with an offstump yorker to RP. Bhuvneshwar Kumar became wicket No. 11 for Mithun, ending the final bit of resistance from Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka raced away to five points from their first match of the season.
UP's last nine wickets needed to play out the final day, but they lost their way despite fifties from captain Mohammad Kaif and Bhuvneshwar. They kept losing wickets regularly, the highest partnership in the innings was 44, for the fifth wicket between Kaif and Bhuvneshwar. Following Kaif's dismissal - holing out to mid-on off Udit Patel - the end came fast for UP. They lost their last five wickets for 47 runs, including that hat-trick.
Bengal 325 (Jhunjhunwala 95, Tiwary 88, Fallah 4-102) and 175 for 3 (Saha 59, Dasgupta 54) beat Maharashtra 179 (Bose 5-67) and 319 (Khadiwale 114, Motwani 59, Bose 5-57) by seven wickets
A second five-for in the match for Ranadeb Bose, coupled with fifties from Deep Dasgupta and Wriddhiman Saha, made it a memorable return to the Super League for Bengal as they took full points against Maharashtra in Pune. The hosts could only add 14 to their overnight score, as Bose removed two of the three remaining batsmen to end with 5 for 57. Set a target of 174, Bengal lost opener Arindam Das early but a defining 119-run second-wicket partnership between ICL returnee Dasgupta and Saha gave Bengal full control. It was then left to Manoj Tiwary and another former ICL player, Rohan Gavsakar, to guide them home in the 55th over.
Delhi 591 (Dhawan 224, Tehlan 55, Nagar 55) drew with Baroda 326 (Shah 63, Narwal 5-71) and 233 for 4 (Bilakhia 91, Solanki 69*)
A much-improved display from the Baroda batsmen second time around helped them hang in for a draw against Delhi at the Moti Bagh Stadium. Resuming on 319 for 8, the overnight Baroda batsmen could hold out for a little over six overs as Sumit Narwal ended with 5 for 71. But it was Azhar Bilakahia who starred with 91 once the follow-on was imposed. He struck ten boundaries during his 140-ball stay, and together with Rakesh Solanki, who scored his second fifty of the match, put on 120 for the fourth wicket. Baroda earned one point from this home fixture. Delhi were hindered in their pursuit of an outright victory by the no-balling of offspinner Yogesh Nagar for a suspect action, leaving debutant Dharshan Kanjania as their only spin option on the final day track.
It was a match to remember for Puneet Bisht, who took seven catches in the first innings to equal the record for most dismissals in an innings by an Indian wicketkeeper in first-class matches.
Gujarat 270 (Parthiv 83, Dhiraj Singh 4-97) and 301 for 6 dec. (Niraj Patel 107, Parthiv 76, Thaker 52) beat Orissa 192 (Behera 78) and 220 (Mohanty 71*, Mehul 3-21, Yadav 3-52) by 159 runs
Three wickets apiece for right-arm fast bowler Mehul Patel and legspinner Salil Yadav handed Gujarat a convincing win against Orissa in Ahmedabad. It was going always going to be an imposing task for Orissa, who needed 370 for the win with nine wickets in hand, but apart from Rakesh Mohanty, who hit a gutsy unbeaten 71, none of the other batsmen put in inspired performances. At 89 for 6, with Mehul on song, it looked to be an early end for Orissa, before Mohanty and wicketkepper Subhrajit Sahoo put on a seventh-wicket stand of 85. But once Sahoo departed, Yadav made light work of the tail, removing the last three batsmen to clinch victory in the 81st over of the day.
Punjab 259 (Ravi Inder 104, Agarkar 4-43, Zaheer 4-60) and 311 for 7 (Kaul 62, Ravi Inder 58, Gambhir 50*) drew with Mumbai 471 for 9 dec. (Powar 125*, Kukreja 90, Khanvilkar 87, Ablish 4-53)
Helped by half-centuries from Ravi Inder Singh, Uday Kaul and debutant Gaurav Gambhir, helped Punjab hang in for a point by batting out the final day against Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar and Ramesh Powar. Having fallen behind by 212 in the first innings, Punjab got a good start to the day from overnight batsmen, Ravi Inder and Kaul. But they went from 138 for 2 to 164 for 5. Gambhir, though, added 52, 46 and unbeaten 46 for the next three wickets and thwarted Mumbai's charge. Zaheer Khan finished with three wickets in the innings, and seven in the match.
Hyderabad 328 (Abhinav 73, Arjun 71, Malik 4-67) and 189 (Thakur 5-22) drew with Himachal Pradesh 350 (Dogra 123, Mannu 68) and 136 for 8 (Ojha 5-52)
Pragyan Ojha's 5 for 52 was not enough to give Hyderabad an outright win against Himachal Pradesh. Having conceded a first-innings lead, Hyderabad looked to salvage something from the clash at the Gymkhana Ground, but a five-for from left-arm seamer Ashok Thakur helped HP bowl out Hyderabad for 189. Set 212 to win, opener Bhavin Thakkar looked to have given HP the perfect start with 55. But once he was dismissed by Tirumalasetti Suman, Ojha turned the tide the home team's way, accounting for five of the top seven batsmen. From 97 for 2, Hyderabad were left floundering at 125 for 8. It was left to captain Thakur and Sarandeep Singh to hold fort at 136 for 8, and lock the three points.
Railways 327 (Bangar 163*, Mukund 3-5) and 178 for 2 (TP Singh 63*, Cheluvaraj 61*) drew with Tamil Nadu 337 (Badrinatah 111, Vijay, Kartik 4-100)
Predictably the match between Tamil Nadu and Railways ended in a draw once the first-innings lead was decided in the first session. Resuming on 312 for 8, still 16 adrift of first-innings points, Tamil Nadu got through thanks to a fighting 32 from C Ganapathy. He had come in to bat at 274 for 6, but by the time he got out he had seen Tamil Nadu through to three points. Murali Kartik finished with 4 for 100. Twin unbeaten half-centuries from V Cheluvaraj and TP Singh managed half-centuries in what was largely inconsequential play in Railways' second innings.