Tamil Nadu keep pressure on Gujarat on day of draws
Gujarat 343 (Parthiv 166, Balaji 4-51, Srinivas 4-75) and 165 for 4 (Desai 108) drew with Tamil Nadu 419 for 8 dec (Vijay 91, Arun Karthik 87, Dinesh Karthik 88, Badrinath 50)
There was to be no hundred for Dinesh Karthik, but Jay Desai shone bright for Gujarat with a well-compiled 108 against Tamil Nadu in Ahmedabad. Having secured first-innings points on the third day, Tamil Nadu finally declared on 419 for 8. Karthik, continuing from 77, could add only 11 to his overnight score, as the two Patels- Mehul and Niraj - finished with three wickets apiece. Desai got some quality batting practice in Gujarat's second innings, hitting 17 fours and three sixes during his 166-ball stay, as they finished the day on 165 for 4.
Punjab 221 (Inder Singh 63, Arjun 6-47) and 307 for 9 dec (Bhalla 116, Dharmani 50, Khader 5-101) drew with Hyderabad 193 (Quadri 73*, Ablish 4-70, Harmeet 3-52, Gony 3-58) and 254 for 7 (Yadav 57*, Laxman 55)
Fifties from captain VVS Laxman and Arjun Yadav helped Hyderabad to a point in their drawn match against Punjab in Mohali. Punjab declared on their overnight score on 307 for 9 as they went in search of full points. Hyderabad began solidly during the chase of 336, as openers Tirumalasetti Suman and Abhinav Kumar put on 71. Harmeet Singh and Manpreet Gony kept the pressure on the visitors with two wickets apiece, but the 97-run partnership between Laxman and Yadav proved to be defining one as Punjab, who threatened till tea, had to be content with the three points due to a first-innings lead.
Mumbai 307 for 4 dec (Jaffer 165*, Naik 67) drew with Orissa 243 for 8 (Behera 78*, Pati 55, Mullick 50, Abdulla 4-52)
Zaheer Khan sped back to form with three wickets as Mumbai and Orissa ended with a point apiece at the Brabourne Stadium. However, left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah was Mumbai's leading wicket-taker, as he accounted for four Orissa batsmen to leave them shaky at 243 for 8 at the end of the day. Beginning from their overnight score of 184 for 3, Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer powered on from his century and finished with an unbeaten 165 as the defending champions declared on 307 for 4. If Bikas Pati (55) provided Orissa with a strong start during the reply, they were boosted further by crucial fifties from Niranjan Behera (78 not out) and Pravanjan Mullick (50) lower down. And they had done well after 81 overs to avoid any embarrassment.
Railways 419 (Sanyal 92, Goud 58, Sarandeep 7-120) drew with Himachal Pradesh 145 for 4 (Sangram 50)
Only 19 overs could be managed at the Karnail Singh Stadium, as the Railways-Himachal Pradesh clash fizzled out to a draw. If bad light truncated proceedings the previous day, there was less joy on the final day as both teams had to be content with a point each.
"The team as well as the players lost an opportunity, " said the Himachal coach Rajdeep Kalsi. "Still, I think we have the ability to finish within the top three and we will put up good performances in forthcoming matches to achieve that."
The result left Railways captain Murali Kartik disappointed but full of encouragement for his team-mates. "Unfortunately, nature conspired and there is little you can do about it," he said. "But, we did everything right in this match. As a unit we played well."
Baroda 307 (Pinal 63, Swapnil 43*, Lahiri 3-29) and 458 for 8 (Parab 154, Yusuf Pathan 63, Martin 52, Shah 51*) drew with Bengal 293 (Ganguly 76, Shukla 67, Arindam 61)
Baroda were content with first-innings points as their batsmen made merry against Bengal at the Eden Gardens. Resuming on 58 for 1, Baroda rode high on Satyajit Parab's classy 154. The right-hander smashed 20 fours and two sixes as the Bengal bowlers failed to make inroads. Fifties from Jacob Martin and Yusuf Pathan did not help their cause as the visitors looked intent on batting Bengal out of the match. Pinal Shah capped off the innings with an unbeaten half-century as they eventually ended on 458 for 8.
Uttar Pradesh 395 (Parvinder 122, Shukla 119, Dhurv 5-107, Jobanputra 4-82) and 148 for 9 dec drew with Saurashtra 267 (Kotak 75, Mehta 69, Shalabh 4-75, RP Singh 4-83) and 155 for 5 (Pathak 50)
Chirag Pathak's half-century at the top of the order proved crucial as Saurashtra held on for a point against Uttar Pradesh in Rajkot. Resuming on 72 for 3, UP might have left it a little too late when they declared on 148 for 9. Set a target of 277 to get in around 66 overs, Saurashtra took the cautious approach with Pathak and Bhushan Chauhan putting on 70 for the opening wicket. Even as Shalabh Srivastava and Shivakant Shukla did their best to turn the tide the visitors' way, with two and three wickets respectively, the Saurashtra batsmen battled bravely for the draw.
Delhi 154 (R Vinay Kumar 8-32) and 277 (Dhawan 100, Bhatia 64, Aravind 5-49) drew with Karnataka 260 (Dravid 78, Narwal 4-71, Suyal 4-67) and 149 for 6 (Pandey 50)
Bad light intervened to cut short what seemed a cracker of a match between Delhi and Karnataka at the Roshanara Club ground on Friday. Play began 106 minutes late on the final day and Sreenath Aravind picked up a five-for as Delhi's last-wicket stand could add 22 to their overnight score of 255. Set 172 to win, Karnataka were on the backfoot as the Delhi seamers left them wobbling at 60 for 4. But Manish Pandey and wicketkeeper Thilak Naidu led the revival with a sixth-wicket stand of 46, with Pandey firing a quick half-century that included a belligerent six off debutant seamer Pawan Suyal.
However, Naidu's run-out for a 23-ball 22 was followed by Pandey being dismissed in similar fashion, and that left Balachandra Akhil and R Vinay Kumar to see Karnataka through. They chose safety first, batting smartly towards the target, but then bad light struck. The umpires, Kamlesh Sharma and Vilas Karhadkar, stepped in to call off play and the two captains agreed, with Karnataka needing 23 runs from 19 overs. The draw fetched Delhi a point and Karnataka three.