Railways and Delhi storm to wins
Railways 391 (Bangar 109, Goud 79, Suresh 66) beat Gujarat 91 (Bangar 3-17, Saxena 3-19) and 295 (Niraj Patel 102, Kartik 4-75, Saxena 3-54) by an innings and five runs
Railways got a much-needed boost to their campaign as they demolished Gujarat in Valsad. Beginning the day on 139 for 2, still 161 adrift of an innings defeat, Niraj Patel and Parthiv Patel continued the good work for Gujarat from the previous day as the third-wicket partnership yielded 99. But once Parthiv fell to Murali Kartik, things went downhill for the hosts. Niraj painstakingly reached his century but couldn't keep out Railways. Right-arm seamer Suresh Saxena accounted for three batsmen, including Niraj, but it was Kartik who led from the front. The Railways captain fittingly picked up the last wicket of Mehul Patel, his fourth of the innings, as victory was sealed in the 79th over of the day.
Tamil Nadu 361 (Arun Karthik 118, Ganapthy 72) and 375 for 8 (Dinesh Karthik 152, Anirudha 81) drew with Orissa 327 (Shiv Sunder 119, Behera 95, Ganapathy 3-25)
A sparkling century from captain Dinesh Karthik was the highlight on the final day of the clash between table-toppers Tamil Nadu and Orissa in Sambalpur. Tamil Nadu batted out the final day, content with first-innings points, with Karthik smashing 17 fours and two sixes during his 157-ball innings. Left-arm spinner Dhiraj Singh (3 for 122) gave Orissa an early breakthrough, getting overnight batsmen Arun Karthik caught behind. But fellow-opener Srikkanth Anirudha continued strongly to reach his fifty. The stage was set for Dinesh who rallied his partners to take the lead past the 400-mark. He played the lead role in three half-century partnerships as Tamil Nadu continued their dominance in the group, with a quarter-final spot well in sight.
Delhi 383 (Bisht 120, Odedra 6-92 ) and 161 for 2 (Kohli 88*) beat Saurashtra 328 (Pathak 138, Pujara 83) and 214 (Suyal 4-41) by eight wickets
A stellar effort from the bowlers coupled with a dazzling half-century from Virat Kohli helped Delhi improve their chances of a quarter-final berth with a win against Saurashtra at the Roshanara Club Ground. Railways lost their last three wickets for 33 runs inside 14 overs after resuming on 181 for 7. Left-arm Pawan Suyal finished as Delhi's top bowler with four wickets. With 160 needed for victory, Delhi weren't in real trouble, even though they lost opener Aditya Jain early. But Kohli was at his aggressive best, smashing 12 fours and two sixes during his 86-ball stay. He first teamed up with Ankur Julka to add 78 for the second wicket and then sealed victory with an unbeaten 53-run third-wicket stand with Mithun Manhas.
"It feels good when you win your first game as captain and also get to contribute," said Kohli.
Delhi's coach, Vijay Dahiya, singled out the innings. "He is a fine batsman and his captainship is an addition," he said. "A win against a team like Saurashtra has given us confidence and we'll look to do better from here."
Maharashtra 292 (Praveen 6-68) and 338 for 9 dec (Atitkar 95, Chawla 5-73) drew with Uttar Pradesh 208 (Kaif 65, Adhav 5-24) and 391 for 7 (Parvinder 100, Chawla 82*)
A classy hundred from Parvinder Singh along with Piyush Chawla's composed fifty failed to hand Uttar Pradesh the full points against Maharashtra at the Pune Club Ground. Needing 382 to win with all wickets intact on the final day, UP perhaps could have made a better effort, especially having surrendered first-innings points. The Maharashtra bowlers were no less up for the challenge, as they looked to vacate the bottom spot on the points table. UP's opening stand led the way, putting on 89, but the regular loss of wickets meant they finished 31 short. Parvinder hit 13 fours and a six and starred in two key partnerships - 67 with Shivakant Shukla and 103 with Chawla. Chawla remained unbeaten with eight fours and three sixes, as UP, currently in second position, failed to put daylight between themselves and the rest in the battle for a final eight spot.