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December 17, 2009
Tamil Nadu 594 for 6 (Mukund 257, Badrinath 122, Anirudha 70, Arun Karthik 56, Sathish 50) lead Hyderabad 347 by 247 runs
Report : Karnataka finish league phase in style
Report : Rohit Sharma triple flattens Gujarat
Report : Ganguly, Saha centuries revive Bengal
Players/Officials: S Badrinath | Puneet Bisht | Samad Fallah | VA Indulkar | Uday Kaul | Abhinav Mukund | Niraj Patel | Parthiv Patel | Chirag Pathak
On a depressing day for Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Abhinav Mukund's double-century virtually guaranteed their relegation for the first time. Mukund returned to form with a nine-and-a-half hour 257 and with the help of yet another hundred from middle-order rock, S Badrinath, Tamil Nadu finished the day 247 runs ahead. With only one day remaining, and needing an outright win to stay in the Super League, Hyderabad's slim hopes were further eroded after the dismissal of both Badrinath and Mukund by a quick half-century from ICL-returnee R Sathish.
Gujarat 432 for 3 (Parthiv 148*, Thaker 111*, Niraj 57, Chauhan 53) trail Mumbai 648 for 6 dec by 216 runs
Gujarat's batsmen made a spirited chase of Mumbai's mammoth first-innings 648, reaching 432 for 3 on the back of centuries from Parthiv Patel and Bhavik Thaker. On a docile track, against an indisciplined Mumbai attack that sent down 24 no-balls, Parthiv and Thaker added an unbeaten 234 runs for the fourth wicket to keep Gujarat in the hunt for first-innings points. The pair came together after Mumbai had struck twice in the day's first session and played out more than 70 overs . Both overnight batsmen, Niraj Patel and Rikin Chauhan, went to half-centuries but were dismissed in the 50s.
Railways 276 and 19 for 1 trail Punjab 401 (Kaul 123, Sidhana 54, Rahul 79) by 109 runs
It wasn't all bad for Mumbai, though, as Railways, the team challenging them for a spot in the quarter-finals, slipped up against Punjab at the Karnail Singh stadium. At the start of the day, Railways would have fancied their chances of taking the first-innings lead when Punjab were 122 runs behind with six wickets remaining. However, Uday Kaul went on to make his sixth first-class century and his 91-run stand with Vikas Bhalla steered Punjab past Railways' first-innings score. To make matters worse for Railways, No. 8 Rahul Sharma posted a brisk 79 to push Punjab's total past 400.
Himachal Pradesh 125 and 360 for 7 (Indulkar 137*, Diwan 83) lead Orissa 316 by 169 runs
Vinit Indulkar batted through the day to reach his fourth first-class century and hold together Himachal Pradesh's second innings against Orissa. He combined with Kuldeep Diwan for a 173-run sixth-wicket association that stalled Orissa's march to victory. Their partnership bailed HP out from 174 for 5, still trailing Orissa by 17 runs, and put them in a position from which some assistance from the tail could help their side escape with a draw.
Baroda 395 (Williams 129, Gaekwad 118, Fallah 8-98) and 2 for 1 need another 99 runs to beat Maharashtra 288 and 207 (Motwani 62, Irfan 4-48)
Yusuf Pathan's first-ball dismissal in the second innings, which completed left-arm medium-pacer Samad Fallah's hat-trick, has almost ended Baroda's chances of making the quarter-finals. Chasing 101 for victory over bottom-placed Maharashtra, Baroda needed to win by ten wickets to get the six points that would have helped them level with Delhi (who will move to 16 points in case of a likely draw against Bengal). A victory by a margin of less than ten wickets will only give Baroda five points, which means barring a bizarre day in the Delhi game, Baroda's Ranji season will end on Friday. The dismissal overshadowed a superb day for bowlers: first Fallah ripped through the Baroda tail, taking the final five wickets to finish with 8 for 98 in the first innings; then Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel combined for seven wickets to bowl out Maharasthra for 207 in the second innings.
Saurashtra 216 and 389 for 8 (Pathak 88, Mehta 66*, Pujara 66) lead Karnataka 384 by 221 runs
Saurashtra's Ranji odyssey will also end on Friday and there will be no chance to complete a hat-trick of semi-final appearances, but their batsmen put up a solid effort in the second innings against table-topping Karnataka. Openers Chirag Pathak (88) and Sagar Jogiyani (45) put on 132 for the first wicket, which was followed up by a 66 from Cheteshwar Pujara. A similar score from Pratik Mehta, who added 85 for the eight wicket with Vishal Joshi, guided Saurashtra towards 400 by stumps.
Delhi 348 for 7 (Bisht 103*, Manhas 88, Aditya 56) trail Bengal 522 by 174 runs
Bengal may have staved off the threat of relegation but their push for a win was stalled by a dogged Delhi batting effort. Overnight batsmen, Aditya Jain and Mithun Manhas, stretched their partnership to 145 runs before Jain fell for 56. Three overs later Manhas was also dismissed, falling 12 short of triple figures, leaving Delhi at 161 for 4. Puneet Bisht's breezy century, during which he formed a 85-run alliance with Gaurav Chabra for the sixth wicket, kept Delhi fighting. Bisht is still unbeaten but Bengal are still favourites to take the first-innings lead.
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