Karnataka finish league phase in style
Karnataka 384 (Satish 120, Verma 68, Uthappa 62, Pandey 55, Joshi 4-77) and 241 for 4 (Satish 68*, Pandey 68) beat Saurashtra 216 (Jobanputra 53*, Aravind 4-84) and 407 (Pathak 88, Mehta 77, Pujara 66) by six wickets
Karnataka continued their domination of the league phase with a resounding victory over Saurashtra. Set 241 to win, they knocked off the runs in 52.2 overs to finish on 28 points, 10 clear of the second-placed Uttar Pradesh. It was half-centuries from their young batsmen, G Satish and Manish Pandey, that steered Karnataka to their fourth win of the season. Captain Robin Uthappa gave the chase a cracking start, slamming nine fours in a 36-ball 47, after which Satish and Pandey took over. Satish dropped anchor while Pandey was more adventurous during their 126-run stand that nearly took Karnataka to the finish line. It ends a dismal season for Saurashtra, who end with a paltry seven points after reaching the semi-finals in the previous two seasons.
Bengal 522 (Ganguly 152, Saha 120, Shukla 132, Sangwan 4-113) and 223 for 3 (Das 102, Banerjee 77) drew with Delhi 378 (Bisht 123*, Manhas 88, Jain 56, Saxena 5-76)
Expectedly, the game between Delhi and Bengal petered out to a dull draw. After Delhi's first innings came to an end at 378 - Puneet Bisht remaining unbeaten on 128 - Bengal helped themselves to some batting practice. The Bengal openers piled on 187, with Arindam Das going on to a breezy century but his partner Rohan Banerjee was run out on 77. Das also retired hurt after the run out, and Bengal extended their score to 223 before the game was called off. Delhi made it to the quarter-finals by one point, where they will take on a strong Tamil Nadu.
Baroda 395 (Williams 129, Gaekwad 118, Fallah 8-98) and 101 for 3 (Devdhar 53*) beat Maharashtra 288 (Khadiwale 111, Atitkar 50) and 207 (Motwani 62, Irfan 4-48) by seven wickets
Baroda completed a straightforward win over Maharashtra, but will be ruing their inability to chase down 101 without losing a wicket. Had they managed that, they would have made the quarter-finals ahead of Delhi but the loss of the bonus point means they finish in fourth place. Baroda only took 25 overs on the day to reach the target, thanks largely to Kedar Devdhar's unbeaten half-century. There was a bit of a hiccup for Baroda when legspinner Digambhar Waghmare struck twice in an over, but Maharashtra had little else to celebrate on a day when they were relegated to the Plate League.
Hyderabad 347 (Rayudu 106, Anirudh 75, Pai 51) and 148 for 2 (Abhinav 103*) drew with Tamil Nadu 785 (Mukund 285, Ganapathy 126, Badrinath 122, Absolem 5-114)
In a tame draw at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, C Ganapathy made his second century in two games to power Tamil Nadu to a massive 785 against Hyderabad. There was no respite for the home side's bowlers after Tamil Nadu resumed on 594 for 6, with Ganapathy receiving solid support from tailenders R Ashwin and R Jesuraj. Hyderabad's Abhinav Kumar helped himself to one of the easiest centuries of the season, blasting the part-timers - S Badrinath, Abhinav Mukund, S Anirudha and Dinesh Karthik - Tamil Nadu used for the 27 overs that remained. Tamil Nadu finish on top of the table and now face Delhi in the quarter-finals, while Hyderabad were relegated to the Plate League for the first time.
Himachal Pradesh 125 (Dhiraj 4-29) and 486 (Indulkar 165, Diwan 83, Malik 72) drew with Orissa 316 (Halhadar 144, Behera 53, Mohinderraj 5-102) and 183 for 8 (Thakur 6-38)
In one of the most exciting matches of the round, Himachal Pradesh came within two wickets of pulling off a dramatic victory over Orissa. Overnight batsman Vinit Indulkar made 28 more before being dismissed on 165 and in No. 10 Vikramjeet Malik's company helped stretched HP's second innings score to 486. That left Orissa needing 296 to win, but thoughts of victory were quickly abandoned after their top order folded to the pace of Ashok Thakur. From 11 for 3 it was a question of escaping with a draw, and first-innings hero Halhadar Das nearly saved them by resisting for more than three hours for a 47. However, he was the eighth man out with 15 deliveries remaining; the tailenders didn't look to play safe after that, thrashing 16 runs in those deliveries, but managed to stave off defeat.
Mumbai 648 for 6 dec (Rohit 309, Marathe 144, Rahane 56) and 180 for 2 (Kukreja 84, Marathe 81) drew with Gujarat 502 (Parthiv 149, Thaker 122)
Gujarat's plucky chase of Mumbai's huge first-innings total fizzled on the third day, with their lower order folding meekly. Once they were bowled out for 502, giving Mumbai the first-innings points, the match rambled towards a draw. Both Mumbai openers, Sahil Kukreja and Sushant Marathe, raced to 80s but fell short of reaching a century in the inconsequential second innings. Despite not having the most convincing of seasons, Mumbai are through to the quarter-finals where they clash with Harayana.
Railways 276 (Fazal 87, Karan 59, Rahul 6-92) and 230 for 4 (Bangar 115*) drew with Punjab 401 (Kaul 123, Rahul 79, Sidhana 54, Karan 4-93)
With little to play for after Punjab took the first-innings lead on the third day, Railways crawled to 230 for 4 off 86 overs in their second innings on Friday before the match was called off. Sanjay Bangar took nearly six hours to reach an unbeaten 115, his 12th first-class century. His strike-rate of 43.72 was the quickest of the Railways batsmen. The other Railways player to make a contribution was Harshad Rawle, who laboured to 40 off 138 deliveries.