Karnataka open campaign with win
Abhimanyu Mithun took 4 for 94 to set up an eight-wicket victory for Karnataka over Punjab at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. After Karnataka had dominated the first two days, Yuvraj Singh got a half-century on day three to take Punjab to 173 for 2 in their second innings, leaving a draw as the most likely result. Karnataka's bowlers had other ideas, though. Vinay Kumar dismissed Vishwas Bhalla off the second ball of the final day before left-arm seamer S Aravind bowled Yuvraj for 79. Mithun, who was given a BCCI contract two days ago, then took three wickets to rip through the middle-order as Punjab slumped to 322 all out. Karnataka openers KB Pawan and debutant KL Rahul made light work of the 140-run target, both getting half-centuries. Karnataka move up to second in the Group B table with five points from a single game, while Punjab are last with one point from two games.
Orissa held on for a draw against Uttar Pradesh on the final day at the Dr Akhilesh Das Stadium in Lucknow, but the home side picked up three points for their first innings lead. After enforcing the follow-on, UP's opening bowlers Sudeep Tyagi and RP Singh, who had taken six wickets in Orissa's first innings, struck early to leave Orissa tottering at 68 for 4, trailing by 90 with almost 50 overs remaining. A gutsy 44 off 144 balls by Biplab Samantray took Orissa into the lead, but when Tyagi took his fourth wicket of the innings to leave Orissa at 165 for 8, there was still time for a UP win. Former India fast bowler Debasis Mohanty and Basant Mohanty played out a nervous half hour to save the game for Orissa. Debasis was eventually bowled by RP, who took 3 for 29, as Orissa finished their second innings at 171 for 9. The three points took UP to second in the Group B table with six points from two games, while Orissa are in fourth.
Gujarat scraped through to a two-wicket win against Saurashtra on a frantic final day at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium in Surat as both sides lost eight wickets each and play extended into the 90th over of the day. Saurashtra started day four in prime position at 60 for 2 with a 70-run first innings lead. Siddharth Trivedi, the Rajasthan Royals seamer, started the fightback for Gujarat bowling Shitanshu Kotak with the score on 70. Bhushan Chauhan and Ravindra Jadeja were then out on the same score and Saurashtra folded for 125 before lunch. Trivedi took 3 for 32 and legspinner Salil Yadav ran through Saurashtra's tail to finish with 4 for 44. Chasing 196, Gujarat got off to a shaky start and at 68 for 4 all three results were still possible. An 82-run stand between Bhavik Thaker (42) and wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel (42) put Gujarat on top before Ravindra Jadeja, who took 5 for 59 in the second innings, swung the game again getting Thaker and Patel out in quick succession. Pratharesh Parmar, a 22-year-old playing in only his second first-class match, held his nerve to take Gujarat through with an unbeaten 32 off 45 balls. Gujarat ended up with five points from a match that looked destined for a draw after there was no play on day one and are now top of Group A with eight points from two games. Saurashtra languish at the foot of the table with just one point.
Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer once again displayed a cautious streak as he decided to not enforce the follow-on against Bengal on the final day at Eden Gardens despite having a 325-run first innings lead. Mumbai opted for some meaningless batting practice instead and reached 286 for 1 at the close of play, with Jaffer and Omkar Gaurav getting centuries. Mumbai move into third position in Group A with six points but it could well have been 10 as they were in dominant positions in both this match and their first game against Saurashtra. Mumbai's bowlers had dismissed Bengal for 296 by the end of the third day, but with the opportunity to bowl another 90 overs at the opposition, they settled for the three points, resulting in a dull day on which Jaffer's personal tally of first-class centuries increased to 42. It was his third century in four innings in the tournament.
R Ashwin celebrated being given a BCCI contract two days ago with his third 10-wicket haul in first-class cricket, taking 6 for 87 for Tamil Nadu in Delhi's second innings, but it was Delhi that took three points at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai thanks to their first innings lead. As he did on the second day, Ashwin took an early wicket on day four and soon had two more reducing Delhi from their overnight score of 122 for 2 to 147 for 5. Delhi continued to slide and declared at 209 for 9 setting Tamil Nadu a target of 320 in about two sessions. Opener Abhinav Mukund scored 59 as Tamil Nadu reached 143 for 3 at stumps. The three points take Delhi to fourth position in Group A, while Tamil Nadu move down to second.
Only 15 overs were possible on what could have been an interesting final day between Railways and Assam at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Chasing 176, Railways openers M Suresh and V Cheluvaraj had batted just seven overs before the match was called off due to bad light. Assam picked up three points thanks to a five-run first-innings lead and are in sixth place in Group A, one point above Railways who have two points from two games. After the day's play one of Railways' stalwarts, 33-year-old Kulamani Parida, announced his retirement ending a career spanning 15 seasons and 108 first-class matches. Parida had been called for throwing in the one over he bowled on Friday. After his action was put under the scanner during last year's Ranji season, Parida had announced that if he was called for throwing in this match it would be his last.