Mithun burst gives Karnataka innings victory
Abhimanyu Mithun took four wickets to give Karnataka an innings victory over Orissa at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Orissa came in to the fourth day with nine wickets in hand, and at 203 for 3, with Niranjan Behera on 94, around the halfway point of the day's play looked good for a draw. Mithun, the fast bolwer who played three Tests for India on their tour of Sri Lanka in July, then struck two quick blows, getting rid of Behera and Biplab Samantray, and seamer Sreenath Aravind dismissed Rakesh Mohanty to leave Orissa reeling at 216 for 6. The tail didn't add many more as Orissa were out for 279, leaving them second from bottom in the table.
Seamers Murtuja Vahora and Sankalp Vohra bowled Baroda to within a point of the top of the Group B table, as they completed an innings and 55-run victory over Punjab at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara. Baroda needed just 16.2 overs on the fourth day to complete the win. Punjab had just six wickets in hand by Saturday, and it was soon five, as Vahora trapped Vishwas Bhalla lbw in the third over of the morning. Vohra then took wickets of consecutive balls in the next over to reduce Punjab to 83 for 7. It was soon 87 for 8, as Vahora picked up his fourth of the innings, bowling Punjab opener Sarul Kanwar. Jaskaran Singh scored a few late runs to at least avoid his team the embarrassment of being bowled out for less than a hundred, but when he was dismissed by Jot Chhaya, the visitors were still well behind Punjab's total. Vohra finished with 3 for 40. Punjab are now languishing at the foot of the table with just two points from four games.
Himachal Pradesh crumpled for 84 to give Uttar Pradesh the three points for a first-innings lead at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur. India medium pacer RP Singh knocked over VA Indulkar for 17 before Sudeep Tyagi ran through HP's lower order, taking 5 for for 27 from 11.4 overs. Opener Sangram Singh was the only batsman in double figures, top-scoring with 28. UP struggled as well in their second innings, ending the day on 138 for 8. Eklavya Dwivedi made 59, the only half-century of the match, while 27-year-old debutant offspinner Gurvinder Singh took 4 for 22 after going wicketless in the first innings.
Bengal moved up a place in the Group A table after they picked up three points for a first-innings lead against Gujarat at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. The match was always headed for a draw after the entire first day's play was washed out, but there was still interest for both sides left in the game on the fourth day as Bengal needed another 175 runs to overhaul Gujarat's first-innings total of 273, with eight wickets in hand. Part-time seamer Priyank Panchal gave Gujarat hope, getting rid of Dibyendu Chakrabarty to leave the visitors at 125 for 3. But Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary and Anustup Majumdar seemed to have sealed the points with a 102-run partnership. Gujarat made once final charge, dismissing Tiwary for 92, and then getting a couple more quickly. But Majumdar continued to finish with 74, and offspinner Arnab Nandi scored a half-century on debut, to take Bengal home. Gujarat are still above Bengal in the table, but have now picked up only two points from their last two games.
The battle to finish with a first-innings lead and three points went down to the wire in the match between Mumbai and Assam at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. The hosts just got home thanks to a century by Abhishek Nayar and a battling 29 at the end by Ajit Agarkar. A string of four wickets for 16 runs, three from offspinner Arlen Konwar, who finished with 5 for 105 in the innings, had left Mumbai in real trouble at 268 for 8, still 30 runs short of Assam's first-innings total. Agarkar put together 23 for the ninth wicket with left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla to reduce the equation to eight required for the lead with one wicket in hand. He and Kulkarni survived, got the required runs and got Mumbai to 318 in the end. It hadn't looked like it would be such a struggle for Mumbai when Abhiskek Nayar and Sahil Kukreja were at the wicket. The two added another 117 runs to their overnight partnership before Kukreja was bowled by Dhiraj Goswami. Nayar continued to reach 122, but when he fell, Mumbai panicked and it needed Agarkar's recuse act at the end to see them through. Abdulla gave Mumbai some added cheer at the end of the day, taking three wickets in Assam's second innings. Mumbai extend their lead at the top of the Group A table to four, with the win, while Assam are third from bottom.
Saurashtra and Delhi earned a point each at the Khanderi Cricket Stadium in Rajkot, after rain made a result impossible. Vikas Mishra picked up a five-for as Saurashtra declared their innings 354 for 9, with Kamlesh Makvana making an unbeaten 52 and sharing in a 67-run partnership with Sandip Maniar for the eighth wicket. Delhi openers Shikhar Dhawan and Unmukt Chand responded by adding 91, with Dhawan in particularly aggressive form, notching up 51 from 59 balls, and striking seven fours. Chand made a more patient 58, from 97 balls. Once they fell, Mithun Manhas and Aditya Jain took Delhi to 194 at the close of play.
Just 34 overs were possible on the last day of the game between Tamil Nadu and Railways at the Technology Chemplast Ground in Chennai, but that was enough time for Faiz Fazal to make 71 and V Cheluvaraj an unbeaten 54, as both sides picked up a point.