Gambhir stars for Delhi, Karnataka and TN win low-scorers
South ZoneRanji champions Karnataka eased to a six-wicket win against Andhra in Bangalore after routing them for 97. Vinay Kumar (3 for 9) made the most of the decision to bowl, picking up three wickets. Manish Pandey (3 for 25) also took three while Abhimanyu Mithun (2 for 31) chipped in with two as only Srikar Bharat (25) and Dasari Swaroop Kumar (26) reached double figures. Robin Uthappa's 54 made Karnataka's chase easier as they were taken home in the 24th over after losing four wickets for 14 runs.
Tamil Nadu also cruised in a low-scorer against Goa, with a seven-wicket win. Goa opted to bat and could not get solid partnerships going as M Mohammed (3 for 45) and Rahil Shah (3 for 19) troubled their top and middle order. Yo Mahesh also struck twice which dismissed Goa for 122. It was the last-wicket stand of 39 between Hanumant Gadekar (26) and Buddhadev Mangaldas (14) which took them past 100. TN's chase was helped by an unbeaten fifty from M Vijay who struck six fours and two sixes in his 66 as they achieved the target in the 34th over despite losing three wickets.
A similar story unfolded in Alur in Bangalore where Kerala were thumped by nine wickets by Hyderabad after being restricted to 107. VA Jagadeesh and Rohan Prem (47) nearly took Kerala to 50 but Pragyan Ojha (4 for 15) took three quick wickets and offspinner Amol Shinde struck twice to force Kerala's collapse. Alfred Absolem also took two wickets. Hyderabad were hardly bothered as opener T Suman scored an unbeaten 61 with eight fours and a six, taking them home in 30 overs in the company of Dwaraka Ravi Teja.
Gautam Gambhir's 54th List A half-century paved the way for Delhi's 38-run win against Jammu & Kashmir at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Delhi, batting first, made 256 for 8 on the back of a 99-run opening stand between Gambhir and Unmukt Chand. Virender Sehwag's poor form with the bat continued, falling for 15, but crucial contributions from Milind Kumar, Puneet Bisht and Sumit Narwal down the order propelled the team to 256 for 8. Most of J&K's top and middle order made starts, but none of the batsmen could carry on and produce a fifty. Narwal, Vikas Tokas and Milind notched two scalps each for Delhi as J&K collapsed from 120 for 3 to 218 all out.
A five-wicket haul from Joginder Sharma helped Haryana edge Punjab by seven runs in Delhi in a game that was reduced to 32 overs per side. Punjab, chasing 154, looked to be down and out at 94 for 8 after Joginder had run through the team's top order, but Gurinder Singh and Manpreet Gony nearly stole victory with an unbroken stand of 52 for the ninth wicket. Haryana, however, held their nerve to leave Punjab just short. Haryana had earlier been buoyed by Avi Barot's 55 and his fourth-wicket stand of 62 with the keeper Nitin Saini, that took the team to 153 for 8.
Bipul Sharma and Sumeet Verma nearly took Himachal Pradesh home, but the team crashed to a 11-run defeat against Services in Delhi. Bipul (44) and Sumeet (60) helped the team recover from a shaky start, but Diwesh Pathania dismissed Akshay Chauhan and Gurvinder Singh off successive deliveries in the penultimate over to bowl Himachal out for 222. Services, choosing to bat, were propelled by the opener Devender Lochab's 73, a knock which included seven fours and a six, to lift the team to 233 for 9.
A solid batting performance from Baroda took them to a 44-run win against Mumbai in Rajkot. Saurabh Wakaskar (63) and Kedar Devdhar put on a strong stand of 152 which ended in the 29th over. Devdhar was accompanied by Aditya Waghmode (42 off 39) for a partnership of 106 they put together in 12 overs. Devdhar departed for a 137-ball 148 and a quick fifty from Yusuf Pathan (53 off 34) charged them to 346 for 3. Mumbai also started strong with an opening stand of 98 between Shoaib Shaikh (49) and Sushant Marathe (77). Ketan Panchal's two wickets brought Baroda back and despite a quick fifty from Abhishek Nayar (65 off 55), Baroda kept Mumbai to 302 after Irfan Pathan took three wickets, including two in an over.
An all-round display from Gujarat helped them crush Maharashtra by 127 runs in Rajkot. Gujarat, batting first, were aided by important contributions from all their top and middle-order batsmen, as the team made a commanding 315 for 7. Their innings included three fifty-plus stands, including a 102-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Akshar Patel (56) and Himalya Barad (49).
Maharashtra couldn't gather any momentum during their chase, as three wickets apiece from Jasprit Bumrah, Kamlesh Thakor Rakesh Dhurv dented the team's progress. Kedar Jadhav top-scored with 51, while Nikhil Naik and Ankit Bawne chipped in with thirties, but there was no other significant contribution from any of the other batsmen, as the team folded for 188 in 38.2 overs.
An unbeaten 57 from the keeper Eklavya Dwivedi helped Uttar Pradesh to a 22-run success against Railways in Jaipur in a game that was reduced to 20 overs per side. Dwivedi hit five fours during his 56-ball knock, and put up important stands with Prashant Gupta and Piyush Chawla to help the team recover from the loss of two early blows to make 136 for 4. Railways, however, failed to gather any momentum during their chase as the loss of wickets at regular intervals stunted their progress. Ashish Yadav top-scored with 42, but received little support from the other end. Amit Mishra was the pick of Uttar Pradesh's bowlers, and finished with 3 for 25 to restrict Railways to 114.
A five-for from Umesh Yadav, followed by a century from Faiz Fazal helped Vidarbha cruise to a seven-wicket win against Rajasthan in Jaipur. Umesh finished with 5 for 26 to run through a Rajasthan line-up that offered no significant score barring a 44 from Vineet Saxena, meaning that the team could only muster 181 from 45.3 overs. Vidarbha made little work of their chase, as Fazal put up fifty-plus stands with Akshay Kolhar and Shalabh Shrivastava to take them home in 36.1 overs. Fazal remained unbeaten on 12, with 12 fours and a six.
Four wickets from Abu Nechim and fifties from openers, Rishav Das and Parvez Aziz, gave Assam an 80-run win against Tripura in Ranchi. When asked to bat, only two of Tripura's top seven batsmen, Udiyan Bose (36) and Yogesh Takawale (49), could reach double figures leaving them struggling on 99 for 5. Some useful contributions from the tail took them to 166 before they were all out. Assam cruised in their chase, bolstered with an opening stand of 107. Aziz fell for 54 but Das (63 not out) and Sibsankar Roy were taking them towards their target before rain interrupted in the 30th over, when Assam were 148 for 1, and they were declared winners by the VJD method.
In another rain-curtailed match, Bengal beat Odisha by 38 runs, by VJD method, as Odisha were reeling at 95 for 6 when rain interrupted. Earlier, Bengal were dismissed for 202 in the last over after resisting knocks from Sudip Chatterjee (68) and Laxmi Shukla (42). Deepak Behera took four wickets for 41 runs, curbing Bengal's score. The only resistance Odisha could provide was in the form of Paresh Patel's unbeaten 39. Wickets kept tumbling at the other end, three to Veer Pratap Singh, two to Boddupalli and one to Ashok Dinda. After the opening stand of 30, they lost their next six wickets for 56 runs before rain interrupted in the 23rd over.