Bhalla century drives Punjab

A round-up of the third day's play of the second-round matches of the Ranji Trophy Super League 2009-10

Cricinfo staff
Punjab's Vishwas Bhalla watches the ball closely, Punjab v Hyderabad, Ranji Trophy Super League, 2nd round, Mohali, 3rd day, November 12, 2009

Vishwas Bhalla became the fourth Punjab player to score a century on his Ranji debut  •  ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Group A
Punjab 221 and 307 for 9 (Bhalla 116, Dharmani 50, Khader 5-101) lead Hyderabad 193 (Quadri 73*, Ablish 4-70, Harmeet 3-52, Gony 3-58) by 335 runs
Having ended shakily at 59 for 3 the previous day, Punjab were lifted by Vishwas Bhalla's century - the fourth instance when a Punjab debutant reached three figures - against Hyderabad in Mohali. Bhalla was reprived on 12 when he popped a return catch to Abdul Khader, who failed to take it, and made Hyderabad pay dearly. He was in good touch, smashing twelve boundaries during his 240-ball stay, as the home team's lead swelled past 300. Overnight batsman Pankaj Dharmani gave him good support, making 50.
There was some cheer for Hyderabad with left-arm seamer Mohammed Khader taking a five-for. It will be interesting to see when Punjab declare on the fourth morning, in search of full points.
Tamil Nadu 357 for 6 (Vijay 91, Arun Karthik 87, Dinesh Karthik 77*, Badrinath 50) lead Gujarat 343 (Parthiv 166, Balaji 4-51, Srinivas 4-75) by 14 runs
Crucial fifties from S Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik helped Tamil Nadu pick up first-innings points against Gujarat in Ahmedabad. Continuing from the previous day's score of 198 for 2, M Vijay departed soon, five short of his hundred. That set the stage for Badrinath and Karthik, who put on 76 for the fourth wicket to give Tamil Nadu full control. Gujarat fought back with two wickets for one run, reducing Tamil Nadu to 325 for 6, but it was not enough as Karthik shepherded Tamil Nadu through to the end of the day, looking strong for a hundred.
Mumbai 184 for 3 (Jaffer 103*, Naik 67) v Orissa
After the first two days were washed out, only 61 overs could be managed on the third at the Brabourne Stadium. Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer led the way with an unbeaten hundred against Orissa. Put in, the hosts were in early trouble losing openers Sahil Kukreja and Sushant Marathe with the score on 7. However, Jaffer ensured there were no more hiccups as he hit 13 fours during his 173-ball innings. Prashant Naik played the perfect foil with a watchful 67, as the two put on 175 for the third wicket, before Naik was dismissed just before stumps.
Himachal Pradesh 125 for 2 (Sangram 50) trail Railways 419 (Sanyal 92, Goud 58, Sarandeep 7-120) by 294 runs
Railways' hopes of first-innings points received a setback after bad light truncated proceedings against Himachal Pradesh at the Karnail Singh Stadium. Only 45 overs could be squeezed in between a delayed start and the call for stumps as Himachal, resuming on 34 for no loss, finished on 125 for 2. Paras Dogra (35) and Vinit Indulkar (16) were the not-out batsmen, thwarting Railways after they had got Sangram Singh out for an even fifty. Even as Bhavin Thakkar fell early, the other overnight batsman Sangram and Dogra went about the job calmly. They negated the Railways spinners, adding 60 runs, before Indulkar joined Dogra to see them through the day's play.
Group B
Delhi 154 (R Vinay Kumar 8-32) and 255 for 9 (Dhawan 100, Bhatia 64, Aravind 4-39) lead Karnataka 260 (Dravid 78, Narwal 4-71, Suyal 4-67) by 149 runs
Even though Shikhar Dhawan scored a second hundred in two matches, Delhi were left struggling to get enough runs on the board to try and reverse the first-innings result against Karnataka at the Roshanara Club Ground. At 255 for 9, with a second-innings lead of just 149, Delhi needed a stirring job from their bowlers. Resuming on 93 for 2, Delhi were powered by the 135-run partnership for the third wicket between Dhawan and Rajat Bhatia (64). Dhawan struck 13 fours en route to his century, but once he was run out there Sreenath Aravind and first-innings hero R Vinay Kumar gave Karnataka the upper hand with four and three wickets respectively.
Baroda 307 (Pinal 63, Swapnil 43*, Lahiri 3-29) and 58 for 1 lead Bengal 293 (Ganguly 76, Shukla 67, Arindam 61) by 72 runs
A sparkling 76 from Sourav Ganguly - who completed a personal milestone of 15,000 first-class runs - was not enough as Bengal conceded first-innings points to Baroda at the Eden Gardens. Murtuja Vahora and Irfan Pathan shared seven wickets between them to wipe out the little advantage Bengal held overnight at 102 for 3, still 205 adrift.
Ganguly was in fine nick, raising his half-century off 54 deliveries with ten fours. When he reached 40 his partner, Arindam Das, had yet to add to his overnight score of 52. Das' dismissal for 61, adjudged lbw to Vahora even though he pointed to his bat for an inside edge, brought the captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla to the crease. He and Ganguly added 76 for the fifth wicket, leaving Bengal well placed to take the lead. Right-arm seamer Vahora, though, ended their hopes, picking up the last three wickets for 14 runs; Bengal slumped to 293 all out from 257 for 5. Baroda lost captain Connor Williams for 5 during their second innings as they looked to build on their lead of 14.
Uttar Pradesh 395 (Parvinder 122, Shukla 119, Dhurv 5-107, Jobanputra 4-82) and 72 for 3 lead Saurashtra 267 (Kotak 75, Mehta 69, Shalabh 4-75, RP Singh 4-83) by 200 runs
Four wickets apiece for RP Singh and Shalabh Srivastava helped Uttar Pradesh take a 128-run lead against Saurashtra in Rajkot. Resuming on 125 for 3, Shitanshu Kotak (75) and Pratik Mehta (69) set about strengthening Saurashtra, before RP and Shalabh sparked a collapse. Once the 131-run stand for the fourth-wicket ended, both UP bowlers struck at regular intervals to bowl out Saurashtra for 267. The last seven wickets fell for 77 runs, and the last five for 35. In their second piece, UP lost three wickets before first-innings centurions Shivakant Shukla and Parvinder Singh saw them through to stumps.