Jiwanjot, Kaul lead strong Punjab effort

A round-up of the Group A matches of the Ranji Trophy that took place on December 8, 2013

Punjab 184 and 330 for 1 (Jiwanjot 188*, Kaul 88*, Vohra 52) lead Vidarbha 360 (Jangid 104, Fazal 99, Jungade 59) by 154 runs
With Vidarbha holding a lead of 148 runs overnight, and still with three wickets in hand, it was imperative that their tail wagged as long as possible. That, however was put to rest quickly in the first over of the day itself when Amol Jungade failed to add to his 59, getting caught behind off the bowling of seamer Sandeep Sharma.
Punjab struck again four overs later when the No. 10 Sandeep Singh was dismissed for 8. Ravi Thakur, the last man, scored 8 himself as Vidarbha were dismissed for 360, holding a lead of 176 runs. Sandeep finished with 5 for 90, his sixth five-for in first-class cricket. VRV Singh, in his comeback season, continued his fine form with 4 for 89.
Punjab started brightly, with openers Manan Vohra and Jiwanjot Singh adding 94 for the first wicket. Vohra fell soon after passing his fifty, getting run out in the 21st over. The wicketkeeper, Uday Kaul, came in at No. 3 and the pair batted till the end of the day, finishing on 330 for 1, and with a lead of 154 runs. Jiwanjot was not out on a massive 188, while Kaul was unbeaten on 88.
Delhi 442 and 49 for 2 (Sehwag 32*) lead Odisha 379 (Natraj 158, Mallick 71, Awana 5-97) by 112 runs
Parvinder Awana 10th five-for in first-class cricket helped Delhi secure a crucial first-innings lead. Odisha began the day on 121 for 3, still trailing Delhi's first innings effort by 321 runs. Opener Natraj Behera, who was unbeaten on 53, helped add another 36 runs with Biplab Samantray, before Samantray was bowled on 48 by Awana. This brought Abhilash Mallick to the crease, and with Natraj, the pair helped double the score with a 157-run stand, before Mallick was caught behind on 71. Natraj crossed three figures, bringing up his fourth first-class century, and finished on 158, matching Rajat Bhatia's effort in Delhi's first innings. Odisha reached 379, with Awana picking up a five-wicket haul, and Varun Sood supporting him with 3 for 67. Delhi still had a 63-run lead going into their second innings. However, both openers perished with just 25 on the board, as Delhi finished at stumps on 49 for 2.
Karnataka 256 and 62 for 4 need another 35 runs v Haryana 247 (Saini 109) and 105 (More 5-20)
Karnataka were bundled early on the third day to finish on 256, with Haryana's Harshal Patel taking 6 for 55. Trailing by just nine runs, Haryana knew a strong effort would be required to create a sizable challenge for Karnataka. This notion, however, was tested early when opener Avi Barot was run out in the second over. Wickets continued to tumble at a regular rate, as Haryana's batsmen failed to put on meaningful scores. Rahul Dewan, the captain, was the highest scorer with 31 as Haryana were bundled for 105, with seamer Ronit More inflicting the most damage with 5 for 20 in 14 overs. The target for Karnataka was set at 97, and despite losing four wickets to get to 62 at stumps, the visitors will still fancy themselves to get the 35 runs needed for victory on day four.