Ojha and Dholpure take MP to the semi-finals
A summary of play in the latest round of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group
Madhya Pradesh 310 and 126 (Ojha 69) beat Jammu & Kashmir 314 and 121(Pandey 7-36) by 10 wickets
Set a target of 126 and needing a win to climb on top of the pool, the Madhya Pradesh openers Naman Ojha and Sachin Dholpure applied themselves admirably to take MP into the semi-finals stage. Sanjay Pandey removed the two overnight Jammu & Kashmir batsmen enroute to a seven-wicket haul to dismiss J&K for 121 in their second innings. The match had started a day late since the J&K team had not arrived in time due to flight delay
Orissa (528 for 7 dec) beat Himachal Pradesh 168 and 67 (Mohanty 5-21) by an innings and 293 runs
Propelled by Debasis Mohanty's five-wicket haul Orissa blew away Himachal Pradesh for 67 to win by an innings and 293 runs, gaining a bonus point. Mohanty combined with S Sehgal to leave HP, overnight on 38 for 3, tottering at 49 for 8. With this win Orissa sit pretty on the top of the table with 18 points from 5 games. Owing to bad weather and problems in flight connectivity the match between Orissa and HP started a day late.
The following matches finished earlier
Vidarbha 156 (Naidu 52) and 218 (Deshpande 57, Naidu 50, Debnath 5-70) beat Tripura 112 and 124 (Sandeep Singh 4-25) by 138 runs
Sandeep Singh and Pritam Gandhe grabbed seven wickets between them to bundle out Tripura, chasing a target of 263, for 124 as Vidarbha registered an outright win at Agartala. Subhrajit Roy, the opener, offered the lone resistance with 49 and was the ninth wicket to fall. Singh, the medium pacer, removed two top order wickets before coming back to pick up two in the tail to fold up the Tripura innings. Earlier, Timir Chanda removed the two overnight batsmen - Samir Khare and Vikrant Gonnade - to trigger a mini-collapse and Jayanta Debnath picked up two wickets to finish with a five-wicket haul. With this win, Vidarbha, already comfortably placed at second on the Group A table, enter the semi-finals stage of the tournament.
Rajasthan 281 and 73 for 1 beat Assam 240 and 110 by 9 wickets
Rajasthan, having resumed the day needing 57 runs to win, knocked the required runs for the loss of Gagan Khoda's wicket to defeat Assam on their way to the semi-finals. Ajay Jadeja, the captain, had led them to a thrilling win in their last match and now with the easy win over Assam, Rajasthan have 10 points from five games.
Kerala 399 and 100 for 3 (Nair 51*) beat Jharkhand 189 and 309 (Manish Kumar 52*) by seven wickets
Set a target of 100 Kerala lost three wickets, thus losing the bonus point, enroute to a victory over Jharkhand at Palakkad. Kerala needed to win by 10 wickets to earn a bonus point which would have given them an outside chance at qualifying for the semi-finals- much would depend on the points that Madhya Pradesh would earn in their match against J&K- but the loss of Sadagopan Ramesh for a duck in the very first over meant that Kerala are now placed fourth. Manish Kumar's unbeaten half-century took Jharkhand past the 300-mark in their second innings before Sreekumar Nair guided Kerala home.
Saurashtra 439 and 9 for 0 beat Goa144 and 303 (Mullick 116) by 10 wickets
Saurashtra knocked off the required nine runs to register a big win after Swapnil Asnodkar's century enabled Goa to stave off an innings defeat at Rajkot. Asnodkar put up an 84-run partnership with Mandar Phadke for the fourth-wicket to help Goa erase the deficit and make Saurashtra bat again.