Orissa, UP and Railways get first wins

A round-up of the fourth day's play of the fourth-round matches of the Ranji Trophy Super League 2008-09

Cricinfo staff

Orissa notched up their first win of the season © Cricinfo Ltd.
Orissa 352 (Mullick 100*, Halhadar Das 80, Behera 74, Biswal 54, Gagandeep 4-45) and 87 for 1 beat Punjab 60 (Basanth Mohanty 7-27) and 378 (Kakkar 117, Kaul 71, Goel 58, Debasis Mohanty 5-72) by nine wickets
Orissa's first win of the season was kick-started by one new-ball operator, Basanth Mohanty, and finished by another, Debasis Mohanty. Basanth's incisive 7 for 27 had bowled Punjab out for just 60 in the first innings, and that ultimately gave Orissa room to complete a nine-wicket victory late on the final day in Bhubaneshwar. Helping fashion the win was Debasis, with another five-wicket haul in a long career for his state.
Punjab went into the final day on 246 for 5, with Uday Kaul and Ankur Kakkar batting on half-centuries. Basanth removed Kaul for 71 with the score at 302, and one run later left-arm spinner Dhiraj Singh dismissed Manpreet Gony for 0. Kakkar, from an overnight 77, batted on to his second first-class century. He was next to go, lbw for 117, giving Debasis his fifth wicket. Basanth and Dhiraj (3 for 108) checked the lower order, although Gagandeep Singh batted well for his unbeaten 45 from 127 balls. But the 378 that Punjab evenutally got set Orissa only 87 to win. They lost Bikas Pati for a rapid 33 from 35 balls, and completed the win in 23.3 overs. They took five points, and sit at fifth in the points table.
Uttar Pradesh 315 (Shivakant Shukla 131, Parvinder 68, Fallah 5-93) and 140 for 2 (Srivastava 65*, Parvinder 60) beat Maharashtra 221 (Jadhav 93*, Khadiwale 56) and 230 (Jadhav 65, Shilamkar 56) by eight wickets
An eight-wicket win gave Uttar Pradesh their first outright success of the season, and moved them up to No. 3 in Group B. The hosts took the remaining three Maharashtra wickets early on the fourth morning at the Green Park in Kanpur, and knocked off the required 137 without much fuss.
Legspinner Piyush Chawla (3 for 42) and slow left-armer Praveen Gupta (3 for 55) shared the spoils, and Maharashtra could only add 31 more to their total. Shivakant Shukla, who made 131 in the first innings, fell for 16 in UP's chase, but Tanmay Srivastava (65 not out) and Parvinder Singh (60) scored at a fair clip. Maharashtra used seven bowlers to try and stop UP, but victory was achieved in 36.5 overs.
Railways 227 (Sanyal 70) and 90 for 3 beat Andhra 208 (Suresh 51*, Gnaneswara Rao 50, Sharma 4-37) and 108 (Parida 4-10, Anureet Singh 4-29) by seven wickets
Railways duly knocked off the remaining 37 runs needed to win their first game of the season, and moved to four in the Group B points table. Trailin UP by two points, Railways have a game in hand. Two down for 53 when the day began, Railways lost Milind Tamhane for 44 but had no further issues chasing a target of 90. Railways took five points from this win.
M.V. Narasimha Rao, the Andhra coach felt the forthcoming matches will be more challenging. "Our batting in the second innings made the difference," he told the Hindu. "Our batsmen did not apply themselves well. Now the target will be to avoid relegation."
Karnataka 395 (Naidu 90, Dravid 83, Akhil 66, Joshi 55) and 60 for 0 (Uthappa 44*) beat Baroda 169 (Solanki 53, Joshi 4-30) and 285 (Williams 137, Solanki 66, Joshi 6-48) by ten wickets
Karnataka moved to the top of Group B with a ten-wicket win over Baroda at the RSI Ground in Bangalore. Sunil Joshi picked up his 28th five-for in first-class cricket before the openers Robin Uthappa and KB Pawan rattled off the 60-run target in 6.2 overs, shortly before tea on the final day, to hand Karnataka a bonus point. Karnataka are on 13 points from four games but Tamil Nadu, on 12 points, have a game in hand. (Read the full report.)
Saurashtra 643 for 4 (Pujara 176, Pathak 170, Chauhan 104, Kotak 78) drew with Mumbai 214 (Malvi 56, Balkrishna Jadeja 4-41) and 157 for 7
Mumbai batted out a tense draw on the final day in Rajkot, maintaining the top spot in Group A. Second-placed Saurashtra enforced the follow-on first thing in the morning, but failed to take ten wickets in the face of some stiff resistance from the lower middler order.
When the day began, it appeared Saurashtra would win. Balkrishna Jadeja, the debutant left-hand medium-pacer, nipped out Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane cheaply for the second time running and Mumbai were 6 for 2. That soon became 45 for 5 with Ravindra Jadeja and Kamlesh Makwana striking to get rid of Amol Muzumdar and Sahil Kukreja.
For the second time in the match, Hiken Shah and Sairaj Bahutule were forced to dig themselves in. Having added 59 for the sixth wicket yesterday, the two put on 44 before Shah, 35, was trapped lbw by Makvana in the 38th over. In came Ramesh Powar, who went on to bat the rest of the day to finish unbeaten on 23 from 171 balls. Bahutule was dismissed for a 121-ball 35, after which Vinayak Samant, the wicketkeeper, put on 31 with Powar in 12.5 overs. His dismissal in the 83rd over gave Saurashtra a window of opportunity, but Powar found an able ally in first-innings centurion Usman Malvi. Unlike in the first dig when he swung the bat usefully, Malvi shut shop and played out 33 deliveries for his 3. Mumbai did not lose any more wickets.
Saurashtra took three points courtesy a first-innings lead, while Mumbai took one to maintain a three-point lead over Saurashtra in the points table.
Mumbai coach Praveen Amre was thrilled with Powar's efforts. "He [Powar] played a bad shot in the first innings and got out, so we asked him to stay at the wicket and curb his stroke-making tendency," he told the Times of India. "He did absolutely that and saved Mumbai."
Debu Mitra, his Saurashtra counterpart, was slightly disapppointed after failing to pull off a win, but praised the team effort. "Frankly speaking, I never expected this match to go the way it has gone but Bala (Balakrishna Jadeja) made it possible," he said. "The four wickets on the third day are worth much more than a hundred on this track. It is flat track but that was an excellent spell of swing bowling and it opened the game."
Hyderabad 553 for 6 (Laxman 224, Quadri 100*, Pai 85) and 33 for 0 drew with Rajasthan 405 (Bist 136, Bishnoi 97, Deshpande 73*, Yadav 4-67)
Robin Bist's maiden first-class century, and a crucial half-century from debutant Vaibhav Deshpande could not stave Hyderabad off for long enough, as Hyderabad eked out a first-innings lead, and with that three points from the match. Bist took guard 14 runs short of three figures, with Rajasthan facing a tough ask to match Hyderabad's 553 for 6 declared, and though he lost his overnight partner early, Bist joined forces with Deshpande to deny the hosts.
Bist lost Rajesh Bishnoi six overs into the morning, bowled by Munagala Praneet Arjun three short of a maiden hundred. That stand had been worth 186. Deshpande and Bist added 103, during which Bist reaced his first century. It had been a long wait for Bist, who had fallen for 99 last year in Mysore. "I am really thrilled with this effort, and have had to work hard for these runs," Bist told Cricinfo. "I'm glad I could help the team get a draw here."
Once Bist fell for 136, Rajasthan lost their last five wickets for 23 runs. Deshpande batted on to an unbeaten 73 in his first appearance for Rajasthan. Ashwin Yadav, a right-arm medium-pacer, took 4 for 67. Hyderabad batted out the rest of the inconsequential play.
Gujarat 350 (Thaker 151, Parthiv 55) and 259 for 6 (Parthiv 71) drew with Delhi 314 (Nagar 79, Parmar 4-104)
Expectedly, given their slow approach on the third evening, Gujarat played out a draw against Delhi in Valsad, content to secure three points and stay at No. 3. Their openers, Priyank Kirit Panchal and Nilesh Modi, added five to their overnight association, after which Niraj Patel (45), Parthiv Patel (71) and Bhavik Thaker (37 not out) patiently saw out a draw. Sumit Narwal, Chetanya Nanda and Parvinder Awana picked up the wickets.
Enjoying the advantage right through, against the defending champions, captain Parthiv said the team focus was to make it to the semi-finals first. "It was a satisfying game for us," he told the Times of India. "Three points was good enough. With a tally of 12 we are in a good position with three more league fixtures to go. Bhavik's knock [151] was great, and and I was quite happy with the 71 I got in the second innings."
On the next assignment, against Punjab in Ahmedabad, he hoped for a similar showing. "Punjab are a good side, but with the form we are in, I am optimistic about that game".