The first round of the 2021-22 Ranji Trophy ended on Sunday with some new highs and a few nail-biting endings. Here's a recap from day four. Click here for all scorecards and points table.
Elite Group A
Chasing 195, Gujarat were rolled over for 88 in the fourth innings by Madhya Pradesh, led by left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya's five-wicket haul. Gujarat had rattled Madhya Pradesh from an overnight score of 202 for 4 to 251 all out on the back of Chintan Gaja's six-for in the morning, but with a batting display where only one player (Karan Patel) crossed the 20s, they fell 106 short.
All out for 88 in their first innings, Bengal's batters turned it around on the final day to successfully chase down 349 against Baroda in Cuttack. The 79 from opener Abhimanyu Easwaran had given them a leg up on day three, but they needed an unbeaten 108-run seventh-wicket partnership between allrounder Shahbaz Ahmed (71*) and debutant wicketkeeper Abishek Porel (53*) to cross the line.
In the other Group B game, Ravi Teja ran through Chandigarh's batting line up to give Hyderabad a 217-run win. Hyderabad had set Chandigarh a 401-run target on the back of Hanuma Vihari's 106. Teja then proved too hot for Chandigarh on the final day with a six-for, taking his match haul to 9 for 94. Chandigarh opener Arslan Khan made 68 while Raj Bawa, the Player of the Match at the U-19 World Cup final, was left unbeaten on a 47-ball 35 with the side losing their last four wickets for just one run.
Elite Group C
Jammu & Kashmir began their campaign with a comfortable eight-wicket win over Puducherry. Puducherry were 113 for 9 overnight on the back of offspinner Parvez Rasool's five-for, and he added a sixth in the morning. J&K needed to chase only 42 and their Ian Dev Singh finished the game off with a six on the very first delivery he faced. For Rasool, it was the fourth time he took ten wickets in a match.
J&K now lead Group C after Karnataka and Railways played out a draw. Karnataka declared their second innings on 223 for 9 after seamer Amit Mishra (4 for 58) and legspinner Karn Sharma (3 for 47) shared seven wickets, leaving Railways chasing an improbable 279 in the afternoon. Even though Railways were reduced to 26 for 3, they eventually finished on 69 for 4 at the close of play.
Elite Group D
Left-arm spinner Shams Mulani's seven-wicket haul had put Mumbai within one wicket of victory going into the last hour against Saurashtra but Jaydev Unadkat (32*) and Chetan Sakariya (10*) batted out 17.2 overs to deny them in Ahmedabad. Following on, Saurashtra openers Harvik Desai (62) and Snell Patel (98) provided a 163-run start but both fell in consecutive overs. Despite Cheteshwar Pujara's counter-attacking 83-ball 91 with 16 fours and a six, Saurashtra needed the last-gasp partnership to save the day. Sarfaraz Khan was named the Player of the Match for his 275 in Mumbai's first innings.
Odisha held on to a draw in the other Group D game after Goa could take only seven of the ten wickets on day four. Opener Shantanu Mishra's 267-ball 103 helped Odisha hold up one end for 96.3 overs while wicketkeeper Rajesh Dhuper made 52 from No. 6.
Elite Group E
Needing 39 more in a chase of 133, Uttarakhand wrapped up a nine-wicket win inside nine overs on the final day against Services. Jay Bista struck a run-a-ball 87 not out. Uttarakhand allrounder Dikshanshu Negi was Player of the Match for his match haul of five wickets and 68 in their first innings.
Andhra lost their last six wickets in less than 25 overs on day four as Rajasthan's bowlers wrapped up a 158-run win in the other Group E fixture. Chasing 368, Andhra were restarting on 100 for 4 but left-arm spinner Shubham Sharma took 4 for 32 and Aniket Choudhary finished with 3 for 50 to bowl Andhra out for 209.
Elite Group F
Group F saw both fixtures in Delhi finish as high-scoring draws. At Palam, Tripura posted 436 in response to Haryana's 556, and Haryana could bat only 20 overs in the second innings before the teams shook hands. The 222-run third-wicket stand between Bishal Ghosh (159) and Samit Gohel (122) lifted Tripura from 56 for 2 on the third day, but Jayant Yadav's six-for ensured Haryana took the first-innings lead and pocketed three points.
At the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Himachal Pradesh batter Akash Vasisht made 140 on the final day to follow up on his first-innings 87, but their game against Punjab ended in a drab draw. After Punjab scored 526 in response to HP's 354, they had a 172-run lead and a chance to register an outright victory. But Himachal batted 118 overs to finish on 402 for 8.
Elite Group G
Uttar Pradesh held on for a draw against Vidarbha after Rinku Singh (62*) and Saurabh Kumar (81*) rescued them from a precarious position. Trying to overcome a 247-run first-innings deficit, UP were 126 for 6 on the final day, but Rinku and Saurabh put on an unbeaten 154-run seventh-wicket stand to deny Vidarbha's bowlers. Before their stand, overnight batter Priyam Garg made 56 but Akshay Wakhare's three-wicket haul briefly rattled UP.
Maharashtra's left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav finished with 7 for 45 to secure an innings win over Assam in Rohtak. Riyan Parag made 56 for Assam, but Bachhav picked up the last three wickets in one over as Assam folded for 160, seven short to make Maharshtra bat again.
Elite Group H
Delhi's Yash Dhull became only the ninth batter in first-class cricket to score a century in each innings on debut as he struck an unbeaten 113 to follow up on his first-innings 113 against Tamil Naduin Guwahati. Dhruv Shorey struck an unbeaten 107 to take Delhi to 228 for no loss as the match ended in a draw. On day three, Tamil Nadu had taken a 42-run lead on the back of Shahrukh Khan's 148-ball 194 and Baba Indrajith's 117.
Both Tamil Nadu (3 points) and Delhi (1 point) are behind Chhattisgarh on the points table in this group after they beat Jharkhand by eight wickets inside three days.
Nagaland successfully chased down 174 with six wickets in hand, after Sikkim were bowled out for 283 in their second innings. Shrikant Mundhe's half-century saw them through to the win. Chetan Bist was named Player of the Match for scoring 115 in the first innings and taking eight catches in the game.
Sakibul Gani's first innings score of 341 could not earn Bihar a win as Mizoram lost only four wickets in their second innings after being asked to follow on. Taruwar Kohli's unbeaten 101 ensured Mizoram had one senior batter holding the fort from one end, while Uday Kaul also made 56. Bihar, though, took three points for their first-innings lead.
Manipur are currently leading the Plate Group table. They had completed an innings win over Arunachal Pradesh on day three.