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Thakur routs Railways for 217; Devdhar bashes 186

A round-up of the Ranji Trophy Group B games on November 15, 2015

Mumbai 4 for 2 trail Railways 217 (Ghosh 65, Thakur 4-38) by 213 runs
The sheen of bowling Railways out for only 217 was taken off, if only slightly, as Mumbai lost two wickets in the final 19 balls of play. Opener Jay Bista, on first-class debut, was taken out by Anureet Singh for 2 and the nightwatchman Dhawal Kulkarni was bowled for a duck to leave the hosts at 4 for 2 at Wankhede stadium.
Prior to those few minutes though, everything went well for Mumbai. Their fast bowler Shardul Thakur produced another impressive performance: he took 4 for 38 in 19 overs and his wickets were of the top-six batsmen. More often than not, that indicates a poor start from the opposition and it was. Railways, having chosen to bat, found themselves at 16 for 3 in the seventh over and 48 for 4 in the 14th before Arindam Ghosh and SS Mishra, playing competitive cricket for the first time in his career, put on 85 runs.
Shardul provided the strike Mumbai wanted, having Mishra caught behind for 46. Ghosh was ninth man out for 65, to left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar, and Railways ended their innings on 217. Kulkarni updated his portfolio with a couple of wickets as well.
Uttar Pradesh 277 for 4 (Shaukat 88, Umang 73, Raina 52) v Tamil Nadu
A sturdy top-order performance from Uttar Pradesh left Tamil Nadu ruing their decision to bowl in Kanpur. The 19-year old opener Almas Shaukat, who had begun his first-class career with a century in October, was dismissed only 12 runs short of another one. He had played the anchor role quite well - lasting 203 balls, with 11 fours and a six. Upon that foundation, Umang Sharma laid his 73 off 148 balls and then the Uttar Pradesh captain Suresh Raina, ran the point home with a half-century of his own. He was unbeaten on 52. But Tamil Nadu will hope that their increased discipline as the day wore on - they took three of their four wickets in the final 22 overs of play - continues into the second day.
Baroda 344 for 3 (Devdhar 186, Waghmode 96) v Punjab
He had missed out on a century twice this season, but Kedar Devdhar took centre stage in Vadodara and made it big with 186 off only 249 balls to stamp Baroda's dominance over Madhya Pradesh. He hit as many as 28 fours and a six to lead an opening stand of a whopping 245 off 352 balls to leave Punjab wilting by the time stumps were called, because they had opted to bowl.
Runs leaked from both ends as Aditya Waghmode helped himself to 96 off 184 balls, with 14 fours and a six. Devdhar was on the cusp of lasting a full day's play, but with the safety of stumps only minutes away, he was dismissed by seamer Deepak Bansal. Hardik Pandya was batting on 42, and Baroda will expect him to extend their advantage.
Gurkeerat Singh, who spent a day with the Indian Test side in Bangalore as their 17th man before being released to play in the Ranji Trophy - took a wicket. As did Yuvraj Singh. Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh is yet to get on the board having bowled 16 overs.
Gujarat 252 for 6 (Juneja 61, Bhatt 51, Datey 2-51) v Madhya Pradesh
Half-centuries from Manpreet Juneja and Rujul Bhatt drove Gujarat to 252 for 6 on the first day of their Ranji clash against Madhya Pradesh in Surat. Gujara, opting to bat, lost their opener Smit Patel early, but handy contributions from the rest of the top order pushed the score above 100. Puneet Datey and Jalaj Saxena, who took a record 16 wickets in the previous round, helped MP claw their way back into the game with regular strikes, but Bhatt put up two fifty-plus stands to help the hosts seize the initiative. First, he added 73 for the fifth wicket with Juneja, who made 61, before combining with Axar Patel for a sixth-wicket stand which yielded 62 runs. Bhatt batted patiently for his 51 off 142 balls, stroking just two fours, but was dismissed towards the end of the day by Jalaj.