Ranji Highlights: Vidarbha's plucky draw and Priyank Panchal's match-winning 112



Ankit Rajpoot wrapped up Goa’s second innings for a meek 165, finishing with a five-wicket haul in Kanpur. © Getty

Top knocks

Priyank Panchal, the 28-year-old opening batsman who’s captaining Gujarat, led from the front by scoring an unbeaten 112 off 132 deliveries to star in his team’s nine-wicket win over Baroda. Rush Kalaria’s 6 for 35 ensured that Baroda’s second innings came to a pre-mature end as they lost their last three wickets for an addition of only 18 runs to their overnight total, leaving Gujarat with a target of 168. Panchal then took over, scoring at a brisk rate even as Samit Gohel and Bhargav Merai had sedate outings. Panchal, who scored at a strike rate of close to 85, struck 14 fours and two sixes during his knock to help Gujarat over the line in the 49th over.

While Faiz Fazal was Vidarbha’s hero on Day 3, scoring a century after his team was asked to follow on, while his overnight partner essayed that role after the opener was dismissed for 131 early on Day 4. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who started the day on 31, went on to score an unbeaten 122 off 272 deliveries and received support from Aditya Sarwate (60 off 118) as they added 113 runs for the sixth wicket, playing out close to 40 overs during their partnership which cut out avenues for Maharashtra to force a victory as they has to be satisfied with three points from the drawn encounter.

Aditya Tare’s unbeaten ton, and half-centuries for Siddhesh Lad and Shivam Dubey were the positives for Mumbai on the final day of their game against Railways, which ended in a stalemate with Mumbai bagging three points on basis of a first-innings lead.

Ricky Bhui’s 370-ball 181 and Shoaib Md Khan’s 52 off 113 in a crucial 68-run seventh wicket stand helped Andhra edge out Punjab on basis of first innings lead to pick up three points from the game. Starting the day at 328 for 5 in reply to Punjab’s total of 414, Andhra lost Karn Sharma early in the day. But the partnership between Bhui and Shoaib helped Andhra closer to Punjab’s score and they eventually finished with 423.

Jammu & Kashmir skipper Parvez Rasool had a century to his name, and had just four overs to go for the game to have ended in a draw, but Nathu Singh’s two strikes in four balls meant Rajasthan picked up a 75-run victory in a thriller in Jaipur. Requiring 394 for a win, and 361 on the final day, J&K’s top and middle order did well to get over the 300-run mark, and were kept afloat by their captain, but eventually, the resistance ran out and they were bowled out for 319, with Rasool remaining unbeaten. Rahul Chahar and Nathu Singh’s four-wicket hauls did the job for Rajasthan, with the former even having a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

Spell of the day

Ankit Rajpoot wrapped up Goa’s second innings for a meek 165, picking up the final two wickets on the day to finish with a five-wicket haul in Kanpur. Goa resumed the day eight down for 123, with Darshan Misal unbeaten. He went on to score a half-century, but could only manage to remain unbeaten on 51 as Rajpoot cleaned up the tail and gave Uttar Pradesh a win by an innings and 247 runs. Alongside Rajpoot, Saurabh Kumar had four wickets in the innings.

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Cheteshwar Pujara, who had retired hurt on Day 1 due to a sore neck before coming out to bat on Day 2, did not turn up for Saurashtra during their second innings on the final Day. His team picked up three points from the drawn encounter against Chhattisgarh.

In Tamil Nadu’s draw with Madhya Pradesh, Murali Vijay could manage just a 19 before he was dismissed by Avesh Khan after a 43-run stand with Abhinav Mukund on the final day of the clash.

The stalemates

The game between Kerala and Hyderabad, which was affected by rain on Day 3, ended in a draw with both teams picking up a point apiece. Hyderabad ended the day at 228 for 5 in reply to Kerala’s 495 for 6 decl.

Abhishek Raman and Abhimanyu Easwaran helped themselves to half-centuries and spent quality time at the middle in what was effectively an extended net session after Bengal had picked up the first innings lead against Himachal Pradesh.

Of the three draw games in Group C, rain and bad light played starred in the one between Tripura and Services in Agartala, apart from Tripura skipper Bishal Ghosh’s double century, and a fifty in the next innings. The game eventually was called off due to bad light with Services still needing 191 to win. Udiyan Bose, who resumed the day on 84 for Tripura, went on to get to a century before being bowled by Services’s Vikas Yadav for 109. He was the last wicket to fall before Tripura declared their second innings on 232/2 before Services finished with 164/6 on the final day.

In Bhubaneshwar, Orissa skipper Biplab Samantray’s unbeaten century (103) helped his side draw with Haryana. He kept his side afloat after the top order didn’t get any substantial scores. With the next-best being 45 from Subhranshu Senapati, it was vital for someone from the middle order to stand up, and Samantray did in a patient knock that spanned 210 balls as they finished with 267/7.

In Ranchi, play was ended due to bad light with Assam requiring 137 runs to win against Jharkhand. Ishan Kishan, who resumed the day on 31, scored a century on the final day before being caught and bowled by Amit Sinha. He was dismissed for 120, off just 104 balls, an innings that comprised of 13 fours and four sixes, before Jharkhand declared on 230/4.

In Group B, Dindigul saw rain interrupting proceedings resulting in Tamil Nadu drawing with Madhya Pradesh. After MP scored 393 in the first innings, TN finished at 236/4 at the end of the game. In TN’s draw with MP, Baba Indrajith fought through for a valiant century, left unbeaten on 103 when play ended.

© Cricbuzz


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