File photo – Stuart Binny struck 17 fours and three sixes in his first century this season © Getty Images
Stuart Binny’s ninth first-class century – a 158-ball 156 – gave Karnataka an opportunity to push for full points after they took a 245-run lead over Assam at the Bandra Kurla Complex ground in Mumbai. Assam went to stumps on 48 for 1, with Gokul Sharma, the captain, and Rahul Hazarika at the crease.
Assam made early inroads to pick up three quick wickets, including those of overnight centurions Robin Uthappa (128) and Karun Nair (145), whose third-wicket stand was worth 265. Assam were left frustrated, however, as Binny forged two century stands – 131 for the seventh wicket with Shreyas Gopal and 105 for the sixth wicket with CM Gautam (73) – to help post 570. Arup Das, the medium-pacer, was Assam’s best bowler, taking 4 for 86.
After suffering an innings loss against Karnataka last week, Delhi put themselves in a position to inflict a heavy defeat on Odisha in Mohali. Delhi’s seventh and eighth-wicket pairs added a total of 212 before Gautam Gambhir, who top-scored with 147, declared the innings on 495 for 8 to open up a 258-run advantage. Odisha were tottering at 109 for 4 in the second innings, and needed 149 more to make Delhi bat again. Ishant Sharma, playing his second competitive match after recovering from chikungunya, picked up two wickets.
Delhi, who resumed on 351 for 7 in response to Odisha’s 237, were driven by a 156-run eighth-wicket stand between Milind Kumar and Manan Sharma. Milind, who registered a pair in the previous game, brought up his second first-class century and was unbeaten on 106, while Manan recorded his highest first-class score of 81. He was dismissed by left-arm spinner Dhiraj Singh, who took 4 for 84. In reply, Govinda Podder, Odisha’s captain, was unbeaten on 52 and stood between Delhi and a second outright win this season.
Rajasthan were left to rue a batting collapse that had them 299 for 8 at stumps, in response to Maharashtra’s 461 in Hyderabad. Each of the top six batsmen got starts, with opener Manendar Singh’s 63 the top score. Resuming on the third day from 76 for 2, they lost Ashok Menaria, the captain, for 42 to expose the middle order. Mahipal Lomror (32) and Siddarth Dobal (59) held the fort briefly before Maharashtra’s spinners, Akshay Darekar and Chirag Khurana, opened up the game by picking four wickets between them. Chetan Bist, the wicketkeeper who retired hurt on 13 after being hit on the helmet by a Mohsin Sayyed bouncer, returned and was 43 not out at stumps.
An improved batting performance in the second innings brightened Vidarbha’s hopes of salvaging one point against Jharkhand in Wayanad. Opener Sanjay Ramaswamy made 102, while three others – Faiz Fazal, Aditya Shanware and Ravi Jangid – made half-centuries as Vidarbha, ended the day on 315 for 3. They had been bowled out for 105 in the first innings and had conceded a 257-run lead. The unbroken fourth-wicket stand between Shanware and Jangid was worth 85.
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