File photo: Deepak Hooda has scored 393 runs across two innings without being dismissed © PTI
Deepak Hooda converted his third successive century into a mammoth 293 not out, his best score in first-class cricket, to flatten Punjab at Feroz Shah Kotla. The 21-year old Baroda captain’s maiden double-century included 25 fours and six sixes. He had resumed on 190 on the second day and batted through the rest of the innings to finish with a strike-rate of 82.76.
Hooda could well have had his first triple-century – and the fourth of this season, there have only been four rounds – but Munaf Patel, having hung in for 57 minutes and 29 balls, contributing one run to the final-wicket stand of 63, fell in the last ball of the 140th over from Shubek Gill. Hooda’s 293 was the second-highest score in Baroda’s history.
Baroda were dismissed for 529, with Sandeep Sharma taking 4 for 101. Punjab had 35 overs to last until stumps. They lost Jiwanjot Singh in the 10th over, but the other opener Manan Vohra ensured there were no further losses with an unbeaten 67.
A first-innings lead of 100 became extremely handy for Bengal as 15 wickets fell on the second day in Dharamsala. Railways, who resumed their first innings on 37 for 4, were bowled out for 105 as seamer Ashok Dinda picked up 5 for 45 bowling 14 out of the 27.3 overs in the innings. It was his 19th five-for and second in as many matches. Seven of the Railways batsmen suffered single-digit scores and had it not been for their captain Karn Sharma‘s 40 off 26 balls, they may not even have got a total above hundred.
Bengal’s batsmen were a lot more sturdy with Wriddhiman Saha and captain Manoj Tiwary making 44 and 48 respectively to help build the lead to a considerable 308 by stumps. They only have one wicket standing though thanks to the Railways seamers Deepak Bansal and Karan Thakur, who picked up 3 for 40 and 3 for 39.
N Jagadeesan became the first player from Tamil Nadu to score a century on debut in eight years as his team continued their run-scoring spree in Cuttack. He was unbeaten on 118 having faced 196 balls, with eight fours and two sixes. Madhya Pradesh had been flogged for 547 runs over the course of 174 overs with only seven wickets as compensation. This after they had dismissed both Tamil Nadu openers for ducks on the first day.
The revival was led by Kaushik Gandhi, who having been on 71 overnight, completed his maiden first-class century. He finished with 157 off 368 balls with 24 fours. B Indrajith was one of only three wickets MP were able to take on the second day, but not before he had scored his third fifty-plus score in three innings.
Proceedings were rather slow in the other match in Delhi, where Uttar Pradesh ground out 147 runs at a run-rate of 2.19 against Gujarat. One of the overnight batsmen Mohammad Saif scored 4 off 51 balls. The bulk of their runs came from the openers – Tanmay Srivastava made 45 off 148 balls while his partner Samarth Singh got to 50 off 101 balls to go with his 187 in his last innings. UP still trail by 200 runs. Gujarat’s batsmen deserve credit for that, not least their resilient 10th wicket pair. Chirag Gandhi (87) and Ishwar Chaudhary (13) got together when the score was 284 for 9 to took it to 347. UP fast bowler Imtiaz Ahmed picked up 5 for 73.
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