File photo – Shardul Thakur dismissed six of Bengal’s top seven © AFP
Shardul Thakur dismissed six of Bengal’s top seven to rack up figures of 6 for 31 as Mumbai rolled out Bengal for 99 in Nagpur. Mumbai then went on to score 164 for 5, riding on Kaustubh Pawar‘s 112-ball 78.
Bengal collapsed from 90 for 3 to 99 all out, with the last four wickets falling without adding a single run. Dhawal Kulkarni took three of those four wickets, thereby ensuring that Bengal’s lower order was wiped out for next to nothing. In reply, Mumbai rode on Pawar’s knock and handy starts from Jay Bista and Shreyas Iyer to march to 119 for 1. But Bengal hit back with four wickets towards the end of the day to regain some lost ground even as Mumbai closed with a 65-run lead.
Madhya Pradesh and Baroda vied for the upper hand on an evenly-contested bowler’s day in Dharamsala, in which 12 wickets fell for 248 runs all told.
After being put in to bat, Madhya Pradesh were bowled out for 217 after right-arm pacer Babashafi Pathan bagged career-best figures of 5 for 48. Madhya Pradesh captain Devendra Bundela, playing his record-breaking 137th Ranji Trophy match, top-scored with 86 but was eventually run out, becoming the ninth wicket to fall. The last wicket fell two balls later.
Puneet Datey then took two early wickets, before Aditya Waghmode and Deepak Hooda saw Baroda through to 31 for 2 at stumps.
Meanwhile, a similar narrative played out in Rajkot, where Uttar Pradesh scored 259 after being put in to bat, and then took an early wicket to leave Railways on 18 for 1 at stumps.
Uttar Pradesh’s top-scorer was their captain, Suresh Raina, who made 91 off 109, including eight fours and a six. He came to the crease at 82 for 2, just as his team were in the midst of a wobble. Ducks for Rinku Singh and Upendra Yadav meant it was soon 96 for 5. But Raina held firm and received good support from Saurabh Kumar, with whom he put on 82 for the eighth wicket. Saurabh Kumar was the last man out, for 53. Right-arm pacer Anureet Singh and legspinner Karn Sharma took four wickets apiece.
Praveen Kumar then dismissed Shivakant Shukla for 7, before Saurabh Wakaskar and Ashish Sehrawat saw out the day. It was slow going for Railways, who took 14 overs to notch up 18 runs.
Panchal added 143 for the second wicket with Bhargav Merai, who made 65, and another 111 with Rujul Bhatt for the unbroken third-wicket stand. Manpreet Gony and Sandeep Sharma were the wicket-takers for Punjab.
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