Ranji Trophy Round-up

Delhi continue poor Ranji run
Guwahati, March 3: Virtually out of quarterfinal race, Delhi’s disappointing campaign in the Ranji Trophy continued as Chhattisgarh posted 290/4 on the opening day of their elite Group H match here on Thursday. Electing to bat, Chhattisgarh rode on half-centuries from Ajay Mandal (63), Amandeep Khare (68*) and Shashank Singh (75*) to pile up a big score in 90 overs and take their side to a strong position in the four-day contest. Mandal and Singh stitched 147 runs for the unconquered fifth wicket to take Chhattisgarh forward. Besides, Sanidhya Hurkat (44) and skipper Harpreet Singh (21) also made useful contributions with the bat. Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra (2/65) was the pick of the bowlers for Delhi. Delhi are languishing at the last spot in the four-team Group H with just one point from two games. (PTI)

Saurashtra reach 343/7 vs Goa
Ahmedabad, March 3: Chirag Jani hit a superb 140 while Sheldon Jackson smashed an unbeaten 96 as Saurashtra reached 343/7 at stumps on day one of their Ranji Trophy group D match against Goa here on Thursday. Chirag slammed 22 fours and two sixes in his 190-ball knock, while Jackson struck six fours and five maximums during his 119-ball unfinished innings after Saurashtra decided to bat first at the Narendra Modi stadium. Saurashtra lost opener Snell Patel for a duck but Chirag and Harvik Desai (14) steadied the innings with a 75-run stand. Test discard Cheteshwar Pujara’s (28) struggle to convert the starts continued and he was back in the pavillion after being trapped in front. Jackson then joined hands with Chirag and the duo stitched together 102 runs. Chirag was caught by AS Desai off Suyash Prabhudessai’s bowling as Saurashtra slipped to 297/7 but finally ended at 343/7. (PTI)

Maharashtra get 298/4 against UP
Sultanpur (Haryana), March 3: Skipper Ankit Bawane’s responsible 114 not out powered Maharashtra to 298/4 on the first day of their last Ranji Trophy Elite Group G league game against Uttar Pradesh here on Thursday. Electing to bat at the Gurugram cricket ground, Maharashtra lost openers Pawan Shah (19) and Avdhoot Dandekar (20) cheaply. Maharashtra were struggling at 70/2 then. But experienced campaigner Rahul Tripathi made a crucial 56, hammering nine boundaries and a six in the process. Then Bawane and Naushad Shaikh (53) frustrated the UP bowlers, as the duo forged a 99-run stand for the fourth wicket. But Shaikh fell to Jasmer Dhankhar (1/49) at Maharashtra’s score of 210. Bawane and Azim Kazi (33*) then shared an unbroken 88-run stand as they took the Uttar Pradesh bowlers to task. Courtesy their partnership, Maharashtra inched closer to the 300-run mark. (PTI)

Yash Dubey scores ton for MP
Rajkot, March 3: Opener Yash Dubey hit an unbeaten 105 to steer Madhya Pradesh to 218/2 on the first day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A league game against Kerala here on Thursday. Electing to bat at the Saurashtra Cricket Association ground C, Madhya Pradesh openers Himanshu Mantri (23) and Dubey added 62 runs for the first wicket, before Jalaj Saxena (1/41) dismissed the former. Kerala pegged MP back by removing in-form one-down batter Shubham Sharma (11), who became left-arm orthodox bowler Sijomon Joseph’s (1/54) first victim. Dubey, a right-handed batter, then found a perfect ally in seasoned campaigner Rajat Padtidar (75 not out off 183 balls), who played second fiddle. The duo stitched 130 runs for an unbroken third wicket stand and helped Madhya Pradesh go past the 200-run mark. (PTI)

Bengal off to a strong start
Cuttack, March 3: Skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran led from the front with 114 as Bengal put up a solid batting display to take the opening day’s advantage against Chandigarh in their Ranji Trophy group B match here on Thursday. Needing three points to seal their knockout berth, Bengal sat pretty on 329/6 at stumps on day one with veteran Manoj Tiwary batting on 42 in the company of Sayan Sekhar Mondal (33*) in an unbroken stand of 61. Veteran Bengal batter Anustup Majumdar (95) gave fine support at the other end as the duo put on a 193-run partnership to rebuild Bengal’s innings from 42/2 in the opening hour’s play. Bengal top group B (12 points). (PTI)

Nagaland post 276/5 on Day 1
Kolkata, March 3: All-rounder Shrikant Mundhe continued his imperious form with a century as Nagaland posted 276/5 on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy plate group match against Mizoram at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday. Fresh from his double century against Arunachal Pradesh in the last match, Mundhe slammed 123. Put in to bat, Nagaland lost opener Sedezhaile Rupero (3) cheaply but Mundhe stitched crucial partnerships with Yugandhar Singh (49) and Hokaito Zhimomi (71). (PTI)

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