Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | Elite Group C - Lower order to Maharashtra’s rescue, J&K assert dominance

Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | Elite Group C - Lower order to Maharashtra’s rescue, J&K assert dominance

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A counter-attack from the lower-order batsmen helped Maharashtra save their face at home in the final round league match against Uttarakhand. Among other matches, J&K, Tripura, and Services ended day one of proceedings in firm control against Haryana, Assam, and Chhattisgarh respectively.

J&K post 340 despite Rahul Tewatia’s seven-fer

Opting to bat on home turf, J&K were powered by cameos throughout the lineup to help post a first-innings total in excess of 300 against Haryana. Despite losing both openers within the first hour of play, half-centuries from Shubham Khajuria (62) and Shubham Pundir (84) helped the hosts steady the ship to reach 170 for three at lunch. Skipper Parvez Rasool fell one short of his fifty in the second session as Tewatia (seven for 98) triggered a mini-collapse to leave the hosts at 249 for seven. Ram Dayal (43) and Abid Mushtaq (29) then played cameos to help push the score past 300. In the two overs that remained, Haryana lost a wicket and reached two for one at stumps.

Vishant More, Ashay Palkar saves Maharashtra’s blushes

Put into bat, Uttarakhand had their hosts reeling at 18 for five, before wicket-keeper batsman More (59) joined Naushad Shaikh (47) at the crease and counter-attacked. The duo added 106 in less than 20 overs before both fell in the space of six balls, handing the initiative back to the visitors. No.9 Ashay Palkar then single-handedly performed a second rescue act with a 77-ball 60, which included five fours and four sixes, to push the score past 200. Agrim Tiwari and Pradeep Chamoli picked up three wickets each as Maharashtra were bundled out for 207. In reply, Uttarakhand rode on opener Kamal Singh’s unbeaten 51 to reach 112 for three at stumps.

Odisha set for big first-innings total

On a slow-moving day at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha rode on the back of half-centuries from Anurag Sarangi (65) and Debasish Samantray (67 not out) to reach 205 for four at stumps on day one against Jharkhand. While Sarangi’s 65 included nine fours, Debasish struck 12 fours in his 228-ball knock. Ashish Kumar impressed with the ball for the visitors picking up three wickets for 41 runs, with the other wicket of the day going to Utkarsh Singh. 

Middle-order blitz help Tripura post big total

Two ducks, four half-centuries but no century, and a four-fer: the opening day of the clash between Assam and Tripura at Guwahati had it all. The hosts put Tripura into bat and had them struggling at 14 for two, courtesy of a wicket each to new-ball bowlers Ranjit Mali — who returned with four for 91 — and Mrinmoy Dutta. From then on, however, it was all one-way traffic as wicket-keeper batsman Arkaprabha Sinha (90) and Pratyush Singh (63) began scoring at a brisk rate. Mali dismissed both, ending their 136-run stand ended before Milind Kumar carried on the scoring with 62-ball 53. Manisankar Murasingh then provided a late flourish and remained unbeaten on 82 as Tripura reached 387 for seven at stumps.

Services in control despite late blows

Diwesh Pathania and Raushan Raj proved their skipper Rajat Paliwal’s decision to bowl right and had Chhattisgarh reeling at 10 for 3 — and 27 for four. Amandeep Khare, who hit 15 fours in rescue-knock but fell three short of a deserved century, got together with Vishal Kushwah first and Ajay Jadav Mandal, later on, to add some respectability to the hosts’ total. In the end, Chhattisgarh were bowled out for 179, with Raj finishing with four for 53, while Pathania (two for 47) and Shadab Nazar (two for 39) supported him ably. In reply, Services looked set for a big first-innings total after a steady start, before double blows reduced them to 81 for three at stumps.

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