Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | Elite Group C - Services, Odisha going strong on back of big hundreds
Services and Odisha ended day two of the final round of league matches in strong positions against Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand respectively. Elsewhere, bowlers dragged Maharashtra back into the contest against Uttarakhand, while a stern middle-order gave Haryana hope against Jammu & Kashmir.
Gahlaut Singh ton gives Services big lead
Resuming the day at 81 for three — still 98 behind Chhattisgarh’s first-innings total — Services rode on the back of Gahlaut’s century and skipper Rajat Paliwal’s 91 to take a 219-run lead in the first bout. The in-form Gahlaut struck 18 fours and two sixes en route his 115, while the skipper hit eight fours in his solid knock. Puneet Datey (five for 60) cleaned up the tail as Services finished on 398. In their second bout, the hosts safely negotiated the remaining seven overs of play to reach 17 for no loss at stumps.
Bowlers drag Maharashtra back into contest
At one point, Uttarakhand were 214 for four — i.e. a lead of seven runs over Maharashtra with six wickets in hand. Then, Satyajeet Bachhav (four 71) struck twice in the space of three balls, and Mukesh Choudhary (two for 58) combined forces with Azim Kazi to clean up the tail. The visitors’ were all out for 251, with opener Kamal Singh their top-scorer with 101. Having wiped off the 44-run deficit with ease, the hosts lost both openers to be reduced to 51 for two. However, an unbeaten 89-run stand between Swapnil Fulpagar (40 not out) and skipper Ankit Bawne (50 not out) helped Maharashtra reach 140 for two at stumps.
Debasish Samantray ton puts Odisha in command
Resuming play at 205 for four, Debasish and Biplab batted cautiously to complete their respective milestones. The latter fell for 74, while cameos from the lower-order together with Debasish cutting loose post his century helped Odisha surge past 400. The No.3 batsman hit 26 fours and a six en route his 156 before Odisha’s first-innings ended at 436. Ashish Kumar finished with figures of six for 79 for Jharkhand. In reply, the visitors reached 71 for two stumps, still trailing their hosts by 365 runs, with Kumar Suraj (42 not out) and Utkarsh Singh (10 not out) at the crease.
Rishav Das keeps Assam steady after Tripura post 497
Once Manisankar Murasingh — who was on 87 when play resumed — crossed his milestone, Tripura looked to pile on as many runs as possible against Assam in quick time. Murasingh fell on 118, having struck 15 fours and a six, but Harmeet Singh (41) and the rest of the tail pushed the visitors to 497 all out. Ranjit Mali finished with figures of five for 114 for Assam. Unfazed by the task ahead of them, Rishav (88 not out) and Subham Mandal (33) gave the hosts a bright start before skipper Gokul Sharma walked in and built on the foundation laid. Assam reached 162 for one, still trailing their neighbours by 335 runs, at stumps.
Pramod Chandila ton keeps Haryana alive
Walking in at 66 for four, with his team still 274 runs behind J&K’s first-innings total of 340, Chandila combined with opener Ankit Kumar to steady Haryana’s ship. A 120-run stand later, Ankit fell for a well-made 63, but Chandila carried on and added another 96 runs with wicket-keeper batsman Rohit Sharma, who made 41 himself. Chandila fell for 119, having struck nine fours and a six in his innings, with his team’s deficit down to 58. However, Mujtaba Yousuf, who finished with six for 49, ensured the hosts would take a 49-run lead into the second half of the match.