All fifth round matches in Elite Group B ended up with a drawn result. While it was sensible batting from the likes of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Baroda against Saurashtra, Mumbai, and Uttar Pradesh helped them draw, it was a last-ball thriller between Madhya Pradesh and Railways that took the cake.
Ravikumar Samarth, Devdutt Padikkal stand firm for Karnataka
With their confidence shot down after conceding a 410-run first-innings lead, Karnataka showed great character and resolve to withstand the Saurashtra attack on day four at Rajkot. Rohan Kadam and his partner Samarth eased the nerves with a solid 96-run stand for the first wicket. 19-year-old Padikkal walked in at No.3 and compiled an unbeaten 133-ball fifty, which included nine fours. Samarth, at the other end, carried on his form from the first innings, hitting ten fours in his 159-ball 74, before being cleaned up by Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat. Despite their best efforts, the home side could only snap up four wickets, with Karnataka closing out the match at 220 for four.
Mrunal Devdhar and Co. nearly script famous win for Railways
With Madhya Pradesh resuming at 308 for five — a lead of 188 runs to their name — it seemed like the match was heading for a draw. But the Railways’ attack, led by Pradeep T with four for 47, had other ideas. Veteran Amit Mishra had Yash Dubey (83) removed first before the medium pacer ran through the rest of the lineup. Madhya Pradesh managed to add only 22 runs to their overnight score, setting up a 211-run target for Railways to take home all the points from 54 remaining overs. But for two sluggish innings from Vikrant Rajput (25 off 81 balls) and Saurabh Singh (15 off 63 balls), the home side would’ve clinched victory with ease. Man-of-the-match Devdhar top-scored with 93, while Dinesh Mor and Harsh Tyagi’s late onslaught brought them within six runs of a win.
Baroda hold on in light-affected clash against Uttar Pradesh
Much like the atmospheric conditions, Baroda’s fortunes looked gloomy at the start of play on day four of the clash at the Green Park in Kanpur. After a delayed start, wicket-keeper batsman Viraj Bhosale and tailender Bhargav Bhatt patiently added 51 more runs to their overnight score of 179 for eight. With a 201-run lead still intact, UP skipper Ankit Rajpoot asked Baroda to bat again, in the hopes that his side can effect a win. Three overs in, the plan seemed to be working with Saurabh Kumar dismissing opener Aditya Waghmode cheaply. But an in-form Vishnu Solanki partnered up with skipper Kedar Devdhar — both scoring fifties — to negotiate 34 overs safely — the total reaching 120 for one — before the teams decided to shake hands for a draw.
Mumbai, Tamil Nadu share spoils in dull affair
In a game they’ve been chasing since halfway through the first day, the only positive for Tamil Nadu was that they survived 150-plus overs to deny Mumbai a victory. A proper grinding out from Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravikrishnan Sai Kishore salvaged a draw for the home side in Chennai. However, even those two couldn’t avoid the follow-on as the TN first innings folded for 324. Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare, who later won the man-of-the-match award for his brilliant 154 in the first innings, enforced the follow-on. However, his bowlers only managed the sole wicket of Laxmesha Suryaprakash, before both the captains decided to settle for a draw.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi