Odisha won a one-wicket thriller against Haryana, while Jammu & Kashmir sailed through to a comfortable win over Services in round five. Uttarakhand held on for a nervous draw against Tripura, Maharashtra beat Jharkhand with ease, while Assam and Chhattisgarh played out a draw in the other matches.
Lower-order holds its nerve to give Odisha fourth win
Set 179 for victory, Odisha were in trouble as they had lost five wickets with their side still needing another 101 runs. But against the odds — and nature as bad light stopped play twice — the lower-order batsman chipped in with useful cameos to keep them top of the table in Elite Group C. In the end, medium-pacer Ajit Chahal’s single-handed brilliance (seven for 80) went in vain. Earlier in the game, it was an inspired bowling performance from Suryakant Pradhan (five for 86) that turned the match around. Haryana failed to capitalise on their overnight score of 223 for five, as they were bowled out having added just 25 runs more to the total.
All-round performance from Parvez Rasool seals J&K win
A better-than-run-a-ball 182 in the first innings, a crucial 45 in the second, and four wickets overall — Rasool truly led from the front and bagged a well-deserved Man-of-the-Match award as well. Earlier in the day, they batted as long as Shubham Pundir, who was on 90 at stumps on day three, needed to complete his century. With an impossible 319-run target set before them, the only objective for Services was to survive whatever play was left in the day. But on a day when only three of their 11 batsmen even crossed the double-digit mark, it was all too easy for the away side. With their fourth win of the season, J&K moved to second in the table, only two points behind Odisha, who are on 28 points.
Vijay Jethi earns Uttarkhand a draw
As Unmukt Chand walked out alongside his skipper Tanmay Srivastava on day four in Agartala, there was only one thing on their mind: survival. Ten balls later, even that seemed a difficult task as Rana Dutta shattered Srivastava’s stumps. Chand tried to block everything that came his way but eventually succumbed with the scorecard reading 25 for three — just four more runs added on from their overnight score. Five overs later, Tripura’s victory was well and truly in sight as Ajoy Sarkar and man-of-the-match Manisankar Murasingh had Uttarakhand reeling at 35 for six. But for a heroic display of batsmanship from Jethi, whose 139-ball 81 included 13 fours, and a gutsy 90-ball 23 from Rahil Shah, Tripura would’ve indeed had all six points. In the end, time ran out and Uttarakhand reached 148 for eight.
Clinical Maharashtra clinch first win of the season
An all-round and clinical performance from Maharashtra earned them their first win of the season in the fifth round clash against Jharkhand. Following on, Jharkhand still needed 218 runs in order to make Maharashtra bat again. But three relatively quick wickets saw them slip to 115 for four and in danger of succumbing to an innings-defeat. However, skipper Saurabh Tiwary got together with Kumar Suraj and added 139 more runs to their total. But once Tiwary departed for a well-made 87 and Suraj, who made 92, followed soon after with the score at 296, it was only a matter of time for Maharashtra. They cleaned up the tail soon, before chasing down 48 comfortably to win by eight wickets.
Assam, Chhattisgarh play out draw in dull affair
Day four at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati started off with the match heading for a draw — and it ended on the same note as well. A half-century from Sumit Ruikar (75) and a century from skipper Harpreet Singh (102 not out) ensured that Chhattisgarh safely negotiated 64 overs before the captains decided to settle for a draw. Courtesy of their mammoth first-innings lead, Assam took home three points, while the away side had to settle for one. Assam skipper Gokul Sharma won the man-of-the-match award for his patient century in the first innings. The result leaves Assam five points clear of their opponents, who are seventh in the Elite Group C points table with nine points.