Odisha and Services registered big wins against Assam and Jharkhand respectively, while Maharashtra chased down 204 in the fourth innings against Tripura in the seventh round matches. Elsewhere, the Uttarakhand-Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir-Chhattisgarh matches — both rain-hit — ended in a draw.
All-round Debabrata Pradhan stars in Odisha win
With all ten wickets in hand and 96 runs required to make the hosts bat at the start of play — after rain delayed proceedings — Assam looked certain to avoid an innings defeat. Openers Subham Mandal (74) and Kunal Saikia (72) both hit half-centuries, but once the latter fell, the visitors just kept losing wickets until their innings folded at 195 — an innings-and-3-run-win for Odisha to push them to the top of the points table, two points clear of J&K, who are on 33 points. For the hosts, Rajesh Mohanty starred with four for 30, but Pradhan’s three for 53 — to go with his first-innings four-fer and 79 with the bat — earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.
Kumar Suraj ton in vain as Pulkit Narang steals the show
Jharkhand had set out in their hunt of a daunting 385-run target boldly, reaching 49 for one overnight and adding another 100 to the total in the first session on the final day without losing a wicket. Having just brought up his stroke-filled century, hitting 10 fours and three sixes, Suraj departed four overs into the post-lunch session. Once his partner Utkarsh Singh’s patient 63 came to an end with the team total at 190, hopes quickly diminished. One by one, they fell before Narang’s off-breaks and Services sealed a 118-run win. Narang’s match figures of seven for 65 and 51 runs with the bat earned him the Man-of-the-Match award and pushed Services to third in the table.
Uttarakhand, Haryana share spoils in rain-hit affair
After two days and a whole session was washed out due to rain, play finally resumed post-lunch on day four at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun. Resuming at 58 for seven, Haryana was reduced to 58 for seven — still 51 behind Uttarakhand’s first-innings total — before skipper Harshal Patel and Ajit Chahal rescued them with a mix of attacking and traditional style of play. Patel’s 50 came in just 42 balls, while Chahal ate up 58 balls for his 23. In the end, the visitors were bowled out for 142 — a lead of 33 runs, worth three points that took them to fourth in the table. The hosts then batted the remaining overs, reaching 109 for three, before the captains shook hands.
Ankit Bawne guides Maharashtra home
With just 101 runs required for victory with eight wickets in hand on the final day of play in Agartala, Maharashtra looked set for their third win of the season. And there were no dramatic surprises, barring the three wickets that fell en route the rest of their chase, as Bawne led the team past the finish line. For his two half-centuries (62 in the first innings and an unbeaten 61 in the second), the skipper took home the Man-of-the-Match award. With the win, the visitors took their points tally to 21 (6th), while Tripura’s fifth loss left them languishing in ninth position with six points.
Chhattisgarh take home three points against J&K
With two whole days and two full sessions of the final day’s play lost to rain, Chhattisgarh decided to declare their innings at the score they managed on day one — 270 for four. Much like his decision to bat first was backed up by a strong batting performance he led with a century — earning him the Man-of-the-Match award — his decision to declare was backed up by his frontline bowlers. Sumit Ruikar with four for 82 disturbed the top-order, while Veer Pratap Singh’s three for 22 and Ajay Mandal’s three for 51 demolished the remainder of the lineup as J&K conceded a 102-run lead. The three points propelled the visitors to 19 points.