Saurabh Wakaskar. (Image Credit: CricketNext)
Bilaspur: Unbeaten half-centuries from openers Saurabh Wakaskar and SS Shukla provided Railways with a solid start in their chase of 401 runs on the penultimate day of their Group A Ranji Trophy encounter against Tamil Nadu on Saturday.
At the close of play, Wakaskar was unbeaten on 54 and Shukla was on 52 with Railways needing 293 more runs for an outright win with all the wickets intact.
Earlier, resuming on 161 for one, Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund (100) and Dinesh Karthik (163) scored a ton each, while Baba Indrajith (52) and M Rangarajan (51) chipped in with half-centuries to take the team to 452 for eight before declaring their second innings and set a huge target for Railways.
Karn Sharma was the top wicket-taker for Railways with figures of four for 109.
Railways, who had managed to take a 52-run first innings lead, need to score almost 300 runs tomorrow for a win.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu: 121 & 452 for 8 decl (Dinesh Karthik 163, Abhinav Mukund 100, Baba Indrajith 52; Karn Sharma 4/109). Railways: 173 & 108 for no loss in 25 overs (Saurabh Wakaskar 54, SS Shukla 52).
Devdhar keeps Baroda in fray
In New Delhi, opener Kedar Devdhar hit a stroke-filled 145 as Baroda took a sizeable lead of 303 runs, despite narrowly falling short of Mumbai's first innings total.
Devdhar's knock came of 235 balls that included 16 fours as Baroda finished the day at 321 for five.
With a day's play left, Baroda will try for an outright win as Mumbai have already ensured three points by virtue of 18-run first innings lead.
With Aditya Waghmode (66), Baroda added 177 for opening stand before Deepak Hooda (66 batting, 75 balls) attacked the Mumbai bowlers with six boundaries.
Devdhar and Hooda added 57 runs in 12.4 overs to up the ante. Pathan brothers Irfan (12) and Yusuf Pathan (2) were dismissed cheaply.
The day belonged to Devdhar, who was brilliant and was especially severe on Shardul Thakur (0/57) and Balwinder Singh Sandhu Jr (1/71), treating any width offered with disdain.
Just when Devdhar was looking good, he edged one off Sandhu Jr's bowling.
Brief Scores: Baroda: 305 & 321/5 (Kedar Devdhar 145, Deepak Hooda 66, Aditya Waghmode 66). Mumbai 1st Innings: 323.
Chasing 307, MP 26/1 after Punjab's sporting declaration
In Rohtak, first-innings centurion Yuvraj Singh produced another fine knock before the captain made a sporting declaration to set Madhya Pradesh a target of 307.
At stumps, Madhya Pradesh were 26 for one in their second innings at the CH Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium.
Earlier, Yuvraj, who notched up 177 in the first innings, cracked 76 off 120 balls with the help of eight boundaries and a six.
Yuvraj was ably aided by Taruwar Kohli (35) and together they added 94 runs for the fifth wicket before the team declared at 175 for nine in 51.3 overs.
For Madhya Pradesh, Ishwar Pandey was the best bowler, returning figures of 3/25 in 14 overs. There were two wickets apiece for Chandrakant Sakure and Ankit Sharma.
Play was called off for the day at the fall of opener Mukul Raghav's (16) wicket to Shubek Gill. Aditya Shrivastava was batting on 2.
MP required another 281 runs for victory with nine wickets remaining.