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Ranji Trophy, Group A: Unmukt stars in Delhi's 4-wicket win vs Haryana

Opener Unmukt Chand scored a gritty 99 to help Delhi register a four-wicket win against Haryana even as pacer Harshal Patel tried his best to defend the visitors' total on the fourth and final day.

Press Trust of India |October 18, 2015, 6:35 PM IST
Ranji Trophy, Group A: Unmukt stars in Delhi's 4-wicket win vs Haryana

New Delhi: Opener Unmukt Chand scored a gritty 99 to help Delhi register a four-wicket win against Haryana even as pacer Harshal Patel tried his best to defend the visitors' total on the fourth and final day of the Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match here on Sunday.

Delhi now have 14 points from three matches and are very much in the race for a place in the knock-outs.

Starting on their overnight score of 69 for no loss in pursuit of their victory target of 224, Delhi saw skipper Gautam Gambhir (20) and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohit Ahlawat (0) fall to Harshal's inswinger's after being trapped leg before but Unmukt did his best to ensure that the hosts bag 6 points at Feroz Shah Kotla.

Unmukt, who added two half-centuries -- 68 in first innings -- to his first-class record in this game, stood strong with Nitish Rana (25) to stitch an 81-run partnership, but his wicket saw Delhi wobble again.

Rana and Chand's wickets in a space of 10 deliveries once again gave the Virender Sehwag-led Haryana hopes of an unlikely win.

Harshal continued to make inroads with Manan Sharma's (5) scalp, getting able support from Ashish Hooda (2-46) at the other end.

After getting the prized wicket of Unmukt, Hooda got Yogesh Nagar cleaned up for 4 to put Delhi in deep trouble.

But Milind Kumar (44 not out) and Pradeep Sangwan (11 not out) stitched a 42-run seventh-wicket partnership to make sure that Delhi survive to get their second outright win in three games so far.

In a match of fluctuating fortunes, Haryana were made to look strong on Day 3 after bundling out Delhi for 227 in the first innings and then Sehwag struck a fluent half-century to help the visitors give a competitive target to the hosts.

Delhi though again turned things around in the final session on Saturday with Gambhir and Unmukt giving the team a brisk start and raise hopes of an easy victory, which they ultimately did albeit with much difficulty.

Young left-arm spinner Manan Sharma made his presence felt for the home team with match figures of 11-162, bagging two five-wicket hauls in both the innings and always kept the Haryana batsmen on tenterhooks on a slow and low pitch.

But Sehwag's breezy 37 and a gutsy 51 in the first and second innings respectively is certainly worth a mention especially when the swashbuckler was playing his first game on his former home turf after switching loyalties this season.

Harshal's inspiring spell of bowling in both the innings and Jayant Yadav's four scalps in the first innings is also what Haryana will take forward as positives from the game.

Karnataka gain 3 points as match against Vidarbha ends in draw

Karnataka earned three points on the basis of their first-innings lead over Vidarbha even as the match ended in a tame draw after Ravikumar Samarth and Karun Nair scored centuries each for the hosts on the final day of their match in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Having gained a slender 40-run first innings lead, Karnataka scored 331 for three declared in their second essay today before reducing Vidarbha to 17 for no loss at the close of play.

Resuming on 93 for one, Samarth (121) and Nair (101 not out) put on an unbeaten 176 runs together for the fourth wicket to take the team past 330-run mark.

For Vidarbha, Swapnil Bandiwar bagged two wickets.

In Vidarbha's second innings, Faiz Fazal and Aditya Shanware were batting at six and seven, respectively when both the captains agreed to call off the day's play.

Karnataka now have seven points from three matches and Vidarbha have four points.

Karnataka will next take on Haryana in Mysuru, while Vidarbha will face Assam.

Brief scores:

Karnataka: 350 & 331 for 3 decl (Ravikumar Samarth 121, Karun Nair not out 101; Swapnil Bandiwar 2/50).

Vidarbha: 310 & 17 for no loss in 11 overs.

Bengal bag 3 points on final day

Skipper Manoj Tiwary continued his good form with an useful contribution of 83 while Pankaj Shaw scored a half-century on debut as Bengal managed to secure three points by virtue of their 8-4-run first innings lead in their second Ranji Trophy encounter in Kolkata, on Sunday.

In reply to the visitors first innings total of 198 in a game interrupted by rain during the first two days, Bengal scored 282 in 90.3 overs with Pankaj's 66-ball-52 laced with three fours and equal number of maximums being the most significant contribution on the final day.

Coming in to bat at 172 for five after India international Wriddhiman Saha's (8) dismissal, 27-year-old Pankaj saw his skipper Tiwary depart for 83 with scorecard reading 190 for six and nine runs still required for the lead.

Along with former India U-19 player Aamir Gani (29), he added 45 runs en route ensuring three points safely.

In their second essay, Rajasthan were reduced to 15 for 3 in 6.2 overs with Ashok Dinda's two and Veer Pratap's one wicket bursts but skipper Ashok Menaria played sensibly and remained unbeaten on 69 (174 balls; 12x4) to see through the final day and secure a point.

Bengal's main spinner Pragyan Ojha, who claimed an impressive 4 for 49 in the first innings, returned wicketless from 14 overs on the Eden strip that looked eased out.

In absence of all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla who is down with a knee injury, Bengal missed a fifth bowler sorely to play the role of partnership-breaker.

The frustration was well evident as the skipper Tiwary bowled nine overs and accounted for Puneet Yadav (33) to break his 95-run fourth wicket partnership with Menaria.

Gani claimed another in the fag end of the day but that was too little too late as the two days' of rain had already come to the rescue of Team Rajasthan who were handed an innings defeat in Assam.

Both Bengal and Team Rajasthan now have four points but the former have played one match less in group A.

Bengal will now take on a Delhi side which is on a roll after two back to back wins.

Brief Scores:

Rajasthan 198 & 146/5 in 57 overs (Ashok Menaria 69 not out).

Bengal 282 in 90.3 overs (Manoj Tiwary 83, Abhimanyu Easwaran 53, Pankaj Shaw 52; Ajay Singh 3 for 72, Aniket Choudhary 2 for 32, Deepak Chahar 2 for 52).

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