Ranji Trophy: Avesh Khan Picks Four Wickets, MP bowl out Railways for 274

Avesh Khan took four wickets as defending champions Madhya Pradesh bowled out Railways for 274 on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group D match in Indore on Tuesday. Avesh returned with figures of 4 for 69, while Saransh Jain and Puneet Datey (2/52) shared four wickets between them as Madhya Pradesh took 87.4 overs to fold Railways’ innings. Besides, Kumar Kartikeya (1/57) and Shubham Sharma (1/8) picked up a wicket each.

Electing to bat, Railways did not have the best of starts as Avesh struck in the fifth delivery of the match, removing Vivek Singh.

The India pacer came back in the 16th over to account for the wicket of Shivam Chaudhary (21) before Shubham Sharma dismissed Rahul Rawat (29) to reduce Railways to 68 for 3 in the 25th over.

Mohammad Saif (39) and Shubham Chaubey (24) added 44 runs for the fourth wicket before both the batters departed. Skipper Upendra Yadav top-scored for Railways with a gritty 61 off 123 balls and hit eight boundaries in the process.

Towards the end, Akash Pandey (24 not out) and Adarsh Singh (24) played useful hands to take Railways past the 250-run mark.

Brief Scores: At Indore: Railways 274 all out in 87.4 overs (Upendra Yadav 61; Avesh Khan 4/69) vs Madhya Pradesh.

At Agartala: Punjab 62 for 1 in 17 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 41 batting; Ajay Sarkar 1/17) vs Tripura.

At Ahmedabad: Chandigarh 247 for 7 in 90 overs (Bhagmender Lather 68 batting, Arslan Khan 56, Gaurav Puri 51; Shen Patel 4/77) vs Gujarat.

At Nagpur: Jammu and Kashmir 191 all out in 68 overs (Musaif Ajaz 41, Suryansh Raina 30; Yash Thakur 4/40) vs Vidarbha 58 for 2 in 21.1 overs (Atharva Taide 24; Abid Mushtaq 1/2).

Dhapola’s eight-wicket punch demolishes Himachal

Uttarakhand seam bowler Deepak Dhapola breathed fire on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match, grabbing eight Himachal Pradesh wickets as the visitors were bundled out for 49 runs on Tuesday. Dhapola, 32, dismissed three players for duck and returned figures of 8/35 off 8.3 overs as Himachal could not weather the storm and were dismissed inside 17 overs.

At stumps on day one, Uttarakhand were batting on 295 for six, having taken a massive 246-run first-innings lead. Aditya Tare (91 not out) and Abhay Negi (48 not out) showed there were no demons in the pitch as they batted with confidence.

But the highlight of the day was Bageshwar-born Dhapola’s bowling. The seamer, who made his first-class debut in 2018 and is playing only his 15th game, had a previous best bowling figures of 7/50 in an innings, but on Tuesday he bettered his personal best as Himachal batters made a beeline to the dressing room.

Dhapola’s feat did not miss the attention of the BCCI secretary Jay Shah who termed it as one of the finest bowling performances of the tournament.

“Ranji Trophy has time and again helped bring out raw homegrown talent onto the forefront. This time it’s Deepak Dhapola! His 8/35 against Himachal is one of the finest bowling performances of the tournament. Long way to go!” tweeted Shah.

Dhapola, who was the leading wicket-taker for his state in the group stage of the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy with 44 dismissals in seven matches and finished the tournament with 45 wickets in eight games, will look to improve his best bowling figures in a first-class match (12/96) when he comes out with the red cherry in the second innings.

His dominance was such that only one Himachal batter — Ankit Kalsi (26) — could manage a double-dight score with four batters returning to the dressing room without opening their account.

Uttarakhand began their innings on a confident note with Priyanshu Khanduri (36) and skipper Jiwanjot Singh (45) giving a solid start to the hosts. Later, Aditya Tare’s composed unbeaten 91 put them on course for a big total.

With Dhapola virtually unplayable, Uttarakhand could go all out to finish the match inside two days.

Brief scores: At Dehradun: Himachal 49 in 16.3 overs (Deepak Dhapola 8/35, Abhay Negi 2/5) vs Uttarakhand 295 for 6 in 65 overs (Jiwanjot Singh 45, Aditya Tare 91 n.o., Abhay Negi 48 n.o.; Rishi Dhawan 3/52).

At Sovima: Nagaland 166 for 9 in 62 overs (Chetan Bist 64; Pradipta Pramanik 5/43) versus Bengal.

At Cuttack: Haryana 306 for 5 in 90 overs (Nishant Sindhu 142 n.o.; Rohit Sharma 55) versus Odisha.

At Vadodara: Uttar Pradesh 225 for 7 in in 91 overs (Priyam Garg 52, Akshdeep Nath 57 n.o; Bhargav Bhatt 3/81) versus Baroda.

Samarth’s ton drives Karnataka to 294/3 against Goa

Opener R Samarth’s fine knock of 140 and his century partnerships with skipper Mayank Agarwal and Vishal Onat powered Karnataka to 294/3 against Goa in their Ranji Trophy Group C match on Tuesday. Agarwal won the toss, opted to bat and provided a strong start for the team by adding 116 runs with Samarth. The two looked untroubled against the Goa attack and completed a century stand after a cautious start.

Agarwal appeared set for a big score before he fell LBW to Lakshay Garg for 50, which included five boundaries and two sixes.

Samarth and Onat (73 batting, 172 balls, 9 fours) built on the platform provided by the opening partnership and piled on the Goa bowlers’ misery.

The home team attack comprising Arjun Tendulkar, Garg, Darshan Misal and Mohit Radkar was taken to the task by Samarth and Onat.

Samarth raced to a ton and was batting on 120 at tea. He added 20 more runs to his score before being dismissed by Tendulkar (1 for 30). It was a third straight first-class century for Samarth, after having done so against Services and Puducherry in previous games.

The promising S J Nikin Jose (9) fell to left-arm spinner Darshan Misal (1 for 73) in the 86th over. Onat and the experienced Manish Pandey (8 batting) ensured that no further wickets fell before stumps were drawn on day one.

At Thumba, Kerala ended the day at 100 for 2 after having dismissed Chhattisgarh for 149 in under 50 overs with the experienced spinner Jalaj Saxena picking up five wickets.

Brief scores: Karnataka 294 for 3 in 90 overs (R Samarth 140 (238 balls, 14 fours), Vishal Onat 73 batting, Mayank Agarwal 50) vs Goa.

At Thumba: Chhattisgarh 149 all out in 49.5 overs (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 40, Mayank Yadav 29 not out, Jalaj Saxena 5/48) vs Kerala 100 for 2 in 38 overs (Rohan S Kunnumal 32, Rohan Prem 29 batting).

At Puducherry: Rajasthan 333 for 9 in 82 overs (Manav Suthar 95 batting (87 balls, 8X4, 5X6), Deepak Hooda 94 (128 balls, 8X4, 4X6)) vs Pondicherry.

At Jamshedpur: Services 326 for 6 in 90 overs (Rajat Paliwal 76, M S Rathee 60 batting, Rahul Singh Gahlaut 60, Sufiyan Alam 58, Anukul Roy 3/60) vs Jharkhand.

Tamil Nadu pacers restrict Delhi to 212/6 on Day 1

In-form Dhruv Shorey blew away an opportunity to score his third successive hundred in as many innings as Tamil Nadu restricted hosts Delhi to 212 for six on opening day of a Group B Ranji Trophy game on Tuesday. Shorey (66, 168 balls) and left-handed Jonty Sidhu (57, 107 balls) added 105 runs for the third wicket but the home team could hardly dominate on a Feroz Shah Kotla track which became good for batting after the first hour and half.

But the manner in which Sidhu and Vaibhav Rawal (11) were out defending slow bouncers from pacer Sandeep Warrier (3/59 in 22 overs) was embarrassing to say the least.      Warrier and fellow seamer L Vignesh (3/42 in 19 overs) were disciplined as they bowled a probing line and hit good lengths time and again.        It was a good toss that Tamil Nadu skipper Baba Indrajith won as he rightly put Delhi into bat in cold and overcast conditions.

In fact, Vignesh, in the morning session, bowled wearing an off white woolen headgear. Opener Anuj Rawat got one from Vignesh that was pitched up and the loose shot was snapped up by Vijay Shankar at gully.

In the morning, the ball was still doing a bit and captain Yash Dhull (0) tried an ambitious square cut when Vignesh’s delivery pitched back of length and reared up. However, Dhull was unlucky as there was no edge but he was ruled out due to a poor decision by the umpire.

Shorey, buoyed by his 252 and 150 not out against Assam, was very watchful and had the stodgy Sidhu for company. They punished the loose deliveries but to be fair to Tamil Nadu pacers, they maintained discipline for sustained periods.

Warrier was particularly good with the old ball as he dismissed Sidhu with a well directed bouncer which the southpaw fended with his bat over his head and N Jagadeesan took a simple catch. But Rawal wouldn’t like to watch his dismissal. It was a slow bouncer bowled at 116 kmph by Warrier and he got into a tangle trying to save his face without gauging the pace of the delivery and simplest of return catches was gleefully accepted by Warrier.

“Last season, we didn’t try the short ball tactic that much but this year, we had decided that we need to use it,” Warrier told mediapersons after the match.

If there was one person, who would curse himself, it would be Shorey, who had done all the hardwork for the previous 167 deliveries before Vignesh mixed it up cleverly.

He bowled a few inswingers and followed it up with a nice outgoing delivery on drivable length. Playing away from his body due to lapse of concentration, the thickish edge resulted in a diving Baba Aparajith plucking one inches off the ground.

Lalit Yadav (33 batting), who hit the only six of the day off seamer Vijay Shankar and Himmat Singh (25) added 43 runs for the sixth wicket.

Tamil Nadu mainly used pacers as India international Washington Sundar (9 overs) and lead spinner R Sai Kishore (2 overs) only bowled 11 out of the 76 overs.

The credit for the dismissal of Himmat should go to Warrier as he beautifully set-up the batter with a couple of outswingers before a sharp in-cutter breached through his defences.

“I wanted to bowl an incoming delivery but I didn’t expect such huge movement,” he said.

Brief Scores: In Delhi: Delhi 1st Innings 212/6 in 76 overs (Dhruv Shorey 66, Jonty Sidhu 57, Sandeep Warrier 3/59; L Vignesh 3/42) vs Tamil Nadu.

In Mumbai: Saurashtra 1st Innings 289 in 79.1 overs (Arpit Vasavada 75, Sheldon Jackson 47; Shams Mulani 4/109) vs Mumbai 1st Innings 36/2 in 8 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 18 batting, Ajinkya Rahane 12 batting).

In Hyderabad: Assam 1st Innings 205 in 56.4 overs (Swarupam Purkayastha 83; Ravi Teja 4/53, Kartikeya Kak 3/43) vs Hyderabad 1st Innings 78/3 in 27 overs (Rohit Rayudu 22 batting, Mukhtar Hussain 2/25).

In Vizianagaram: Maharashtra 1st Innings 200 in 57.3 overs (Saurabh Nawale 70, Nitsih Kumar Reddy 5/53) vs Andhra 58/2 in 23 overs (Hanuma Vihari 15 batting).

Bihar reach 247/7 after young keeper’s maiden first-class ton

Young wicketkeeper-batter Bipin Saurabh struck his maiden first-class century as Bihar reached 247 for seven against Meghalaya on day one of their Ranji Trophy plate group match on Tuesday. At stumps, Sakibul Gani was batting on 52, while Shivam Kumar was yet to open his account at the Meghalaya Cricket Association Cricket Ground.

Rajesh Bishnoi was the most successful bowler for Meghalaya, taking four wickets for 56 runs in 22 overs.

Opting to bat, Bihar were off to a poor start, losing opener Babul Kumar in the very delivery of the match. Soon they were 14 for two as Kumar Mridul (12), having struck three boundaries in a brief stay, was dismissed by Akash Choudhary.

Sachin Kumar (52), Bipin Saurabh (107) and Gani then helped Bihar recover and close in on 250 by the end of day’s play. Only 68 overs of play was possible owing to bad light.

In the day’s other plate group game, in Rangpo, Mizoram scored 225 for seven against hosts Sikkim, with former Punjab batter Taruwar Kohli making 94 off 190 balls and local player Zothanzuala battling his way to 48 off 193 balls.

Brief scores: Bihar: 247/7 in 68 overs (Bipin Saurabh 107, Sakibul Gani 52 batting, Sachin Kumar 52; Rajesh Bishnoi 4/56) vs Meghalaya.

Mizoram: 225/7 in 90 overs (Taruwar Kohli 94, Zothanzuala 48) vs Sikkim.

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