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Karnataka in driver's seat against Saurashtra

Last updated on: December 28, 2008 20:58 IST

A round-up of the third day's action of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final ties on Sunday.

Report: Day II

Karnataka in driver's seat against Saurashtra

Rahul Dravid scored a patient half-century as Karnataka took a handy first innings lead of 116 runs and then pegged back Saurashtra with double strikes in their quarterfinal tie.

Chasing 325 for a win, Saurashtra were 10 for two wickets at stumps with opener Bhushan Chauhan (6) and Sitanshu Kotak (0) at the crease.

Earlier, Karnataka recovered from 13 for two to post 208 in the second innings, mainly due to a watchful 52 from Dravid and an attacking 56 by Balchandra Akhil to leave Saurashtra three overs to bat out towards close.

Saurashtra were rocked back by Vinay Kumar's double strike in the first over. The Karnataka pacer sent back opener Chirag Pathak and nightwatchman Kamlesh Makwana without any runs against their names.

In the morning, Karnataka needed just 10 minutes and 12 balls to terminate Saurashtra's first innings at 189, after the latter had commenced at their overnight 183 for nine in reply to their rivals' total of 305. 

Jayesh Odedara was the last man out at his last evening's score of five, bowled by debutant left arm pacer S Aravind. 

Left-arm swing bowler Sandeep Jobanputra struck two quick blows, on way to taking five wickets, when Karnataka began their second innings. A stand of 68 runs between Dravid, who batted for 193 minutes and struck four fours, and C Raghu (26) revived them.

Akhil, who hit eight fours in his 127-ball knock, batted with the lower order to help the last four wickets add 73 runs and help Karnataka set Saurashtra a stiff run-chase.

Saurashtra left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja snared four wickets to add to his first innings tally of five.

Mumbai five wickets away from win

Mumbai firmly placed themselves in the driver's seat in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Himachal Pradesh having  educed their opponents to 200 for five in their second innings on the third and penultimate day of their match in Ahmedabad.

Mumbai resumed their first innings at 405 for six and were all out for 495 and then left Himachal trailing by huge 245-run margin at Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera. 

At close, Paras Dogra (82) and Sarandeep Singh (2) were at the crease for Himachal and are left with a daunting task to erase the deficit and save the match. 

India discard Ajit Agarkar shone for Mumbai with both ball and bat as he first completed his half-century and then took two wickets in his team's success. 

His entertaining innings ended at his individual score of 50 when Jitender Mehta castled him but not before hitting five fours and one six. 

Later he went on the claim two wickets in the Himachal's second innings, putting Mumbai in a comfortable position.      Himachal needed a good start to make up for the poor bowling performance but that eluded them as they lost their star batsmen Bhavin Thakar cheaply for mere 4 runs in the third over.

Vineet Indulkar, who joined opener Sangram Singh after departure of Thakar, played some impressive shots but could not convert a good start into a big innings.

He was caught by Jaffer off Ramesh Powar after scoring 24 runs from 67 balls and hitting five boundaries.  

Battle is on in Bengal-Tamil Nadu tie 

The Ranji Trophy Super League quarter-final between Bengal and Tamil Nadu was heading towards an exciting finish as both the teams were locked in a interesting bat and ball contest.

Bengal have got an overall lead of 173 runs with six wickets remaining as they got a 39-run lead after Tamil Nadu first innings folded for 306 on the penultimate day of the four-day match.

Bengal were 134 for four in their second innings with skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (43) and Ritam Kundu (17) at the crease.

Earlier, Tamil Nadu were all out for a respectable 306 having resumed the day at 188 for five in reply to Bengal's first innings total of 345.

It was for some astonishing powerful batting by Laxmipati Balaji which helped Tamil Nadu cross the 300-run mark. The former India medium pacer made a useful 47 down the order and hit five sixes in his cameo to bring his team back in contention. 

At the start Tamil Nadu's overnight unbeaten Suresh Kumar (75) and R Ashwin (29) could not stay together for long as Ashwin was run out after adding just six runs to his previous night's total. 

Suresh however completed his half-century and shared important 64-run stand with for the seventh wicket with C Ganapathy (24) to stave off the danger and early collapse.

However, once Ganapathy returned to hut and Suresh fell at the same score, it looked Tamil Nadu innings will fold in no time but Balaji ensured they reach a respectable total. 

Bengal's first innings centurion Manoj Tiwari made 42 before Shukla and Kundu steadied the ship when they were struggling at 95 for four.

UP on top against Gujarat

A half century from Tanmay Srivastava (67) helped Uttar Pradesh reach 289 for eight in their second innings and virtually shut Gujarat out of the game in Vadodara.

Uttar Pradesh, having taken a 188-run first innings lead, were 477 runs ahead with two second innings wickets in hand when the stumps were drawn on the third day at Motibagh ground.

Visiting captain Mohd. Kaif (46) and Suresh Raina (31) were the other main contributors for the last year Ranji runners-up team. 

At the close of  play, Praveen Gupta was batting on 30 and Amir Khan giving him company on 29. The visitors though batted slowly yielding 213 runs from 90 overs today and losing seven wickets in the process.

It will now be an uphill task for the home team to chase down a formidable fourth-innings total and having conceded the first innings lead to their opponents. 

Resuming at their overnight score of 76 for one, Uttar Pradesh batsmen were not given a free hand by off-break bowler Mohnis Parmar who returned 4 for 93 and left-arm medium pacer Ashraf Makda (2 for 46).

Praveen and Amir Khan shared a valuable unbeaten 60 runs for the ninth wicket to frustrate Gujarat's plan to bowl out Uttar Pradesh.

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