Jaipur: Rajasthan rode on Pankaj Singh's five-wicket haul to set Saurashtra a challenging target of 306 to win their Group A Ranji Trophy match, after declaring the second innings at 234 for nine on the penultimate day here on Monday.
Saurashtra were 11 without loss in their chase with openers Shitanshu Kotak and Sheldon Jackson batting on nine and two respectively. The visitors need 295 runs on the final day on Tuesday in a minimum of 90 overs - with all wickets intact - for a win on K L Saini stadium wicket which seems to have eased out.
Saurashtra, who resumed at their overnight score of 213 for seven, were bundled out of 228 in their first innings losing the wickets of Sandip Maniar (22), Kamlesh Makvana (54), Jaydev Unadkat (2 not out) and Siddharth Trivedi (5). Right-arm pacer Pankaj shone with the ball grabbing five for 61, while Rituraj Singh picked up three for 57. Sumit Mathur and Sourabh Chouhan chipped in with a wicket apiece.
Rajasthan, who led Sautashtra by 71 runs in the first essay, saw opener Sourabh Chouhan (73) hit by a bouncer from Maniar in the second over of their second innings and was retired hurt. A little later, skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (0) was castled by Maniar when the left-handed batsman tried to play across the line.
Vineet Saxena (65) and Ashok Menaria (46) then combined well and stitched a 93-run partnership for the third wicket to consolidate Rajasthan's position. After the departure of two batsmen, Chouhan returned to the crease and scored a fine 135-ball 73 to take the hosts past 200-run mark. He was removed by Chirag Jani but not before the Udaipur-born batsman had struck six fours and three sixes. The home team declared once Rituraj Singh was run out for 11.
Brief scores: Rajasthan 299 and 236 all out (Chouhan 73, Maneria 46, Unadkat 3 for 50); Saurashtra 228 and 11 for 0 (Kotak 9 batting, Jackson 2 batting).
Mumbai vs Madhya Pradesh:
In Indore, in a desperate bid to notch up their first outright win this season, Mumbai batsmen batted with lot of purpose as the 39-time champions took their overall lead to 252 against Madhya Pradesh.
Courtesy Wasim Jaffer's 67 laced with 13 fours and Aditya Tare's quickfire 42 off 44 balls after being promoted to open the innings, Mumbai finished the day at 191 for five. This was after Mumbai ensured a 61-run first innings lead by bowling out MP for 244 with the final five wickets falling for 46 runs.
Overnight not out batsman Satyam Chaudhary added three runs to his overnight score of 73 before he was done in by a slower from rival skipper Ajit Agarkar who took a simple return catch.
Anand Rajan got a very bad decision from umpire Nand Kishore who adjudged him caught behind when the ball was nowhere near his bat. Javed Khan then polished the No 10 and 11 in a flash to give Mumbai a chance. As of now, Agarkar might go for a sporting declaration which will give his bowlers enough time to enforce an outright result from this game.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 304 and 191 for 5 (Wasim Jaffer 67, Aditya Tare 42, Ishwar Pandey 2 for 63). MP 244 all out (Satyam Choudhary 76, Harpreet Singh 50, Abhishek Nayar 3 for 46, A Agarkar 3 for 54). Mumbai take 252 run lead.
Gujarat vs Punjab:
In Valsad, Manprit Juneja cracked a patient 79 as Gujarat scored 232 in their second innings against Punjab on the penultimate day at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium. Juneja hit seven boundaries in his 169-ball innings to anchor the Gujarat innings after they bowled out the visitors for 268 in their first innings. Gujarat had scored 266 in their first innings.
Resuming at an overnight score of 227 for seven, Punjab's first innings folded when Uday Kaul was caught by Jesal Karia off Rush Kalaria's bowling after adding 30 runs to his overnight 63. In their second innings, Gujarat were 24-2 in 14.4 overs when Juneja came into bat and along with skipper Parthiv Patel tried to steady the ship, adding 63 runs for the third wicket.
But Parthiv was dismissed by Amitoze Singh in the 27th over and in the next over Sarabjit Ladda accounted for Y Venugopal Rao to reduce the hosts to 96 for four. Juneja held on to one end but wickets kept tumbling on the other as Gujarat further plummeted to 148-7. Juneja added another 61 runs for the eight wicket with Kalaria (not out 33), before becoming a victim of Ladda.
Ladda was the highest wicket-taker for Punjab as he scalped four, while S kaul and Gurkeerat Singh snapped a couple of wickets each.
Brief Score: Gujarat: 266 & 232 all out in 68.5 overs (Uday Kaul 93; Rakesh Dhruv 3 for 51); Punjab 268 all out in 68.5 overs (MC Juneja 79; S Ladda 4 for 112).
Hyderabad vs Railways:
Hyderabad were poised to earn three points on the basis of taking the crucial first-innings lead against Railways. By stumps on the third and penultimate day at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad had extended their lead to 254 runs after reaching 130 for six in their second innings.
In reply to Hyderabad's first-innings total of 337, Railways could manage just 213 despite finishing the second day yesterday at a comfortable 145 for two. 27-year-old off-spinner Amol Shinde was Hyderabad's wrecker in chief, finishing with impressive haul of five for 78.
Skipper Sanjay Bangar was Railways' top scorer with a knock of 43 but their batsmen's inability to convert the starts hit them badly. The visitors kept losing at regular intervals, helping Hyderabad to gain the upper hand. When the stumps were drawn, Sundeep Rajan and Akash Bhandari were batting on 14 and 16 respectively.
Karan Sharma was the best bowler with figures of three for 59.
Brief scores: Hyderabad 1st Innings: 337 and 130 for six in 56 overs overs (Bavanaka Sandeep 33; Karan Sharma 3 for 88) Railways 1st Innings: 213 all out in 92.4 overs (Sanjay Bangar 43, Amit Paunikar 41; Amol Shinde 5 for 78).
(With inputs from agencies)