Left-arm spinner Varun Khanna claimed an eight-wicket haul as Punjab defeated Railways by an innings and 126 runs in their Ranji Trophy clash on Sunday to move to the top of Group B.
Varun finished with career-best figures of 8/97 as Railways, who had resumed their second innings at 125/5 on the final day, were dismissed for 282 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Overnight batsman Arindam Ghosh was the best performer for Railways as he remained unbeaten on 98. He added 50 runs alongside Arnab Nandi (33) before the latter was caught and bowled by Khanna. That put paid to Railways’ hopes of forcing a draw as the rest of their batsmen proved unequal to the task.
In Group A, a gritty Assam held defending champions Karnataka to a creditable draw in Guwahati. The hosts were boosted by an unbeaten century from Arun Karthik. Resuming at the overnight score of 30/1, Assam were in trouble at 40/3 at one stage. But Karthik and Gokul Sharma (55) rescued the situation. Karthik remained unbeaten on 115. His 258-ball innings was studded by 15 boundaries and three sixes.
Meanwhile in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh rode on a six-wicket haul by pacer B. Ayyappa to hold Mumbai to a draw in Group B. Ayyappa claimed figures of 6/71 as Mumbai, who had resumed their first innings on 158/5 were all out for 237. The hosts the rode on some fine batting by Prasanth Kumar (59), Mohammad Kaif (49) and Srikar Bharat (43) to post 176/3 in their second innings by the end of the final day’s play.