Vidarbha enter Ranji quarters; MP, Punjab close in
New Delhi, Jan 2: Vidarbha became the first team to seal a Ranji Trophy quarterfinal spot after thrashing Mumbai by an innings and 145 runs within three days of their penultimate league game, even as Madhya Pradesh and Punjab also registered comprehensive victories in their respective Round 8 games on Tuesday.
Vidarbha ended Mumbai’s chances of reaching the knockouts after a clinical bowling performance from the spin trioka of Aditya Sarwate, Akshay Wakhare and Akshay Karnewar — who had accounted for all the 20 Mumbai wickets. In response to Vidarbha’s first innings total of 511, Mumbai could only manage 252 and 113 in their two innings.
Madhya Pradesh also inched closer to a knockout berth, after outclassing Himachal Pradesh by 141 runs to move to the third spot on the points table, while Punjab too strengthen their quarter-final bid with a 10-wicket mauling of Kerala.
Elsewhere, Bihar also kept their dreams alive with an innings and 216-run win over Mizoram, while gritty half-centuries from Shubham Khajuria and Parvez Rasool helped Jammu and Kashmir register their third win by beating Assam by four wickets.
In the Plate table, Nagaland grabbed their second win of the season after beating neighbours Arunachal Pradesh by an innings and 120 runs. With just 3 points in their kitty, Arunachal now occupy the penultimate spot in the table above Mizoram.
Meghalaya look set for an outright win over Sikkim after posting a record 826/7 — the joint fifth highest total in Ranji Trophy history — before declaring their innings. They later restricted the Sikkim side at 72/2 at stumps.
Gujarat batted themselves to safety, taking a 315-run first innings lead and later reduced Maharashtra to 137/6 at stumps.
Hyderabad were 33/0, after conceding a 231-run first innings lead against Andhra’s massive score of 502/7, courtesy centuries from Ricky Bhui (129) and KS Bharath (178).
Having scored a massive 513/8 and gaining a 269-run first innings lead, Rajasthan left Goa reeling at 199/4 at stumps while the Services rode on Vikas Hathwala’s unbeaten 115 to take a 240-run lead over Odisha, who were off to a steady 64/1 start at the close of play.
Bengal reached 18/0 at stumps while chasing a massive 322, after paceman Ashoke Dinda’s fifer helped them bowl Delhi out for 301 in their second essay.
Tripura were 146/2 at stumps, trailing Jharkhand’s first innings total by just 10 runs while Chhattisgarh reached 113/4 at stumps against Karnataka, who had earlier bowled out the opposition for 283 to take a 135-run lead in the first innings.
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