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Ranji Trophy, Super League, 2008-09

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ROUND ONE, DAY 3 Delhi v Punjab, Ranji Trophy Super League, Delhi, 3rd day Delhi find a saviour in Bhatia Arjun Sen New Delhi Delhi 434 for 8 (Bhatia 99, Chopra 76, Bisht 76, Dhawan 72, Manhas 58) lead Punjab 391 by 43 runs 06_11_2008_021_010_008.jpgScorecard EVERY TEAM has the stars, the big names, precociously talented players who have the innate ability to make the sport look ridiculously simple, remarkably elementary But, often, a team, no matter how big on star-value, has to fall back on the foot soldier: the grafters rather than the gifted. With the likes of Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Mithun Manhas, the Delhi batting line-up is undoubtedly one of the best. When the top four fire, Delhi go on to score big, when their shots pierce the field and race to the fence, Delhi are on a roll. But what when the shots find the fielders, the edges go to hand, instead of falling short, what when things don't go to plan? The man for such situations is Delhi's utility man, Rajat Bhatia. And that is exactly the kind of situation they found themselves in on the third morning of their Ranji Trophy match against Punjab at the Roshanara Club. The hosts, resuming on 142/0, lost four wickets within 17 runs and were precariously placed at 172/4 after 11 overs of hostile fast bowling from Punjab. However, they fought back through a 150-run stand between two of the lesser-celebrated batsmen in the team, Bhatia (99) and Puneet Bisht (76). They ended the day on 434/8, a lead of 43, and three points seemingly in the bag. But it looked like a very different story for Delhi when MS Gony trapped Chopra in front off the third over of the morning. Chopra's partner Shikhar Dhawan fell two overs later, caught at slip off Gagandeep Singh. Bad turned worse when Yuvraj Singh brilliantly caught Virat Kohli at second slip for 6. With Aditya Jain going in the following over, Delhi found themselves tottering at 172/4. The Punjab bowlers were well and truly on top, and hadn't it been for a counterattacking 48-ball 58 from Mithun Manhas, Gony and Co. might well have driven home the advantage. Once Manhas went, lbw to Siddharth Kaul, the responsibility of leading the fightback fell on Bhatia. And, like so many times in the past, Bhatia answered his team's call. He took his time to consolidate and then, once had set his eye in, took the shots out of his armoury. He found the boundaries with the least bit of effort, and ran hard between the wickets. The Punjab bowlers tried everything - including Yuvraj Singh's left-arm spin - but fell short. The pair grew in confidence with time. With his bowlers not looking like taking a wicket, Punjab skipper Pankaj Dharmani wasted little time in asking for the new ball. But it took a spinner in Sarabjit Ladda to break the stand when he trapped Bhatia just one run short of a ton. Delhi had taken the lead by the time Bhatia fell, and though Bisht and Sangwan fell off consecutive deliveries, the hosts had done enough to assume a position from where losing seems to be out of the question. And they know who to thank. Mumbai v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy Super League, Brabourne Stadium,3rd day Rohit century puts Mumbai on brink of victory The Bulletin by Nagraj Gollapudi November 5, 2008 Rajasthan 204 and 63 for 4 (Kulkarni 2-16) trail Mumbai 307and 305 for 7 dec (Rohit 128, Kukreja 83, Pankaj 4-83) by 346 runs Scorecard 305621.jpgRohit Sharma scored his hundred in one session Rohit Sharma cracked a century in one session to put Mumbai in pole position for chasing 409, Rajasthan tottered at 63 for 4 at stumps on day three. With a cushioning first-innings lead of 103, Mumbai extended it further on the back of Rohit and Sahil Kukreja's 171-run stand and declared at tea. It was a slow beginning for Mumbai in the morning as Rajasthan delivered four maidens in the first half hour. This included the wicket-maiden from Pankaj Singh, who forced Amol Muzumdar to edge an easy catch to slip. But Rohit broke the shackles, cover-driving and pulling his way to three fours in Pankaj's third over. His aggression rubbed off on Kukreja, who came up with a wristy on-drive for his first four. In Pankaj's next over Rohit came up with the shot of the day: the ball came in after pitching on length and he flicked it like a paint brush on canvas to square-leg boundary. He finished the over with three more fours on the off side. Rohit's first eight scoring shots came in boundaries. Like in the first innings, Rohit stroked his way to a half-century but his this time he looked more imposing and dangerous. The Rajasthan bowlers, unlike on the opening day, lacked pace as well as movement. To make matters worse they were bowling to the batsmen's strengths. Even spinners Gajendra Singh and Ashok Meenaria failed to make use of the ample turn off the pitch which Ramesh Powar had exploited the previous day. Gajendra was struggling to find any loop and was replaced after a five-over spell by the Meenaria, a part-time legspinner. Rohit moved closer to his century with two fours and a six against him. After a few anxious moments in the 90s Rohit pulled Gajendra with ease over midwicket to his second century for Mumbai. Rajasthan finally managed to remove Kukreja and Rohit after lunch but the game was already out of their hands. Mumbai bowlers showed no mercy; Dhawal Kulkarni, who had bagged a maiden five-for in the first innings, struck in his first over when Vineet Saxena, Rajasthan's top scorer in the first innings, decided to leave alone what he imagined was an outgoing delivery. Instead it darted in and knocked the bails off. Nikhil Doru was dropped on 5 by Wasim Jaffer but he failed to make use of the life as he was trapped plumb on his back leg by Usman Malvi. Then Rajasthan lost their key batsman Venugopal Rao, who edged an away-going delivery from Kulkarni only to be caught brilliantly at gully by Ajinkya Rahane, diving to his wrong side. Powar removed Shubhanshu Vijay, who tried off an off break that climbed on him and was caught at short leg. With an entire day's play in hand Mumbai will aim to wrap up matters quickly as Rajasthan stare at a big defeat. TN vs Maharashtra ,Ranji Trophy Super League, Nasik, 3rd day Shrikande misses double century Maharashtra 401 for 7 (Shrikhande 195, Jadhav 63, Ashwin 3-68, Suresh 3-114) trail Tamil Nadu 648 for 3 dec Scorecard Ameya Shrikande led Maharashtra’s riposte to Tamil Nadu’s massive first innings total for close to eight hours but paid a heavy price for a folly he made in the last half hour in their Ranji Trophy super league encounter at the old golf course ground here on Wednesday. Five short of a memorable double century, he took a chance with a reverse sweep off off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and was declared caught. Out of sheer frustration he pointed his shoulder to the umpire, but later admitted that he was wrong to have done so. Ashwin dismissed two more Maharashtra batsman for Tamil Nadu to get a whiff of gaining the first innings points. At 401 for seven, the host is close to a hundred runs away from avoiding the follow on. With the surface likely to decline on the fourth and final day, Maharashtra has a task at hand to prevent Tamil Nadu from leaving with full points. Doughty After its steady progress on Tuesday, Shrikande and Rohan Bhosale continued doughtily. Bhosale blocked one end for 55 minutes and just added one run to his overnight 42, but helped the second wicket partnership swell to 125. A half hearted horizontal bat swipe at left arm spinner C. Suresh resulted in the left hander’s dismissal. The watchword was defence for Shrikande and new batsman Kedar Jadhav. Tamil Nadu resorted to a 7-2 field for Ashwin and 6-3 field for Suresh. Two men were posted behind square on the on side inviting the right hander’s to top-edge a sweep. After a rousing 130-run stand for the third wicket, Jadhav (63, 120b, 10x4s, 1x6) fell for the trap, his massive swing taken by Palani Amarnath a few metres from the fence at deep square leg. Hat-trick denied Immediately Suresh won an appeal for leg before against Maharashtra captain Nikhil Paradkar for a duck. Surrounded by six fielders, Ankit Bawne stretched forward to defend the next delivery and denied a hat-trick to Suresh. The second new ball failed to produce a wicket with Suresh sharing the ball with Laxmipathy Balaji. Maharashtra needed the pair to survive the last session. But Shrikande’s lapse triggered a mini-collapse. Bawne and Deepak Shilamkar fell immediately to give Tamil Nadu a chance to force a win on Thursday. Karnataka vs Railways, Ranji Trophy Super League, Bangalore, 3rd day Railways 340 for 7 (Goud 109*, Bangar 84, Ali 52) trail Karnataka 365 by 25 runs Scorecard 2008110652421801.jpgTURNING IT AROUND: Yere Goud revived Railways’ fortunes with an unbeaten hundred at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday. Yere Goud often grimaced in pain, ran his singles gingerly and yet stayed firm. His unbeaten 109 helped Railways roar back in the Ranji Trophy super league Group ‘B’ match against Karnataka at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Wednesday. At close on the third day, Railways was 340 for seven in reply to Karnataka’s 365. With Goud still around, Railways is on course to snatch the first innings lead and the host bowlers will have to do something dramatic to alter the equation. Goud’s knock has so far contained 10 fours and three sixes. Resuming at 110 for four, Railways cruised through the morning session and skipper Sanjay Bangar’s run-out for 84 was the lone blemish. After Bangar and Goud tided past the opening spells of seamers Vinay Kumar and N.C. Aiyappa who relied on the short-pitched stuff to prise out wickets, the duo eased their shoulders and legs against the spinners. Bangar drove C. Raghu for four and then lofted one over long-on as the off-spinner was forced to opt for a flatter trajectory. Mix-up Goud and Bangar largely relied on rotation of strike to keep their 75-run fifth-wicket partnership going with the odd big shot spicing up the proceedings. However, Goud refused a third run off Sunil Joshi even as Bangar kept charging down and Aiyappa’s throw left the Railways’ captain stranded. Perhaps piqued by the needless run-out, Goud clouted Joshi for three sixes before catching some breath while getting medical attention for a muscle spasm. The 36-year-old Goud buckled down and though his running between the wickets was a bit laboured, he never flagged and stitched a crucial 46-run sixth-wicket partnership with Mahesh Rawat. Southpaw Raja Ali (52) then partnered Goud in an 109-run seventh-wicket stand that was replete with inside-out drives and cuts against the spinners. Vinay dismissed Ali off the day’s last delivery but with Goud at the crease and Murali Kartik set to come in, Railways is better placed. Gujarat vs Saurashtra, Ranji Trophy Super League, Rajkot, 3rd day Saurashtra 153 (Jadeja 48, Trivedi 5-44, T Patel 3-32) and 74 for 5 (Parmar 3-6) trail Gujarat by 354 runs Scorecard A victory seems evident for Gujarat, who need only five Saurashtra wickets on day four to pull off an innings win over last year's semi-finalists in Rajkot. Offspinner Mohnish Parmar took 3for 6 and Saurashtra stil trail by 354 runs to Gujarat's 581. Siddharth Trivedi added another wicket to his four on yesterday when he bowled Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored two triple-centuries in a week last month, in the first over of day three. Sandip Maniar's half-century partnerships with Pratik Mehta and Ravindra Jadeja gave Saurashtra a brief respite from the wicket-falling but it took only 10 overs after Maniar's dismissal for the innings to fold. Considering their appalling start in the first innings, where they were 8 for 4 in 10 overs, Saurashtra's start to the second innings was almost decent. In 9.4 overs they were 52 for 3, with Parmar removing Jadeja and Pujara off consecutive balls. He dismissed captain Jaydev Shah two overs before stumps and ended with figures of 13-9-6-3. Hyderabad vs Orissa, Ranji Trophy Super League, Cuttak, 3rd day Orissa concedes first innings lead Hyderabad 296 and 56 for 1 (Rushi Raj 33*, Ravi Teja 22*) lead Orissa 269 (SS Das 80, Jayachandra 43, Shinde 3-24, Shoaib 3-50) by 83 runs Scorecard Orissa failed to understand the importance of discretion and lost two crucial wickets in the process and conceded a vital 27-run first innings lead to Hyderabad on the third day of the four-day Elite Group ‘A’ Ranji Trophy league match at the Barabati Stadium here on Wednesday. In reply to Hyderabad’s first innings total of 296, Orissa folded up for 269 in its first essay. At stumps, Hyderabad was 56 for the loss of opener T. Suman, who incidentally bagged a pair. Crucial dismissals Two dismissals influenced the outcome of the game decisively. First it was the run out of captain Shib Sundar Das and much later the dismissal of P. Jayachandra when Orissa had come pretty close to Hyderabad’s total. The Orissa skipper saw Preetamjit Das back in the pavilion early in the day but he and wicketkeeper Haladhar Das were just settling down when disaster struck. Haladhar played a ball from M.P. Arjun towards a vacant square-leg and saw his senior partner charging down for a single. As the Hyderabad wicketkeeper rushed to retrieve the ball, Haladhar sent his captain back and S.S. Das failed to beat the throw to the bowler’s end. When asked whether his junior partner should have sacrificed his wicket in favour of a well-settled batsman the captain said: “These things happen in cricket.†At that point S.S. Das was batting beautifully on 80. Despite this and the fall of four more wickets for the addition of 88 runs, an injured Jayachandra, playing with a runner, was in total control of the situation in the company of last man Basant Mohanty. The pair needed 49 runs to take the lead. It added 21 runs in 39 balls when Jayachandra 43 (235m, 139b, 3x4) went for an impulsive hook off S.M. Shoaib and was out at the stroke of tea. Even though Arjun had earlier dropped Jayachandra (when on 14) at fine-leg off Shoaib, the Orissa all-rounder repeatedly kept attempting that shot. Andhra vs UP, Ranji Trophy Super League, Meerut, 3rd day Kaif, Tanmay in big partnership Uttar Pradesh 345 for 4 (Srivastava 154, Kaif 144) trail Andhra 349 by four runs Scorecard A RECORD 285-run third-wicket partnership between Mohammed Kaif and Tanmay Srivastava helped last year's runners-up Uttar Pradesh near about manage first innings lead against Andhra on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy match here on Wednesday. Kaif, who had emerged the highest run-getter for UP last season, hammered a sparkling 144 off 307 deliveries with the help of 18 boundaries as UP finished the day on 345 for 4. He was trapped leg-before by Andhra speedster P. Vijay Kumar while flicking a rising delivery just five overs before schedule close. 250201.jpgMohammad Kaif scored 144 for UP against Andhra Giving Kaif staunch support at the Bhamashah Cricket Ground was Youth World Cup star Tanmay Srivastava who took UP out of trouble with a superb 154 before giving a simple catch to A.G. Pradeep at point off Israel Raju on the last ball of the day. Ravikant Shukla was batting on 5. It was a rare treat for the jampacked stadium here on Wednesday as both Kaif and Tanmay left the Andhra bowlers struggling for a wicket almost the entire day after resuming at the overnight score of 76 for 2. Showing great temperament on a deteriorating pitch, both batsmen put the Andhra bowlers to the sword and hammered them all over the ground. Two wickets in the dying minutes of the day's play were the only consolation for the visitors. Disappointed at being ignored for the Challenger Series, Tanmay, who had emerged the highest run-getter in India's triumph at the ICC Youth World Cup earlier this year, began the day in style. He cut, drove and pulled the Andhra bowlers, and never allowed them to settle into a rhythm. His 154-run knock came off 334 balls with the help of 16 fours. He along with Kaif added 285 runs for the third-wicket, which was the highest partnership for the former champions in over a decade.

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ROUND ONE, DAY 4 Delhi v Punjab, Ranji Trophy Super League, Delhi, 4th day Delhi garner important points Arjun Sen New Delhi Punjab 391 and 140 for 3 drew with Delhi 519 (Bhatia 99, Bisht 76, Chopra 76, Dhawan 72, Manhas 58, Nanda 56) 07_11_2008_023_007_013.jpgScorecard FAST bowler at slips, a strictly part-time offie bowling before the genuine spinner, and an astonishing 25 overs bowled in an hour of play! The final day's play in the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Punjab had a touch of the bizarre. With chances of a result as good as over, the purpose of the cricket was all about trying new things and gaining some practice. And that is just what both teams did. Delhi, resuming on 434/8, stretched their lead with a determined half-century from Chetnya Nanda (56). The hosts were finally dismissed for 519. With hopes of a Punjab win, however remote, resting on a swift end to the Delhi innings, the Punjab bowlers bowled their overs at an amazing pace, as many as 25 overs were sent down in the first hour of the day The Delhi tail however stood firm. They had stretched the lead to 128, when Nanda was adjudged lbw to Gagandeep Singh. The only point of interest in the Punjab innings was Yuvraj Singh. The stylish southpaw had lasted only six balls in the first innings, and everyone at the Roshanara Club wanted to see a Yuvraj special in the second. For Delhi's new skipper, Aakash Chopra, it was a chance to try out a few things ahead of the long season. He tried as many as eight bowlers, including himself in the 49 overs Punjab's innings lasted. The difference in Chopra's approach was evident pretty early when he threw the shiny new ball to the younger, faster Pradeep Sangwan instead of Amit Bhandari. Chopra brought himself on as second change in the 14th over, trying his off-breaks to break an excruciatingly slow stand between openers Karan Goel (22) and Ravi Inder Singh (27). Bhandari broke the 39-run stand, trapping Goel in the 19th over of the innings. It was a wicket which almost everyone was glad to see as in walked Yuvraj. Starting circumspectly Yuvraj took a while to get into his groove. But when he did, it was a joy to watch. He drove with majestic grace and lofted with disdain, hitting six boundaries and two towering sixes in his 44- ball 38. He lost his wicket while trying to cut one from Nanda that was too close. Yuvraj gone, the match went on till the minimum number of overs were completed. Though not the desired result, Delhi do have a few positives to take from this match along with the three points - none more than the determination the lower order displayed with the bat. Hyderabad are next, and Delhi know they might not be able to afford more dropped points. Mumbai v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy Super League, Brabourne Stadium,4th day Mumbai complete convincing win The Bulletin by Nagraj Gollapudi November 6, 2008 Mumbai 307 (Rahane 73, Rohit 62, Jaffer 60) & 305 (Rohit 128, Kukreja 83, Pankaj 4-83) beat Rajasthan 204 (Saxena 76, Kulkarni 5-40, Powar 5-44) & 171 (Khoda 40, Kulkarni 4-48, Powar 3-26) by 237 runs Scorecard 376716.jpgSairaj Bahutule's first game on returning to Mumbai after playing for Maharashtra in the past three seasons wasn't a memorable one Mumbai scored a convincing 237-run victory against Rajasthan to start their campaign on an ominous note. Rajasthan's top order had crumbled meekly on the previous evening and there wasn't much resistance from the rest as they crumbled to 171. Dhawal Kulkarni took four wickets in the second innings to finish one short of becoming the second Mumbai bowler (after Suru Nayak) to take ten wickets on debut. Kulkarni once again struck early in the day. He had taken his maiden wicket off the third ball of the game and got one with his first delivery on Thursday; Ashok Menaria, the only left-hander in the Rajasthan squad, didn't move his feet against a good-length delivery that nipped in off the seam and struck him on the front pad. Mumbai's bowlers strayed a bit thereafter, allowing the last specialist batting pair of Gagan Khoda and Robin Bist to delay the victory. Barring Kulkarni, the quick bowlers pitched it short, giving the batsmen enough time to play their shots. More surprising was Wasim Jaffer's move to spread the field instead of setting attacking ones to wrap the match up. Better sense soon prevailed and the fielders moved in, drying up the runs. An hour before lunch Usman Malvi, who had failed to hit a consistent length till then, found his rhythm and got rid of Bist and Khoda in consecutive overs. With the pitch offering assistance, Malvi aimed at a fuller length to make the batsmen play. Bist nicked an away-going delivery to slip and Khoda's decision to play across to an in-cutter resulted in an easy leg-before decision. Mumbai quelled the tail's resistance immediately after lunch and secured the five points. Both teams will play away games from December 10 with Mumbai travelling to Surat to face Gujarat while Rajasthan clash with Punjab. Though Mumbai would be happy with their performance, they still have a job on their hands in both the batting and bowling departments. Rohit Sharma's departure to play the ODI series against England will create a big hole in the middle order. Rohit had scored a splendid century on the third day, which followed his first-innings half-century. His belligerent batting after Mumbai had lost three quick wickets in the second innings crushed Rajashtan's spirits; it showed he could shoulder the responsibility in pressure situations. Jaffer admitted Rohit's absence would be a big loss and his "energy and exuberance" would be missed. What would worry the Mumbai think-tank is the brittle form of the senior-most batsman in the side, Amol Muzumdar, who looked out of touch in both innings. Mumbai will also hope Sairaj Bahutule, who returned to play for his home state after playing for Maharashtra for the past three seasons, finds his rhythm quickly. Bahutule was innocuous on a pitch where Ramesh Powar, his fellow spinner, picked eight wickets. Jaffer, though, wasn't concerned too much. "When you play five bowlers one would be under-bowled and since Ramesh [Powar] was bowling well I couldn't give Sai [bahutule] the ball," Jaffer said. Jaffer was also confident Ajit Agarkar, who also went wicketless in the game, would improve with more overs behind him. Agarkar didn't play any competitive cricket apart from one game in Mumbai's Police Shield after he undergoing a hernia operation during the off season. TN vs Maharashtra ,Ranji Trophy Super League, Nasik, 4th day Paradkar, Jadhav keep TN at bay Maharashtra 457 (Shrikhande 195, Jadhav 63, Suresh 5-122) and 250 for 6 (Jadhav 95, Paradkar 92, Suresh 2-83) drew with Tamil Nadu 648 for 3 dec Scorecard Maharashtra adopted bold tactics and held Tamil Nadu to an honourable draw in the Ranji Trophy Super League match that concluded at the old golf course here on Thursday. In deficit by 191 runs on the first innings, Maharashtra’s top order fell to the spinners before its captain Nikhil Paradkar (92, 127b, 12x4s, 4x6s) and Kedar Jadhav (95, 184b, 11x4s, 2x6s) produced a stroke-filled 164-run stand for the fourth wicket that dashed the hopes Tamil Nadu may have had of opening its account this season with five points from an outright win. After the visitors’ bowlers were blunted on a featherbed, Tamil Nadu had to settle for three points for first-innings lead while Maharashtra pulled out one. There was plenty of action when the first session of the fourth and final day’s proceedings began. Left-handed tail-ender Samad Fallah hit L. Balaji four times in a single over. Aditya Dole, who had occupied the crease over an hour, smashed a six and the last wicket pair managed to bring the deficit to under 200. Following on, opener Harshad Khadiwale gifted his wicket dancing down the pitch while on one, and thereafter Rohan Bhosale and Ameya Shrikande fell playing shots. Then, Paradkar, who was on a pair, and Jadhav occupied the crease for nearly three hours — and kept the scoreboard ticking too — facing an attack reliant mainly on off spinner Ashwin and left hand spinner C. Suresh. Both batsmen had their share of luck — the skipper was dropped by P. Amarnath at deep mid-on and Suresh spilled an offering from Jadhav off his own bowling. Maharashtra used the full quota of 15 mandatory overs in the last hour in order to provide the lower order some batting practice ahead of its second round match against Andhra set to start here next Monday. Karnataka vs Railways, Ranji Trophy Super League, Bangalore, 4th day Railways 389 (Goud 122*, Ali 52) and 17 for 2 drew with Karnataka 365 and 127 (Anureet 6-49) Scorecard 2008110755222001.jpgON CLOUD NINE: Anurit Singh rocked Karnataka with a six-wicket haul. A meandering draw bustled into a life as Karnataka lost wickets in a heap and Railways made a belated pursuit of a stiff target. In the end, Railways had to content with a 24-run first innings lead and the resultant three points, while Karnataka eked out a lone point after the Ranji Trophy super league Group ‘B’ match ended in a draw at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday. The fourth day’s morning session centred on Railways pursuit of the first innings lead which it notched up with ease as overnight centurion Yere Goud (122 n.o., 351b, 12x4, 3x6) maintained his vigil, while Harvinder Singh (22) swung his bat around. Railways scored 389 and an academic final day’s play made slow progress until the Karnataka batsmen collapsed in the second innings. Anurit scalps six Sanjib Sanyal scalped openers B. Chipli and K.B. Pawan. Immediately seamer Anurit Singh (six for 49) steamed in with some reverse swing, castled Ganesh Satish and Thilak Naidu and forced Robin Uthappa into popping up a catch. Though C. Raghu (33 n.o.) held one end up, the tail never wagged and Karnataka was bundled out for 127. Strangely Railways never showed urgency when the host batsmen wilted and left-arm spinner Murali Kartik bowled late in the day. Railways needed 104 from the day’s last nine overs but after scoring 11 for two in its second innings, opted for a draw. Karan fined Meanwhile, Railways’ Karan Sharma was fined 10 per cent of his match fee for excessive appealing. Gujarat vs Saurashtra, Ranji Trophy Super League, Rajkot, 4th day Gujarat kick off season with emphatic win Cricinfo staff November 6, 2008 Gujarat 583 for 6 dec (Thaker 192, Timil 104*, Sunny 90*) beat Saurashtra 153 (Jadeja 48, Trivedi 5-44, T Patel 3-32) and 201 (Dhurv 52*, Parmar 4-50, Makda 3-51) by an innings and 227 runs Scorecard Rakesh Dhurv delayed it with 11 fours in an unbeaten 52, but Gujarat finally sealed a thumping innings-and-227-run win over Saurashtra. At 74 for 5 in the second innings, trailing by 354 runs, Saurashtra needed a batting effort far different from what they managed on the previous two days. 338077.jpgSiddharth Trivedi took seven wickets in the match to give Gujarat an innings win It was nearly eight overs when Siddharth Trivedi struck the first blow, removing Sandip Maniar for 3 - the team score was 95. Pratik Mehta and opener Kanaiya Vaghela added 32 in 15.3 overs. Mehta was bowled by Ashraf Makda for 28, and Trivedi got Vaghela soon after. Vaghela's 36 came off 188 balls, lasting nearly four-and-a-half hours at the crease. Mohnish Parmar removed Sandeep Jobanputra, but Gujarat were frustrated by the last-wicket pair of Dhurv and debutant Jayesh Odedra, who played out 66 deliveries for his 10. Amit Singh's lone wicket of the innings ended the match. The win gave Gujarat six points, an emphatic way for the promoted team to kick off the season. Hyderabad vs Orissa, Ranji Trophy Super League, Cuttak, 4th day Hyderabad gains three points Hyderabad 296 and 263 for 5 (Rushi Raj 56, Pai 53) drew with Orissa 269 Scorecard Hyderabad garnered three points off its drawn Ranji Trophy Elite group ‘A’ match against Orissa, thanks to its 27-run first innings lead, to launch its National championship campaign on a positive note here at the Barabati Stadium on Thursday. Ravaged by an exodus of players to a rebel tournament, Hyderabad just about escaped relegation last season and its effort to rebuild the side this season looks to be on course. The visiting side, which was let down by brittle batting last season, seems to have found the batsmen who could provide stability in the middle-order this time around. Among runs Hyderabad batsmen, with the exception of opener T. Suman, were among runs in the second innings. This should bode well for the side as it will take on Delhi next at home. D. Ravi Teja scored an attractive 42 (157m, 110b, 5x4) while debutant D. Rushi Raj compiled a fine 56 (204m, 137b, 5x4), his maiden half-century. S. Anoop Pai’s disciplined 53 (151m, 126b, 6x4) got him the second 50 of the match. Skipper N. Arjun Yadav scored a flamboyant 41 (116m, 110b, 6x4, 1x6). When play was called off, wicketkeeper Abhinav Kumar was on 24 and birthday boy Amol Shinde on 31. A disappointed Orissa captain, Shib Sundar Das, blamed poor fielding on the opening day as the reason for his team’s failure to gain the lead. Orissa coach Venkatapathy Raju said the 53-run partnership Hyderabad built for the eighth wicket between Abhinav Kumar and Pragyan Ojha made the difference in the final outcome. Orissa, which earned just a point, will travel to Rajkot to play Saurashtra next. Andhra vs UP, Ranji Trophy Super League, Meerut, 4th day Kaif, Tanmay in big partnership Andhra 349 and 130 for 2 (Watekar 65) drew with Uttar Pradesh 412 (Srivatasva 154, Kaif 144, Suresh 5 for 80) Scorecard ANDHRA OPENERS, Hemal Watekar (69) and L.N.P. Reddy (45), negotiated the Uttar Pradesh bowling attack with aplomb in the second innings as their opening Ranji Super League Group B match ended in a draw here. After the Mohammed Kaif-led UP took the first innings lead in the second over of the final day to guarantee three points, the two Andhra batsmen guided their team to 130/2. Finally play was called off by mutual consent. Earlier, despite losing Piyush Chawla for a duck on the first ball of the day, UP added the required five runs to their overnight 345 for 4 to take the first innings lead. Their innings finally folded up for 412. With just a 63-run lead and more than two sessions of play left, Kaif tried his best to infuse some excitement into the match, putting his key bowlers into action, but to no avail. Like in the first innings, both Watekar and Reddy kept the UP bowlers at bay. A strong on-side player, Watekar struck consecutive boundaries off Tyagi before tea, and thereafter, cut Chawla for successive fours. Watekar, who along with Reddy had scored almost 1,000 runs last season, then went on to score his maiden half-century of the season. He brought up his 50 with a back-foot drive off Praveen Kumar His 69 runs were embellished with 12 boundanes.

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I'll post Akash Chopra's blog here on the first round of Ranji matches so that it might give a perspective of a player and the skipper of a side, who is playing in the tournament: Safe and sorry 326378.jpgBoring last days in drawn matches lead to such scenes © Cricinfo Ltd The first round of the Ranji Trophy threw up only a few outright results. Most of the games petered out into dull draws, and the teams that got the first-innings lead were happy with the outcome of their opening match. A lot of teams choose to be more conservative in their first few games just to get their bearings right. And it reflects in the way they prepare the track for the game, their approach, and intent especially while batting. We have seen, in the ongoing India-Australia series, that the pitch plays an important role in deciding the outcome even if the bowling attacks have enough quality to take 20 wickets. The batting has been of high quality, but the pitches have played their role in the draws. That is never the case in domestic cricket. Each side has only about a couple of genuine wicket-taking bowlers. It takes more than two such bowlers to take 20 wickets, including help from the track. Another interesting factor during the first round was the scoring-rates. We all keep a close eye on how the other teams are faring, especially the ones in our group. The scores were almost identical, with the scoring-rate hovering around three an over. Our game – against Punjab – was no different. Since we had already played a couple of games this season and our team has a settled look, we tried to produce a result-oriented pitch with a lot of grass on the surface. The idea was to give enough to the quicker bowlers to make an impact. With Punjab also relying heavily on their seam bowling, it was a gamble. With our strong batting line-up, we were ready to punt. Unfortunately the pitch didn't offer half as much as we'd expected. After the first hour or so, it turned out to be a rather good batting surface. The scoring-rate never went past three an over, and on a good batting surface with a quick outfield, it made for some not-so-pleasant viewing. I would give the batsmen the benefit of doubt since it's the first match of the season, and they are just being more cautious, which is only to be expected. The approach also depends on how you are placed in the team. If you are trying to make a mark and cement your place, your approach is more risk-free, and if your place is certain and your feet are moving well, you play with aggression and flair. Punjab, like most teams would, just batted and batted without actually doing the damage in terms of runs, or at least not in the same proportion to the amount of time spent at the crease. They never shifted gears, and not once did they even attempt to dominate the attack, even when their batsmen were well set. Once the team has batted nearly 140 overs in a four-day game, the other team must bat very badly to produce an outright result. And we didn’t bat badly, so the draw was inevitable. Even though we maintained a healthy run-rate of about four throughout our innings, there was never enough time to force a result. The last day of the game was just a formality, and it makes me wonder if we could do away with this kind of boring last days. Only the batsmen stand to benefit from that phase of play. They might just get a first-class century, which would add up to their season's tally, but those figures are often misleading. More importantly there shouldn't be an easy first-class century for anyone. With nothing to play for on the last day, I wouldn't blame the bowlers for not putting in the desired effort. I tried as many as eight bowlers in order to give my main bowlers much-needed rest: the next game starts in three days’ time. Perhaps the next round will produce more entertaining cricket, and with that more results. Cheers --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The pitch condition in India is really worrying. The newly laid pitches are flatter than the ones we had earlier and don't give adequate help to even spinners, forfet the seamers! Along with that they are extremely slow with no bounce at all and even the spinners are not getting that sharp quickish turn which they used to get 4 years back before they were relaid.

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Cheteshwar Pujara 302* + Ravindra Jadeja 232* = 520*. New world record for the fifth wicket and the 10th biggest partnership in first class cricket. Previous 5th wicket record : 464* Waugh & Waugh

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Pujara is on fire at the moment Some other notable performances Rajasthan batting is looking clueless against Punjab bowlers Gagandeep Singh ripping through them in both innings Jaffer got out straight away in the morning on 172 Kulkarni picked up another 4 out of the 6 wickets to fall P Kumar gets 5 I Pathan gets 5 btw who is I S Pathan from Baroda we now have I K Pathan, I S Pathan and Y Y K Pathan lol Sangwan gets 4

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Oh sorry guys. I'm a bit late in the round up this time. I'll do it for day 1 today. But I'll put a preview first.: Tamil Nadu better placed in south Indian derby Sidharth Monga November 10, 2008 318057.jpgS Badrinath (centre) might make a comeback to the Tamil Nadu side, but Dinesh Karthik (right) will continue to lead © Cricinfo Ltd The days of 20,000 spectators coming to watch the prime rivalry in south India are gone, with both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu depleted in terms of talent, but once the teams are on the field there is still some needle. There might not be many to watch their Group B Super League match, starting tomorrow at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, but the few who come would want to see some of the same intensity. Tamil Nadu had a better first match of the two, with their openers putting up 462 runs against Maharashtra. M Vijay, the double-centurion, went on to open for India, while Abhinav Mukund, the 18-year-old left-hand batsman, scored an unbeaten 300. Tamil Nadu, though, failed to take 20 wickets after that, something that doesn't bother them much. "It was a very flat wicket," WV Raman, their coach, said. He was pleased with L Balaji's comeback to first-class cricket - he had missed the last season because of a back injury, and bowled 32.2 overs for two wickets on an unhelpful Nasik pitch. Vijay is likely to be replaced by Arun Karthik, who will be making his first-class debut. The other change to their team could be the inclusion of S Badrinath, who has been dropped from India's ODI squad, if he can make it to Bangalore in time for the match. Dinesh Karthik, however, will continue to lead the side. Badrinath was not the only uncertainty for the Tamil Nadu team, though. They reached Bangalore under the impression the match would be played at the Rajinder Singh Institute Ground, but until the morning before the match they were not sure if the game had been shifted to the Chinnaswamy. Karnataka, though, have more issues to address. In their first match, a home game against the recently-promoted Railways, they wasted a good start, going from 191 for 1 to 286 for 7, and then getting bowled out for 365. Their bowlers had Railways down at 110 for 4, but that was when the experience of Yere Goud, Sanjay Bangar and Raja Ali prevailed to get Railways a first-innings lead. Experience is what Karnataka lack, Vijay Bharadwaj, their coach, reckons. "First innings are very important in Ranji Trophy, and we need to do better in our first innings," he said. To rub it in, Karnataka folded for 127 in the second innings, an effort that didn't cost them an outright result but would have dented their confidence further. There were positives in that match - Robin Uthappa, the captain, scored a century on the first day, and debutant Manish Pandey scored 64 from No. 7. "But I would want others in the middle order to score runs too," Bharadwaj said. "There is a temptation to push Pandey up the order, and also to play an extra bowler." Karnataka had gone with seven batsmen in the first game. The pitch at the Chinnaswamy could have enough help for the bowlers to produce an outright result, something Bharadwaj is aware of. "Three points will be a satisfactory result, but this is a result-orientated pitch," he said. "And our first target is to beat Tamil Nadu." If both the teams come with the same attitude, given a good pitch, we have an interesting match on our hands. Teams (from) Karnataka:: Robin Uthappa (capt), KB Pawan, C Raghu, Bharat Chipli, Ganesh Satish, Thilak Naidu (wk), Manish Pandey, Sunil Joshi, R Vinay Kumar, NC Aiyappa, Sunil Raju, Sreesanth Arvind, M Gautam, Deepak Chougule, NV Prasad. Tamil Nadu:: Dinesh Karthik (capt/wk), Abhinav Mukund, Arun Karthik, R Srinivasan, R Prasanna, S Vidyut, Suresh Kumar, R Ashwin, C Suresh, L Balaji, Yo Mahesh, P Amarnath, Ganapathy, KH Gopinath, S Badrinath.

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ROUND TWO , DAY 1 Karnataka v Tamil Nadu, Ranji Trophy Super League at Bangalore, 1st day Arun Karthik puts TN on top The Bulletin by Sidharth Monga November 10, 2008 Tamil Nadu 325 for 4 (AB Karthik 149, Vidyut 115*, Vinay 2-48) Scorecard Tamil Nadu's romance with debutants continued. Abhinav Mukund scored a century on debut last year and in the absence of M Vijay, who had to leave the last match mid-way to go open for India, Arun Karthik, playing his first first-class match, rescued his team - struggling at 51 for 3 - in an incredibly positive manner to run Karnataka ragged. To assist him at the other end was an experienced campaigner in S Vidyut, playing his ninth season. By the time Arun finally got out for 149 off 189 balls, the two had added 246 in 358 balls, and Karnataka lost the initiative Vinay Kumar had given them in the first session. Tamil Nadu won the toss and batted on a pitch that would surely assist spin, and hence it was important for Karnataka to get off to a good start. Vinay Kumar and Bharat Chipli gave them just that, getting consistent away swing in the first session. Mukund, fresh from a triple-century, followed a delivery angled away from Vinay to let them in. S Badrinath, dropped from the Indian ODI team, came back to play a tentative 7. He survived a sharp caught-and-bowled chance off Chipli, and two close lbw shouts off Vinay before hanging his bat out to an outswinger from Kumar. A controversial dismissal followed. Dinesh Karthik drove the first ball Sunil Joshi bowled into the boot of KB Pawan at silly point and it lobbed off to Deepak Chougule at cover. The Karnataka fielders started celebrating right away, and the umpire ruled Karthik out, but the batsman was not pleased with the decision. He stood his ground, and when told to walk off, he did so reluctantly. Three wickets had fallen in the space of 27 runs, and the advantage the toss brought seemed to be fading away. But once Vidyut joined Arun, Karnataka started being pushed out of the match. The spinners - as many as four of them in the side: Vinu Narayanan was brought in for NC Aiyappa - got purchase even in the first session. As soon as the 23rd over, Thilak Naidu collected one in front of his face, but the spinners were hit out of the attack by an aggressive Arun. Vinu, the other debutant in the match, was welcomed with a slog-sweep over midwicket. Joshi was hit over the infield twice before Sunil Raju was introduced. Raju got big turn from the pitch, but that didn't put Arun off his aggressive ways. Arun slog-swept Raju twice in the 26th over to reach his half-century, with ten boundaries and a six, and in only 52 deliveries. There were no signs of slowing down either. Defensive fields ensued in the post-lunch session. Raju bowled from round the stumps, with a 7-2 leg-side field - the wicketkeeper standing outside leg stump - but Arun still swept him to the square-leg boundaries. Karnataka were soon caught short of bowling options, and imagination. On 90, Arun got his chance when Ganesh Satish misjudged a catch at fine-leg boundary, and didn't come in fast enough. Soon Arun reached his century with a pull off Vinay. The hundred came off 115 deliveries, 70 in boundaries. The Tamil Nadu camp was pleased as punch, and relieved too. The applause went on for about two minutes, sort of making up for the lack of spectators. Vidyut, from the other end, provided the wise hand. He hogged the strike in the initial stages, seeing off the Vinay threat, and not letting the scoring stagnate at the same time. Especially impressive was his use of feet to spinners. When he stepped out, he took long strides, and got right to the pitch of the ball, and cleared the infield with ease. He reached his half-century just after lunch; it took 122 balls and included six boundaries and a six. At that point of time, he had faced 122 deliveries, while Arun, opener, had faced only 115. In the middle session, he took charge of the scoring, and moved from 26 to 95. Tamil Nadu didn't lose a wicket in that session, as only C Raghu could keep the scoring-rate down. Vidyut brought up his century with a straight six, which went to the tier above the press box. And after Arun finally fell - to the shot he had lived by, the sweep - in the 77th over of the day, Vidyut shut shop. He scored only four runs after that, but made sure he went unbeaten into day two. Karnataka took only four minutes more than the stipulated six hours to bowl their 90 overs, a commendable over-rate going by the prevailing standards both in Ranji Trophy and Test cricket. But the over-rate was the only thing they got right after the early-morning burst by Vinay Kumar. How they were out Mukund: Vinay Kumar, after bowling a string of outswingers, got one to angle across the left-hand batsman, and Mukund edged it to second slip. Badrinath: After an uncomfortable 26-minute stay at the wicket, Badrinath hung his bat out to an outswinger, starting just outside the off stump, and got an edge. Dinesh Karthik: Drove into the boot of KB Pawan at silly point, and it lobbed up to the substitute, Deepak Chaoughule, at cover. Karthik didn't look pleased with the decision. Arun: Fell finally to a sweep, this one getting a top edge to deep fine-leg boundary. Punjab v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy Super League at Mohali, 1st day Gagandeep and Gony dismiss Rajasthan cheaply Cricinfo staff November 10, 2008 Punjab 115 for 2 (Sohal 66*) trail Rajasthan 133 (Yadav 41*, Gagandeep 4-37, Gony 4-39) by 18 runs Scorecard Twelve wickets fell on day one in Mohali after Gagandeep Singh and Manpreet Gony tore through Rajasthan's batting order and then Punjab lost two wickets as they looked to wipe out the first-innings deficit. Gagandeep was the first to strike when he removed Shubhansu Vijay and Nikhil Doru in the space of four balls. Rajasthan looked set for a collapse at 9 for 2. That is what followed when Gony had Vineet Saxena caught behind for 9 and two balls later did the same to Venugopal Rao. There was no respite for Rajasthan as the two seamers struck thrice in four overs to reduce them to 22 for 7. None of the top six reached double figures with three of them falling for ducks. Robin Bist led a brief revival by adding 28 with Pankaj Singh after which he lent support to No. 10 Vijay Yadav, whose unbeaten 41 was the innings' highest score. Yadav took Rajasthan past 100 after left-arm spinner Amol Kakkar had Bist caught for 39. But Gony ended his fight when he dismissed last batsman Gajendra Singh with 133 on the board. Sunny Sohal, the Punjab opener, scored half of that in the 36 overs the hosts batted before stumps. Batting with Uday Kaul, after Pankaj Singh picked up two wickets, Sohal will look to go past Rajasthan early on day two. Mumbai vs Gujarat, Ranji Trophy Super League at Surat, 1st day Mumbai 327 for 2 (Jaffer 172*, Rahane 104) v Gujarat Scorecard The situation was completely different at Surat's Lalbhai Contractor Stadium where Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane made the Gujarat bowlers toil away all day while they took Mumbai to an imposing 327 for 2. In their last match, Gujarat's bowlers, led by Siddharth Trivedi, bowled Saurashtra out of the game to hand their side an innings win. But today Trivedi went wicketless and his 16 overs went for 53 runs. Jaffer added 218 with Rahane and another 104 with Amol Muzumdar after his opening partner Sahil Kukreja was lbw to Ashraf Makda for a duck in the fourth over. Gujarat had to wait 57.2 more overs before they got their second wicket - Timil Patel had Rahane stumped for 104. After his dismissal, the run-rate, which had been at nearly four an over, slipped below three and a half. Jaffer scored 88 of his 172 in boundaries; Gujarat used seven bowlers in trying to stem the flow of runs. Other POV MUMBAI MUST be lucky to be in the position they are right now. On a pitch that begged of the batsmen to make the most of it, Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel won the toss and invited Mumbai to bat. Captain Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane gobbled up the opportunity and raised 218 for the second wicket, helping Mumbai to 327 for two in the Ranji Trophy Super League Group ‘A’ clash. Parthiv might have been prompted to bowl as the pitch had dampness on it initially. But such assistance prevailed for the first hour or so in which left-arm medium-pacer Ashraf Makda trapped Sahil Kukreja leg before by bringing one in sharply after beating him repeatedly with away going de liveries. This was Kukreja’s second successive first innings failure. This success in the first 15 minutes seemed to have supported Parthiv’s decision. But, as it panned out, with Rahane and Jaffer batting with total freedom and with the ball coming beautifully onto the bat, the decision looked odd. Rahane and Jaffer have sown the seeds of Mumbai batting Gujarat out of the match. None trailed the other by a distance. Parmar, who imitates Muttiah Muralitharan with his run up and action but is no patch on the Sri Lankan, was trusted upon by Parthiv to provide a breakthrough. He was given a lengthy opening spell of 15 overs but went for nearly four an over. He tried bowling from round the wicket, packing the on side with seven fielders. But Jaffer was cleverer, reverse sweeping the youngster for successive fours. Amol Muzumdar, who flopped against Rajasthan, returned to form. scoring 43. Uttar Pradesh vs Baroda, Ranji Trophy Super League at Vadodara, 1st day Uttar Pradesh 3 for 1 trail Baroda 235 (Solanki 71, Praveen Kumar 5-71) by 232 runs Scorecard Uttar Pradesh's bowlers, led by Praveen Kumar, also toiled for 90 overs but returned better results than Gujarat's by bundling out Baroda for 235. Praveen picked up 5 fof 71 but it was legspinner Piyush Chawla who gave UP the timely breakthroughs which included the wicket of Rakesh Solanki, the innings top scorer with 71. Solanki's partnership with Shatrunjay Gaekwad was blossoming at 48 when Chawla bowled Gaekwad for 18. Then when Solanki was trying to herd the tail-enders along, Chawla had him stumped with the score on 235. Praveen had slowed Baroda down with two early wickets - Satyajit Parab (22) and Azharuddin Bilakhia (40) - before he returned to wrap up the tail. UP batted for three overs, in which they lost Ashish Kapoor - bowled by Irfan Pathan - for a duck. At stumps Tanmay Srivastava was batting with Praveen Gupta. Another POV UTTAR PRADESH seamer Praveen Kumar was all smiles after seeing a fair bit of grass on the Motibaug Palace Ground pitch on Monday morning. He knew at once the turf had made his day. On Day One of the four-day Group ‘B’ Super League Ranji Trophy match, the paceman returned this season’s first fivewicket haul to help UP gain an upper hand against hosts Baroda, restricting them to 232. In reply, UP too had a bad start with Irfan Pathan uprooting the middle stump of opener Anshul Kapoor (0) off the fourth ball of the innings as the visitors finished the day on three for 1. At stumps was unbeaten on 2, while Praveen Gupta had yet to open his account. It was a good toss to win for UP skipper Mohammed Kaif, who opted to field in order to make full use of the ground conditions. Praveen Kumar complemented his skipper’s decision by snaring the wicket of Satyajit Parab. The opener edged a simple catch to Praveen Gupta at point. Thereafter, Praveen had danger man Azhar Bilakhia (40, 6x4) caught by Tanmay Srivastava at second slip just after lunch. Baroda were 95 for 2 at lunch and heading for a big score with stylish southpaw batsman Rakesh Solanki in full form. But Kaif ’s ploy of frequently changing the bowlers didn’t allow Baroda batsmen to settle down. Praveen Gupta took two crucial wickets, while Sudeep Tyagi, had allrounder Irfan Pathan going for duck. Thereafter, it was the turn of Piyush Chawla, who also took two vital wickets to rub more salt into the wounds of a struggling Baroda batting line-up. Hyderabad vs Delhi, Ranji Trophy Super League at Hyderabad, 1st day Hyderabad 247 for 5 (Pail 102*, Abhinav 76) v Delhi Scorecard Anoop Pai anchored Hyderabad's innings with a patient unbeaten 102 after the first three wickets fell for 58 and at stumps the hosts reached 247 for 5 against Delhi. Pradeep Sangwan bowled D Ravi Teja in the second over and Ashish Nehra followed it up by bowling T Suman in the seventh. D Rushi Raj, who scored a half-century on debut in the previous match, batted 70 balls for his 28 and added 38 with Pai before being caught off Sangwan. Pai briefly upped the run-rate at Rushi Raji's fall by scoring at more than seven an over in adding 46 (off 35 balls) with Arjun Yadav (9). The revival began in earnest, even though the run-rate plummeted to 2.44, when Abhinav Kumar joined Pai at the crease. The two added 134 together before Abhinav was trapped leg before off Rajat Bhatia late in the day. His 186-ball 76 included nine fours while Pai's 239-ball innings had 11. Another POV IT WAS the 27th over of the Hyderabad innings when the first tremors of what turned to be a day's cricket in which Delhi’s credentials as worthy defenders of their Ranji crown looked shaky . Ashish Nehra had started his eighth over when he felt his right hamstring. The look of concern was writ large on Delhi skipper Aakash Chopra’s face and his worst fears came true when Nehra pulled up after his next delivery. The scoreboard might read Hyderabad only 247/5 at the end of Day One but Delhi must have been alarmed by the ease with which Anoop Pai (102*) and Ab hinav Kumar (76) took Hyderabad out of troubled waters. It was this 134-run stand that was the base for the hosts’ eventual score. The day started with promise for Delhi. Ravi Teja fell in the second over when the ball trickled on to the wicket off his pads. It looked gloomier for the hosts when T.Suman was cleaned up by Nehra while trying an expansive drive in the seventh over. When Parwinder Awana removed Arjun Yadav (9) in the 30th over, Delhi were within one wicket of the Hyderabad tail. That wicket, however, came in the 85th over of the day when Abhinav was adjudged lbw to Rajat Bhatia. Abhinav and Pai showed great application and ability to, first consolidate what could have been a precarious position at 104/4, and then build a partnership of note. Application was something the Delhi bowlers, however, lacked. Apart from opening spells from Nehra and Sangwan the tourists looked alarmingly off-colour. Chopra changed his bowlers around in the hope of procuring a wicket, even bowling himself, but Pai and Abhinav resisted. They batted for more than two hours to put their team on way to a challenging Delhi’s formidable batting with a fighting total. None of the bowlers looked up for the fight on a placid wicket. They bowled either too wide or too short. Nehra is the man Delhi will be looking at for the wickets when the chips are down, and his absence hurt Chopra. Pai and Abhinav were dogged in their approach and were determined to fight it out. It wasn’t a pretty partnership, they played and missed, they went for long periods without scoring, but they did not stop trying. Bhatia has the almost innate ability to get a crucial wicket and break a stand, and once again it was Bhatia who did that. With Abhinav gone, the onus was on Pai to steer the Hyderabad ship to the end of the day without any more casualties. And he did just that. He reached his century with a quick two and found an able ally in M P Arjun to see out the last few overs. IT WAS the 27th over of the Hyderabad innings when the first tremors of what turned to be a day's cricket in which Delhi’s credentials as worthy defenders of their Ranji crown looked shaky . Ashish Nehra had started his eighth over when he felt his right hamstring. The look of concern was writ large on Delhi skipper Aakash Chopra’s face and his worst fears came true when Nehra pulled up after his next delivery. The scoreboard might read Hyderabad only 247/5 at the end of Day One but Delhi must have been alarmed by the ease with which Anoop Pai (102*) and Abhinav Kumar (76) took Hyderabad out of troubled waters. It was this 134-run stand that was the base for the hosts’ eventual score. The day started with promise for Delhi. Ravi Teja fell in the second over when the ball trickled on to the wicket off his pads. It looked gloomier for the hosts when T.Suman was cleaned up by Nehra while trying an expansive drive in the seventh over. When Parwinder Awana removed Arjun Yadav (9) in the 30th over, Delhi were within one wicket of the Hyderabad tail. That wicket, however, came in the 85th over of the day when Abhinav was adjudged lbw to Rajat Bhatia. Abhinav and Pai showed great application and ability to, first consolidate what could have been a precarious position at 104/4, and then build a partnership of note. Application was something the Delhi bowlers, however, lacked. Apart from opening spells from Nehra and Sangwan the tourists looked alarmingly off-colour. Chopra changed his bowlers around in the hope of procuring a wicket, even bowl- ing himself, but Pai and Abhinav resisted. They batted for more than two hours to put their team on way to a challenging Delhi’s formidable batting with a fighting total. None of the bowlers looked up for the fight on a placid wicket. They bowled either too wide or too short. Nehra is the man Delhi will be looking at for the wickets when the chips are down, and his absence hurt Chopra. Pai and Abhinav were dogged in their approach and were determined to fight it out. It wasn’t a pretty partnership, they played and missed, they went for long periods without scoring, but they did not stop trying. Bhatia has the almost innate ability to get a crucial wicket and break a stand, and once again it was Bhatia who did that. With Abhinav gone, the onus was on Pai to steer the Hyderabad ship to the end of the day without any more casualties. And he did just that. He reached his century with a quick two and found an able ally in M P Arjun to see out the last few overs. Andhra vs Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy Super League at Nasik, 1st day Andhra 262 for 6 (Watekar 142, Fallah 5-65) v Maharashta Scorecard The honours on day one in Nasik belonged to Maharashtra, for whom Samad Fallah, a left-arm medium-pace bowler, took five out of the six Andhra wickets to fall, including that of centurion Hemal Watekar. Fallah was in the thick of things right from his first over when he had opener Prasad Reddy caught for a duck. When he trapped Y Gnaneswara Rao leg before for 16, Andhra stumbled to 39 for 2 in 15 overs. But Bodapati Sumanth gave able support to Watekar with a 93-ball 45 and the two added 91 before Sumanth was run out. More help was on the way in the form of Satykumar Verma, who contributed 45 to the 116-run stand. When he fell, lbw to Fallah, Andhra were still well-placed at 246 for 4. But it turned around in the penultimate over of the day: off his first ball Fallah got Watekar to edge to the keeper and off his last he had D Kalyankrishna dismissed the same way for a duck. He will hope to better his best figures - 6 for 49 - on day two of his seventh first-class game. Another POV Samad Fallah and Hemal Watekar were stand-out performers at the old golf course ground here on Monday. While Maharashtra left-arm seamer Fallah (five for 65) rocked Andhra, Watekar calmed the nerves of an anxious Andhra dressing room with a splendid 142 (268b, 22x4), his third century in the Ranji Trophy. Thanks to Fallah’s three-wicket strike in a space of 13 balls with the second new ball claimed in the 85th over, Maharashtra returned to the pavilion in a chirpy mood having managed to bring down Andhra from 246 for three to 262 for six wickets on the opening day of the super league match. Andhra suffered heavily in the last half an hour with both Watekar and A.K.S. Verma falling to the crafty left-armer. Fallah struck the first blow off the last ball of his second over by removing L.N.P. Reddy and at the stroke of the first drinks interval trapped Gnaneswara Rao plumb in front. Andhra’s third wicket pair of Watekar and Bodapati Sumanth efficiently repaired the early damage and dominated the bowling with a flurry of front-foot shots. Sumanth was in control firmly driving Harshad Khadiwale for three fours in an over. Andhra had advanced positively from 130 for three to 246 when Maharashtra took the second new ball and staged a fine comeback with Fallah getting rid of Verma, Watekar and D. Kalyankrishna. Saurashtra vs Orissa, Ranji Trophy Super League at Rajkot, 1st day Saurashtra 274 for 4 (Pujara 128*) v Orissa Scorecard Cheteshwar Pujara shrugged off a poor first game to score his eighth first-class century and at stumps the Orissa bowlers would have left the Khandheri Cricket Stadium in Rajkot in an apprehensive mood for they were unable to break his 173-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja. Last month Pujara scored triple-centuries in a week at the same venue while participating in the CK Nayudu Under-22 tournament. Today when he came to the crease, Saurashtra were at 26 for 2 and two overs later they lost another wicket with only one run added to the total. Pujara began the rescue effort, helped by Shitanshu Kotak, who batted nearly two hours for his 37. The two scored at two and a half an over before Kotak was trapped lbw when Saurashtra were at 100. Jadeja's arrival improved the situation - the run-rate increased to nearly four - and they added 173 in 286 balls. Pujara, who spent more than five hours over his 128, hit 16 fours, while Jadeja (71) hit eight.

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ROUND TWO , DAY 2 Karnataka v Tamil Nadu, Ranji Trophy Super League at Bangalore, 2nd day Vidyut and Suresh Kumar keep TN in control The Bulletin by Sidharth Monga November 11, 2008 Karnataka 82 for 1 trail Tamil Nadu 531 (Vidyut 193, Suresh Kumar 90, Joshi 4-136) by 449 runs Scorecard S Vidyut, who has a first-class century batting at No. 11, punished the lacklustre Karnataka bowlers ruthlessly on day two at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Beating his personal best and missing his first double-century by seven runs, Vidyut took Tamil Nadu to a position from where they could seriously control the game. With their captain Robin Uthappa on a drip - he spent more than half of day one off the field because of a viral fever - Karnataka's inexperienced batting line-up faced a tough task of getting close to Tamil Nadu's huge first innings, their second 500-plus score in a row. They batted resolutely to play out 27 overs for the loss of one wicket. Vidyut resumed the second day in the same fashion as he had left off yesterday - cautiously after a violent mid-day assault. In the first six overs of the day, he scored only four runs. Once Karnataka took the new ball, and he got used to it, Vidyut unleashed his power hitting. R Vinay Kumar, Karnayaka's most effective bowler, was hit for two boundaries in his second over with the new ball. This Karnataka attack lacked so much in depth that a batsman only needed to see off Vinay, and Vidyut did that without incident. From the moment the spinners came on, Vidyut and Suresh Kumar, the overnight partner, tucked into them. Mid-way into the first session, seven continuous overs went for at least a boundary or a six each. In no time, Vidyut had reached the 190s and there was no element of slogging to his assault. He stepped out to the spinners repeatedly, covering a lot of ground and reaching the pitch of the ball, and looked to hit straight with immense power. A similar shot off Sunil Joshi hit the sight screen even before the bowler could turn back and see where the ball went. Of the 94 deliveries he faced today, Vidyut scored 82, getting 52 of them in fours and sixes. His most productive shot, though, consumed him when seven short of what would have been would be a maiden double. Vidyut charged C Raghu, the most impressive of the spinners, was beaten in the flight, yet still went ahead with the shot, only for the ball to turn sharply and beat him. Suresh, from the other end, provided him with solid support. He began the day on 23 and started slowly, but once Vidyut opened his shoulders, he matched the left-hander shot for shot. He hit Vinoo Narayanan, who gave up bowling because of a cut finger, for a six, and then meted out the same to Joshi, who took over bowling from Vinoo. Those sixes came immediately after Suresh had reached his second first-class half-century. After Vidyut's dismissal, with the team score at 447, Suresh took charge of the situation. Two quick wickets fell, but for the eighth wicket he found an able ally in his namesake, C Suresh, the left-arm spinner. The two added 42 to take Tamil Nadu to 500, as Suresh reached 90. But his maiden century was not to be. He was given out lbw to Joshi and showed displeasure at the decision. Immediately, the bat went up in the air to suggest to the umpire he had hit it, and he walked off reluctantly looking back at the umpire repeatedly. C Suresh didn't give it up easily, and took the score to 531. He stayed unbeaten at 31. Karnataka's batsmen faced a huge task when they came in to bat, especially with their captain out of the picture for the time being. But Bharat Chipli, the makeshift opener, and KB Pawan started off resolutely. Chipli continued with his reputation of not being a good leaver outside the off stump, but today he managed to hit them off the middle of the bat. L Balaji and Ganapathy, the opening bowlers, failed to get any disconcerting movement either in the air or off the pitch. Chipli started off with a punched boundary off Ganapathy, and followed it up with a flash over the slips. The introduction of Yo Mahesh brought the Karnataka batsmen their first challenge, and he troubled Chipli from his first over. His away movement beat Chipli twice, but Yo Mahesh couldn't keep that attack on consistently, bowling six no-balls in four overs. Dinesh Karthik had to resort to spin, and C Suresh struck for him in his first over. For once, Chipli left a ball alone, but this one was an arm-ball that went straight. But Pawan ensured there was no further loss close to stumps, batting out more than two hours for his 23. With Uthappa not certain to come out to bat tomorrow, Karnataka will need more of such doggedness from Pawan and the rest How they were out Vidyut: Charged down the track, was beaten in the flight, and then by the sharp turn, and was stumped. Ashwin: Played back to a fullish delivery from Joshi, and missed it. Ganapathy: Went forward to defend a Joshi delivery, which spun and took the edge. Suresh Kumar: Given out lbw, but the batsman was clearly disappointed with the decision, protesting that he had hit it. Yo Mahesh: Late-cut a shortish delivery straight to slip. Balaji: Shaped to launch a wide, full one into the orbit, but edged it to slip. Punjab v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy Super League at Mohali, 2nd day Rajasthan staring at defeat Cricinfo staff November 10, 2008 Rajasthan 133 and 57 for 6 (Saxena 36*, Kakkar 3-6 Gagandeep Singh 2-2) trail Punjab 232 (Sohal 106, Gajendra Singh 4-67) trail by 77 runs Scorecard A second straight defeat looms for Rajasthan after another poor performance from their batsmen, who didn't seem to have learnt any lesson from Day 1, when they were reduced to 22 for 7. Trailing by 129, Rajasthan's second-innings performance was equally inept, and at 57 for 6 they still need 72 runs to make Punjab bat again. Gagandeep Singh and Manpreet Gony were Punjab's stars on the first day and they prised out three wickets in the first four overs in Rajasthan's second innings. Left-arm spinner Ankur Kakkar took the remaining wickets in a six-over spell of 3 for 6, and Rajasthan will now rely on their lower order, who had pushed them to 133 in their first innings, and Vineet Saxena, who's unbeaten on 36. If 12 wickets fell on the first day, there were 14 on the second. Rajasthan fought well after Punjab looked poised for a big lead at 171 for 2. Sunny Sohal scored a second century in as many games, and got support from Uday Kaul. Both batsmen, though, fell in the space of eight runs. Pankaj Dharmani and Kakkar ensured there wasn't a quick collapse, but both failed to further the advantage after adding 44 for the fifth wicket. The final six wickets fell for 49 runs. Left-arm spinner Gajendra Singh finished with four in the innings, and Venugopal Rao, the new Rajasthan captain, took two. Rao also got a pair, one of two batsmen to do so for Rajasthan - they have a total of seven ducks so far in the match. Mumbai vs Gujarat, Ranji Trophy Super League at Surat, 2nd day Gujarat 77 for 6 (Kulkarni 4-32) trail Mumbai 486 (Jaffer 172, Rahane 104, Muzumdar 61, Parmar 6-143, Makda 3-59) by 409 runs Scorecard The second day at Surat's Lalabhai Contractor Stadium also saw 14 wickets fall. Gujarat offspinner Mohnish Parmar triggered a collapse to restrict Mumbai, resuming on 327 for 2, to 486, but Dhawal Kulkarni's four-wicket burst left the hosts in a slump at 77 for 6. Kulkarni, who took 13 wickets on his Ranji Trophy debut, furthered his wickets' tally in the tournament to boost his team's chances of a win. He struck at regular intervals, with Sairaj Bahutule and Ajit Agarkar taking one wicket each. Nilesh Modi and Bhavik Thaker, unbeaten on 23, were the only two batsmen to reach double figures, and it will take a big fightback for Gujarat, who won their first game handsomely over Saurashtra, to get back into the game. Jaffer, overnight on 172, was trapped leg-before by Ashraf Makda without adding to his score, and Amol Muzumdar scored 18 more before he was out to Parmar for 61. Makda and Parmar combined for the eight Mumbai wickets on Tuesday. Six of those batsmen failed to consolidate after going past 15, but in hindsight 486 looks a winning total. Other POV Mumbai bowlers have Gujarat reeling 12_11_2008_020_001.jpgUttar Pradesh vs Baroda, Ranji Trophy Super League at Vadodara, 2nd day Uttar Pradesh 251 for 8 (Srivastava 79, Kaif 51, Praveen 38*, IK Pathan 5-70) lead Baroda 235 by 16 runs Scorecard Down to 9 for 3 in reply to Baroda's 235, Uttar Pradesh recovered to take the first-innings lead in Vadodara. Despite Irfan Pathan's 5 for 71, half-centuries for Tanmay Srivastava and captain Mohammad Kaif, and useful 30s from Ravikant Shukla and Praveen Kumar gave last season's finalists the edge. Pathan, who removed Anshul Kapoor for a duck in his first over on Monday, dismissed Praveen Gupta and Tahir Abbas off successive deliveries this morning - both were out for ducks as well. Kaif and Srivastava then revived the innings with a 122-run fourth-wicket partnership. Kaif was dismissed by left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar for 51, a patient knock that came off 174 deliveries. Srivastava was next to go, before Ravikant Shukla and Bhuvneshwar Kumar pushed them from 154 for 5 to 199 for 6. Pathan and Pawar struck to leave UP at 210 for 7, but Praveen Kumar, who like Pathan was dropped from India's ODI squad to face England, made a 30-ball 38 to help his side to the first-innings lead. Another POV Pathan scalps five, leaves UP reeling at 251/8 Irfan Pathan wrecked the Uttar Pradesh line-up with a five-wicket haul helping Baroda put the visiting side on the mat at 251 for eight in their first innings on the second day of their Ranji Trophy match on Tuesday. Irfan's precision with the ball made up for Baroda's first innings collapse in which they were all out for 235. UP had a slim 16-run lead over the hosts at the stumps. Resuming at the overnight three for one, Uttar Pradesh lost two quick wickets with the total reading just nine runs. Having lost two quick wickets UP were depending on skipper Mohd Kaif and Tanmay Srivastav to rescue the innings and they delivered with a 122-run fourth-wicket partnership. Srivastav and Kaif enabled Uttar Pradesh to take the score to a total of 131 before the collapse started. Srivastav misjudged a delivery from Irfan Pathan (Sr) and leaving him plumb in front of the stumps. Srivastav's 79-run knock had 13 fours and he faced 123 deliveries. Kaif did not survive for long after that and got out after making 51 runs -- studded with eight fours. R shukla (37) and B kumar (24) were other top-scorers for UP. Seven out of eight wickets which fell on the second day were captured by the medium pacers, while spinner Rajesh Pawar took two wickets. Hyderabad vs Delhi, Ranji Trophy Super League at Hyderabad, 2nd day Delhi 124 for 3 (Chopra 51, Dhawan 47, Ashwin 2-15) trail Hyderabad 334 (Pai 130, Abhinav 76, Sangwan 4-86) by 210 runs Scorecard Hyderabad could add only 87 to their first-day score of 247 for 5, all out for 334, before defending champions Delhi reached 124 for 3 in reply by stumps. Pradeep Sangwan took two wickets, including that of overnight centurion Anoop Pai for 130, and there were two run-outs as Hyderabad went at less than two an over on the second day. Delhi's openers put on an 80-run stand, but both Shikhar Dhawan and Aakash Chopra were unable to convert their starts. Medium-pacer Ashwin Yadav took 2 for 15 in his ten overs Another POV Delhi slip after bowlers toil 12_11_2008_023_004_011.jpg The heads were dropping and the shoulders drooping. The piece de resistance from the Hyderabad tail was making life as difficult as ever for Delhi and the excruciatingly slow rate of scoring wasn’t helping matters. Delhi skipper Aakash Chopra must be wondering why, within a season, bowlers who ripped the heart out of much stronger teams, are suddenly looking a little better than pedestrian. Ashish Nehra managed all of three overs in the day before hobbling off to the dressing room, and his partners were as ineffective as ever in their efforts to bring an early close to the innings. Led by another workmanlike effort from overnight centurion Anoop Pai (130), the hosts made Delhi toil for 45 overs under the not so pleasant sun to add another 87 runs to their total. Delhi finally managed to end their misery and the Hyderabad innings a little less than an hour after lunch. The hosts ended their first innings at 334. However, while the Hyderabad batsmen did occupy the crease for long periods of time, they showed no intention to score quickly. The Delhi bowlers went unpunished for their waywardness, with the bad balls finding the fielders instead of the fence. 334 on a placid wicket like the one here was not expected to stretch the star-studded Delhi batting in its efforts of gaining what should be a decisive first innings lead. And that looked like the case when Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan started the Delhi reply with a flurry of boundaries. The two have a tacit understanding, they know each other's strengths and weaknesses, and back each other to the hilt. Riding on the back of yet another 50-run partnership between Chopra (51) and Dhawan (47), Delhi found themselves en route to a strong position at tea. Scoring at almost 5 an over, a far cry from the 2.46 Hyderabad got their runs at, the tourists took tea at 57/0. The balls being used in the Ranji Trophy have come for a lot of flak, both from players and coaches. Their propensity to lose shape after a couple of hits to the fence has led to frequent changes. And it was a similar change that got Hyderabad right back on track. It took Ashwin Yadav only five deliveries with a changed ball to find Dhawan’s outside edge. Chopra, now joined by Mayank Tehlan, continued with his innings and was looking good for a big one, when offie Ahmed Quadri had him caught at slip by Ravi Teja. Delhi had lost two big wickets for 28 runs, and the job at hand was to see out the day without any further losses. But, it was not be. Mayank Tehlan was bowled off what proved to be the last ball of the day to put Delhi deeper in the mire. They ended the day on 124/3. The shoulders were drooping all over again. Andhra vs Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy Super League at Nasik, 2nd day Andhra 262 for 6 (Watekar 142, Fallah 5-65) v Maharashta Scorecard Harshad Khadiwale made 103 and Rohan Bhosale made an unbeaten 72 to put Maharashtra on course for the first-innings lead in Nasik. The two added 158 for the first wicket after Andhra were bowled out for 348. Andhra, resuming on 262 for 6, lost three wickets for 20 overs before they were boosted by a last-wicket stand of 38. Samad Fallah finished with 6 for 102, while Bangladesh left-arm spinner Enamul Haque jnr finally grabbed his first Ranji wicket; he took 0 for 171 in the first match against Tamil Nadu. Another POV Khadiwale delights Nashik: Harshad Khadiwale played his part well with an array of delightful shots for Maharashtra at the old golf course ground here on Tuesday. The right-hander stroked the ball firmly with a majority of his strokes played through mid-off and mid-on. He scattered the field to notch up a splendid century (103, 113b, 17x4), his second, in the Ranji Trophy Super League cricket match against Andhra. Khadiwale’s first century (126) was against Tamil Nadu at Chepauk last season. A senior player in the side with 14 matches in the premier national championship, Khadiwale made amends for his lapses in the previous two innings against Tamil Nadu and put his team on a sound footing. Big blows Andhra’s tailenders hit some big blows and took their side’s first innings total to a competitive 348 from the overnight score of 262 for six. Seamer Samad Fallah picked up one more wicket to finish with impressive figures of six for 102. Khadiwale, Maharashtra’s rising star, got into the act on the second day by inducing A.G. Pradeep to lob the ball to Shrikande to break the seventh-wicket stand. While batting, Khadiwale began his innings in typical aggressive fashion a few minutes before lunch by driving Kalyankrishna and Vijaykumar and thereafter punished two easy offerings from Gnaneswara Rao. Good scoring rate Maharashtra’s scoring rate was almost four runs an over, thanks to Khadiwale’s initiative and enterprise for 170 minutes. He was dropped on 78 and 86 at the wicket of the bowling of Vijaykumar and Kalyankrishna. Saurashtra vs Orissa, Ranji Trophy Super League at Rajkot, 2nd day Orissa 46 for 0 trail Saurashtra 620 for 4 (Pujara 302*, Jadeja 232*) by 574 runs Scorecard Waughs' record eclipsed as Pujara scores triple 323764.jpg Triple-centuries seem to come by every other game for Cheteshwar Pujara. He had scored two in one week last month in the CK Nayudu Under-22 tournament, and today he pushed from his overnight 128 to become the first Saurashtra batsman to make a triple ton. His partner in the run-fest, Ravindra Jadeja, scored his maiden century, ending unbeaten on 232. The unbroken fifth-wicket stand was worth 520 runs, the two scoring 347 in 72.5 overs on the second day. It was the second-best partnership in Indian cricket - after Vijay Hazare and Gul Mahomed's 577-run stand for Baroda against Holkar in 1946-47 - and the highest fifth-wicket partnership in any first-class cricket, beating the unbroken 464-run stand between the Waugh twins for New South Wales against Western Australia in 1990-91. Following the declaration, Orissa's openers played out the remaining 15 overs. For Saurashtra, it was a welcome bounce back after their innings defeat to Gujarat, a timely wake-up call for last season's surprise semi-finalists from their recently-promoted neighbours. .

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Hahaha... Gujarat just got embarrassed 2-0-0 for the men who're taking the Ranji this season. Hammered Rajasthan... now Gujarat were ROLLED by an innings + 239 runs. That's an asskicking! And 44 all out in the 2nd... :hysterical: Kulkarni's having a PHENOMENAL season so far - Cheeka take note.

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LMAO! Ranji title # 38,here we come :D
And we actually have a real attack this season. His Aag-Ness, Dhawal (16 wickets at an average of 10.31 so far this season!), Powar (in form again), and then a lot of backup options between Abdulla, Kulkarni, Bahutule, Rohan Raje and a bunch more.

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Notwithstanding all his successes in domestics and IPL, Kulkarni is a trundler who'll get thrashed at the higher level. I think he was an abject failure when the rookie oz and kiwis came here a month ago? Rahane OTOH is class.

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Um - abject failure? When? http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/184/184845.html http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/184/184844.html Bowled decently on a slow spinning pitch in the first game v. Aus A, second got washed out but he started well. Those are his only two f/c games before these. In the one dayers his form wasn't as good - but he's very much a f/c bowler... not an LOI guy yet. Rahane is class, agreed. Can't wait to see him in India colours.

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Parmar having a good season too. Bhajji's replacement :D BTW..u lucky baroda is in group B, otherwsie that ass would have been tapped :rolleyes:
We'll whip Baroda in the knockouts then. As for Parmar, he's a blatant chucker. Ever watched him? Horrible action - won't survive a year unless the ICC shift the laws to allow a 30-40 degree bend.

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Guest Hiten.   
Guest Hiten.
Parmar having a good season too. Bhajji's replacement :D BTW..u lucky baroda is in group B, otherwsie that ass would have been tapped :rolleyes:
A city based team owned your state based team. You really think your city based team could do any better ? :hysterical:

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A city based team owned your state based team. You really think your city based team could do any better ? :hysterical:
brah, favor will be returned nov 29- dec 2, - baroda v maha. ..... bring the lube

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A city based team owned your state based team. You really think your city based team could do any better ? :hysterical:
BTW wanna be.. its not "your" its "our" :hysterical::hysterical::hysterical:

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Yeah, Mumbai Vs Delhi will be awesome. But I still fail to understand why Gujarat cannot come up with a good team while small cities like Baroda have decent teams. Ahmedabad has lot of money & power to put resources into cricket team. Yet I see very few good players from Gujarat Ranji team.

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Yeah, Mumbai Vs Delhi will be awesome. But I still fail to understand why Gujarat cannot come up with a good team while small cities like Baroda have decent teams. Ahmedabad has lot of money & power to put resources into cricket team. Yet I see very few good players from Gujarat Ranji team.
half of guj. pop. is in places like kenya, uk, usa, canada... so, we is getting screwed :hysterical: damn you parents :P

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ROUND TWO , DAY 3 Karnataka v Tamil Nadu, Ranji Trophy Super League at Bangalore, 3rd day Spinners leave Karnataka in trouble The Bulletin by Sidharth Monga November 12, 2008 Karnataka 267 (Raghu 76, Suresh 4-58, Balaji 3-46, Ashwin 3-63) and 48 for 0 trail Tamil Nadu 531 by 216 runs Scorecard Getting wickets was hard work on the slow Chinnaswamy turner but Tamil Nadu did just that to come within one good bowling day of taking six points from their Group B match against Karnataka. Led by the persistence of their left-arm spinner, C Suresh, they inflicted a follow-on on Karnataka, who need 216 more to make Tamil Nadu bat, and all but ensured a minimum of three points. C Raghu, Ganesh Satish and Thilak Naidu provided some resistance in the middle order but didn't threaten Tamil Nadu's dominance. The game never looked in danger of slipping out of the visitors' grasp, which owed in part to the accurate bowling by their spinners - Suresh and R Ashwin - who kept one end tied up and forced the batsmen go for extravagant strokes. 323750.jpgRobin Uthappa was out first ball in Karnataka's first innings Karnataka batting's misery, which began with captain Robin Uthappa's inability to open on Tuesday - he was hospitalised with a viral fever - reached its height with his golden duck. A visibly weak Uthappa came in to bat at No. 7 today but was given out lbw first ball to Ashwin, a decision he was clearly not amused by - the ball had been angled into his pads and Uthappa pulled out of the shot. By the time he came in, though, Karnataka were already scrapping for one point - at 227 for 5, still 304 behind Tamil Nadu and needing 155 to avoid the follow-on. The day began with KB Pawan unable to carry on the solid, if slow, start he had made on Tuesday. In the fifth over, after scoring 25 in almost two-and-a-half hours, he tried to pull a wide bouncer from L Balaji and top-edged it to the wicketkeeper. Balaji started to get the old ball to hold its line, something he couldn't managed with the new one, and repeatedly troubled new batsman C Raghu. Satish looked more comfortable, and countered by hitting Balaji for two boundaries in over, which resulted in a bowling change. Raghu soon grew in confidence and threatened, with Satish, to put up fight. The problem with their partnership, which lasted 25 overs, was that the runs didn't flow, the strike didn't rotate, and Satish paid the ultimate price. Suresh, taking over from Balaji, who had given away 26 runs in ten overs, got Satish to play in front of his body, and edge the ball to S Badrinath. Satish, playing his second game, fell six short of getting a maiden fifty. Minutes before lunch, Balaji struck again to get another rookie, Manish Pandey. He'd started with a boundary first ball, but was suspect to Balaji's away movement. Dinesh Karthik dropped him when he was on 4, but Balaji got him with a slower legcutter in his next over. Thilak Naidu, the aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman, came out swinging, and heralded the only period in the innings when scoring didn't stagnate. He started with a flicked boundary first ball, and late-cut Satish with finesse for two boundaries. When Naidu came in to bat, Raghu had already scored 43, but by the time Naidu reached 40, he had only 60. Once Naidu fell lbw to Ashwin, the floodgates opened. Uthappa fell next ball, Sunil Raju holed out to mid-on, and three wickets had fallen at the same score in the space of 4.3 overs. Raghu, who kept his end up, ran out of company, and despite a 35-run partnership with Vinay Kumar, Karnataka fell well short of avoiding the follow-on. Raghu got to his 11th half-century, and was the ninth man out. The four-wicket haul was a fair reward for Suresh, who bowled 27 relentless overs for 58. That his fourth wicket came in the 100th over put paid to the chances of getting a second five-for in a row - he had taken five in the first innings against Maharashtra too. In Indian domestic cricket, there is a rule to mandatorily take the new ball after 100 overs, and Balaji finished off the innings by trapping Sunil Joshi lbw in the first over with the new ball. Karnataka had a tricky 14-over period to negotiate before stumps, which they did without incident. They were helped by frequent bowling changes from Tamil Nadu, who opened with Raghu's offspin, and tried five bowlers before stumps. ** How they were out Pawan: pulled a wide bouncer, and managed a top-edge only; the ball stayed in the air for ages before settling in Karthik's gloves Satish: played forward to one from Suresh, which turned and took a thin edge to slip Pandey: was flummoxed by a slower leg-cutter from Balaji, and given out lbw Naidu: padded up to Ashwin, and was given lbw Uthappa: pulled out of a shot, seeing the ball angled down leg, and was given lbw again. Was not happy with the decision Raju: tried to break the shackes and hit Ashwin in the air, but could not clear mid-on Vinay Kumar: lobbed an easy catch to Balaji at midwicket Raghu: looked to cut Suresh, but the ball was too full, and took the edge to slip Joshi: missed a straight delivery, and given out lbw to Balaji Punjab v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy Super League at Mohali, 3rd day Punjab 232 (Sohal 106, Gajendra Singh 4-67) and 41 for 1 beat Rajasthan 133 (Gagandeep 4-37, Gony 4-39) and 169 (Saxena 83, Kakkar 3-30, Charanjit 3-38) by nine wickets Scorecard 326605.jpgVineet Saxena's 83 failed to avoid a defeat for Rajasthan Vineet Saxena battled hard for his 83, but Punjab wrapped up victory within 57 overs on the third day in Mohali. The disappointment for the hosts would losing a wicket in their fourth innings. An innings or ten-wicket win would have given them six points; instead, they have to settle for five. Beginning the day on 57 for 6, Saxena and Sumit Mathur took their team to 112. Mathur scored 31 off 77 balls, and Pankaj Singh gave Saxena company as they ensured Punjab had to bat again. Saxena's was the penultimate wicket in the innings; he played almost half of the 72.1 overs. Chasing 41, the in-form Sunny Sohal was dismissed early, out to Venugopal Rao as Rajasthan tried six bowlers for 13.3 overs. Another POV Punjab register first win of the season PUNJAB COMPLETED the formalities of their first outright win of this season, defeating Rajasthan by nine wickets at the PCA Stadium on Wednesday. The visitors though fought back through the valiant efforts of Vineet Saxena and Sumit Mathur, they had already lost a wicket too many on Tuesday . 13_11_2008_024_006_007.jpg Rajasthan’s innings folded up for 169. Saxena made a fighting 83, sharing a vital 72-run stand for the seventh wicket with Mathur to bring some respectability to the total, but in the end, it was all in vain as the visitors had already lost the plot to some accurate bowling from Punjab pacers. Sarabjit Ladda removed Mathur, snapped up by Dharmani at first slip, to end the partnership and also any hope of a miracle. With the scoreboard reading 112-7, the tailenders then combined to help their team score 169 runs and setting Punjab a 40-run target for victory The visitors also got some re . prieves as Punjab fielders failed to hold on to the catches. Punjab completed the formalities with Ravneet Ricky and Ravi Inder Singh remaining unbeaten on 18 and 9, respectively . Mumbai vs Gujarat, Ranji Trophy Super League at Surat, 3rd day Mumbai surge to the top Cricinfo staff November 12, 2008 Mumbai 486 (Jaffer 172, Rahane 104, Muzumdar 61, Parmar 6-143, Makda 3-59) beat Gujarat 203 (Makda 73, Kulkarni 4-70) and 44 (Kulkarni 3-7, Agarkar 3-15, Powar 3-19) by an innings and 239 runs Scorecard After a disappointing 2007-08 Ranji Trophy, Mumbai have bounced back strongly this season, starting with back-to-back wins. Rajasthan were beaten by 237 runs at home, and in Surat, hosts Gujarat, riding on the high of an innings win over Saurashtra, were at the receiving end of an innings-and-239-run defeat. On 77 for 6 in reply to Mumbai's 486, Gujarat lost their overnight batsmen for another 24 runs. However, a 100-run partnership boosted their chances of pushing for a draw. Ashraf Makda made a quick 73, with five fours and four sixes, and Amit Singh held the other end up during his 41. Mumbai eventually wrapped up the innings for 203, and enforced the follow-on after gaining a 283-run lead. The frustrating stand, though, seemed to have buoyed the Mumbai bowlers. In Gujarat's second innings, they didn't let any of the batsmen, barring Singh, reach double figures. Gujarat were skittled out for an embarrassing 44, with Ajit Agarkar, Dhawal Kulkarni and Ramesh Powar taking three wickets, and one for Usman Malvi. Gujarat's 44 was just one run more than their lowest total in the Ranji Trophy, 43 against Bombay in 1958-59. Orissa 302 (SS Das 76, Sehgal 64*, Biswal 62, Jobanputra 4-56, Makvana 4-142) and 4 for 0 trail Saurashtra 620 for 4 by 314 runs Scorecard In 87.4 overs on the third day in Rajkot, Saurashtra managed to take ten Orissa wickets for 257 runs, and a repeat performance on the final day will earn them the full six points from the match. Medium-pacer Sandeep Jobanputra and offspinner Kamlesh Makvana did the damage, picking up four wickets apiece. Resuming on 45 for 0, Orissa's openers pushed to 67 before Bikas Pati was caught behind off Jobanputra. All four wickets for Jobanputra were catches to wicketkeeper Sagar Jogiyani, who took five in the innings. Shiv Sunder Das, the Orissa captain, top scored with 76 and there were half-centuries for Subit Biswal and Saurabh Sehgal, but the visitors needed much bigger scores to get close to Saurashtra's 602. Jobanputra reduced them to 180 for 5 to wreck of hopes of avoiding the follow-on, and Kamlesh Makvana, who bowled 37.4 overs out 101.4 in the innings, then got four wickets to dismiss Orissa for 302. No. 9 Saurabh Sehgal made an unbeaten 64, putting on 61 for the ninth wicket with Preetamjit Das, but he fell short of partners. Orissa safely played out the one over in their second innings before stumps. Other POV Gujarat crumble to Mumbai might, fall to 239-run loss Bharat Sundaresan Posted: Nov 13, 2008 at 0125 hrs IST Surat, november 12 : Gujarat collapsed to a humbling innings and 239-run loss to Mumbai on the third day of the Super Ranji League encounter here on Wednesday. Following on, the hosts were bundled out for a mere 44 runs in 23.3 overs in less than a session, and narrowly escaped their lowest score in Ranji Trophy history — 43 against Bombay in 1954. Dhawal Kulkarni and Ajit Agarkar rocked the Gujarat top order, sharing three wickets each, and off-spinner Ramesh Powar polished off the tail with a three-wicket haul. The day though, had started on a positive note for Gujarat, as their tail, led by left-hander Ashraf Makda, kept the Mumbai bowlers at bay and also added crucial runs to their team’s first-innings tally after they lost Mohnish Parmar in just the second over, caught at slip off Sairaj Bahutule at the team’s overnight score of 77. Makda started off aggressively, taking the attack straight to the bowlers, and was later helped by fast bowler Amit Singh’s knock after the fall of the other overnight batsman, Bhavin Thakkar. Only opposition Kulkarni was welcomed to the attack with a huge straight six. Makda then swung Bahutule over the square-leg fence for another six to reach his half-century. Singh also looked comfortable at the crease and hit a few elegant boundaries through the off-side off Powar. The pair brought up their 100 partnership just before lunch, but Usman Malvi went through Singh’s defences in the next over. Wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant then engineered a smart stumping to end Makda’s resistance, and Gujarat were bowled out for 203 in the first innings. Their second innings started on a disastrous note as well, as opener Nilesh Modi fell leg-before on the first ball of Kulkarni’s spell. Captain Parthiv Patel then swished at a Kulkarni delivery outside off-stump and was caught easily by Ajinkya Rahane at gully. A procession of wickets followed, as none of the Gujarat batsmen seemed too intent to spend time at the crease, and Kulkarni and Agarkar ripped through their batting order. Mumbai have 11 points from two games, after gaining a bonus point at Surat, and move onto Delhi with an extremely confident mindset. Uttar Pradesh vs Baroda, Ranji Trophy Super League at Vadodara, 3rd day Baroda 235 and 239 for 4 (Parab 67, Solanki 60*) lead Uttar Pradesh 286 (Srivastava 79, Kaif 51, Praveen 50, IK Pathan 6-85) lead by 188 runs Scorecard It could be an interesting final day's play in Vadodara. Uttar Pradesh had a 51-run first-innings lead, but Baroda ended with 239 for 4 in the second innings, and could make the contest keen by challenging UP to chase a competitive total. Satyajit Parab and Azharuddin Bilakhia shared a 100-run stand, but fell quickly to the spinners. Left-arm spinner Praveen Gupta got his second by removing Pinal Shah for 31, but Rakesh Solanki's unbeaten 60, supported by Shatrunjay Gaekwad's 28, took them to 239. Another POV Baroda cash in on injury-hit UP Sharad Deep Vadodara SPARKLING HALF-CENTURIES by Rakesh Solanki and Satyajit Parab helped Baroda fight back against injury-hit Ut- tar Pradesh on the penultimate day of their four-day Ranji Tro- phy Group ‘B’ Super League match. UP skipper Mohammed Kaif could not be part of the day’s proceedings due to an upset stomach, while allrounder Praveen Kumar broke his left ankle while trying to stop the ball in follow-through. Ravikant Shukla led the team in Kaif ’s absence. In a bid to put pressure on the visitors by posting a challenging second innings total, Baroda batsmen were quick in making runs. Opener Satyajit Parab smashed 11 boundaries in his knock of 67. Later, Solanki too, troubled UP with a fascinating unbeaten 60. With an overall lead of 188, Baroda were 239-4 at stumps with Parab and Gaekwad at the crease. Though UP bowlers had a good start, with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar giving a break through, further success was at a premium. Baroda’s ‘Mr Dependable’, Parab, and Azhar Bilakhia then went on to stitch together a 100-run partnership for the second wicket. The absence of key UP bowlers — Praveen Kumar and Sudeep Tyagi (who remained out of action for a long time due to an injury suffered while batting) — made a huge difference as Baroda batsmen continued to dominate UP. 188 the number of runs Baroda lead UP 100 the number of runs Baroda’s second wicket added Earlier, UP’s first innings folded up for 286, with a lead of 51 runs. Overnight batsman Praveen Kumar continued with his hard-hitting ways, complet ing his maiden half-century of the season. Hyderabad vs Delhi, Ranji Trophy Super League at Hyderabad, 3rd day Hyderabad 334 and 31 for 0 lead Delhi 284 (Bisht 78, Chopra 51, Ashwin 6-52) by 81 runs Scorecard Medium-pacer Ashwin Yadav's six-wicket haul helped Hyderabad gain the first-innings lead against reigning champions Delhi, who slipped to 284 all out from 124 for 3. Puneet Bisht's 78 at No. 7 was the best for the visitors, after Mithun Manhas, Aditya Jain and Rajat Bhatia failed. He put on 81 for the eighth wicket with Chetanya Nanda, who scored 20. At 271 for 7, Delhi were 64 short of taking the leading, but Yadav snuffed out any hopes by removing Bisht and Nanda. He finished with 6 for 52 off 28.2 overs. Hyderabad's openers patiently extended the lead to 81 by close. Another POV Delhi fall short G.S. Vivek Posted: Nov 13, 2008 at 0120 hrs IST Uppal, November 12 : With hands spread like a bird’s wings, Ashwin Yadav celebrated as the middle stump cart-wheeled three times. His Hyderabad team mates tried to pounce on him, but Yadav escaped, darting across to the umpire and asking for the ball, shining on one side and looking scruffed up on the other, as a souvenir of his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. On the ball, Yadav scribbled his analysis with a pen — 28-12-52-6. Throughout the day, the paceman had used reverse swing brilliantly to give Hyderabad a vital first-innings lead, and with it, three points in their kitty. 13_11_2008_024_002_012.jpg While the hosts were applauding each other 51 minutes after tea, the Delhi dressing room was dead silent, mourning a wasted effort. Ashwin had just outdone Punit Bisht’s gritty effort — the Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman was the last man out with Delhi 50 runs short of their primary target. But if Bisht’s 237-minute stay at the wicket for his 78 and his eighth-wicket partnership of 81 with Chetanya Nanda made up for a tantalising third day’s play, by close, the suspense was over. Hyderabad were 31 for no loss, taking their overall lead to 81 with 10 wickets intact as the match went into its inconsequential fourth day. Irresponsible shots Delhi struggled through the first session thanks to a variety of irresponsible shots from their frontline batsmen. On a wicket that is still flat after nine sessions, Delhi’s players seemed more concerned about their batting style rather than the requirements of the match. Encouraged by their frequent bouts of recklessness, the Hyderabad bowlers stuck to an unrelenting line, playing the waiting game. And the dividends came much quicker than expected. Delhi were all out for 284 in 112.2 overs. After Aditya Jain’s troubled stay was terminated with a big thud on his pad from Yadav, the situation demanded Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia to play patiently. Things seemed fine for the first hour but the tendency of dominating the bowlers, and putting a lid on the constant chatter in the field, tempted Bhatia to flash aimlessly at an outgoing delivery. Bisht walked in at 156 but Manhas dragged the ball onto his stumps, playing a lazy backfoot defence to left-arm spinner Lalith Mohan. The match was almost over at that point and Delhi couldn’t digest the lavish biryani laid out at lunch with the score at 186/6. Another tactical blunder, after the choice of a third seamer ahead... Andhra vs Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy Super League at Nasik, 3rd day Andhra 348 and 2 for 0 trail Maharashta 393 (Khadiwale 103, Bhosale 77, Jadhav 63, Shrikhande 59) by 43 runs Scorecard Maharashtra, starting at a comfortable 205 for 1 in Nasik, failed to take a big first-innings lead against Andhra. They were all out for 393, a lead of 45, with legspinner M Suresh taking four wickets to trigger a collapse that saw six wickets fall for 56 runs. Andhra played out one over in their second innings before stumps. Maharashtra's top four managed half-centuries, but five of the remaining batsmen failed to make it to double figures. Rohan Bhosale added five to his overnight 72 and Ameya Shrikhande scored 59, and had it not been for Kedar Jadhav and Ankit Bawne, they might have just conceded the lead. Another POV Maharashtra gains first-innings lead Maharashtra’s top-order batsmen ensured that their side stayed in front against Andhra in the Ranji Trophy super league match at the old golf course ground here on Wednesday. Though Rohan Bhosale added five runs in half an hour to his overnight 72, the in-form middle-order batsmen — Ameya Shrikande and Kedar Jadhav — occupied the crease for a little over three hours and scored half-centuries. The third-wicket pair was not tempted to take risks with an 8-1 negative field, set by Andhra’s captain Gnaneswara Rao when seamer P. Vijayakumar was in action. Match Referee Sanjay Patil had expressed his displeasure, and cautioned the visiting side on Tuesday evening from pursuing such tactics. Missed chances A dour approach did not see Maharashtra advance much from 205 for one in the first hour and Andhra’s fielders too were not alert enough to latch on to the chances that came their way. The change of wicketkeeper from V.M. Sai to L.N.P. Reddy did not help matters as the latter put down a simple chance of Bhosale. But after nearly five hours of watchful batting, Bhosale fended at a sharp rising delivery from Vijaykumar to a close-in fielder. Shrikande (59) and Jadhav (63) helped Maharashtra achieve its primary goal of getting past Andhra’s 348. The 8-1 off-side field produced a wicket when Suresh removed Shrikande. The home team lost two more wickets before Ankit Bawne (44), in the company of the lower- order, took his team past Andhra’s total. Playing for the first innings points resulted in the home team adding 188 runs. With three sessions remaining on the last day, it would be up to Andhra to set an inviting target for the home team. But Maharashtra would be more than happy to take three points to take its tally to four from two matches. Saurashtra vs Orissa, Ranji Trophy Super League at Rajkot, 3rd day Orissa 302 (SS Das 76, Sehgal 64*, Biswal 62, Jobanputra 4-56, Makvana 4-142) and 4 for 0 trail Saurashtra 620 for 4 by 314 runs Scorecard 323764.jpg In 87.4 overs on the third day in Rajkot, Saurashtra managed to take ten Orissa wickets for 257 runs, and a repeat performance on the final day will earn them the full six points from the match. Medium-pacer Sandeep Jobanputra and offspinner Kamlesh Makvana did the damage, picking up four wickets apiece. Resuming on 45 for 0, Orissa's openers pushed to 67 before Bikas Pati was caught behind off Jobanputra. All four wickets for Jobanputra were catches to wicketkeeper Sagar Jogiyani, who took five in the innings. Shiv Sunder Das, the Orissa captain, top scored with 76 and there were half-centuries for Subit Biswal and Saurabh Sehgal, but the visitors needed much bigger scores to get close to Saurashtra's 602. Jobanputra reduced them to 180 for 5 to wreck of hopes of avoiding the follow-on, and Kamlesh Makvana, who bowled 37.4 overs out 101.4 in the innings, then got four wickets to dismiss Orissa for 302. No. 9 Saurabh Sehgal made an unbeaten 64, putting on 61 for the ninth wicket with Preetamjit Das, but he fell short of partners. Orissa safely played out the one over in their second innings before stumps. .

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Few interesting news about the Ranji trophy till now: Pathan shouts at fans, gets hugged by admirer PTI Tuesday, November 11, 2008 22:25 IST VADODARA: In what turned out to be an eventful day for India discard Irfan Pathan, the pacer was left to face an inquiry by match referee for arguing with fans during his side's Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh, besides getting hugged by a female admirer. Pathan, who had a good day on the field picking up five wickets on Tuesday, went out of the ground during the match apparently to argue with fans who were shouting out his name in the parking area. Match referee Rajendra Singh Jadeja said he would investigate Pathan's actions and submit a report to the BCCI after speaking to Pathan and the umpires. Some fans had got into an argument with Pathan's driver near the ground. Pathan rushed out on hearing about the incident, Baroda Cricket association sources said. He argued with the fans there before a female admirer all of a sudden caught hold of his collar and asked him to dance with her. She was immediately separated from the pacer and escorted away. Pathan, on his part, refused to talk on the twin incidents. "I will talk later," was his curt reply when asked for a comment. Switch in time for Ashwin G.S. VIVEK UPPAL, 13_11_2008_020_011_006.jpg SPENDING time in the gym has become mandatory for any aspiring cricketer. For Ashwin Yadav though, it’s not about the weights — his memories of early fitness involve climbing ropes and doing dandbaithaks, for those were part of his strengthening routines as a young wrestler. Yadav, who picked up six wickets to bowl Hyderabad to a crucial first-innings lead against Delhi, hails from Begambazaar in Hyderabad, a locality famous for its wrestling tradition. “My father, my grandfather, forefathers, my brothers are all wrestlers... but wrestling didn’t interest me because it holds no prospects as a career. So I left it and began to play cricket.” At 5’4”, fast bowling is not an obvious option, but the early training must have helped. For on Wednesday, the former wrestler bowled long hostile spells at decent pace to stop Delhi in their tracks. “Who says short guys can’t bowl quick. God didn’t give me height, but my deliveries skid off the wicket and moved a lot. I also use reverse swing well,” he says. Tips from Laxman INTERESTINGLY, Ashwin was introduced to cricket by his cousin Rajesh Yadav, who’s a childhood friend of VVS Laxman. Yadav had seen him pull off some tricks with a tennis ball at the neighbourhood park. Ashwin’s connection with Laxman goes further. “I bowl to him every day at the nets and bowling to him has helped me a lot. That has taken away the fear of bowling to big names.” There was another useful tip. “He told me that all good batsmen wait for the ball to be bowled outside their stump line to hit. ‘Always bowl wicket to wicket’.” His new nickname in the dressing room is hat-trick — because the 24-year old has already picked up two hat-tricks in the last two months against Orissa and the Sri Lanka A side. Ask about his idols and he names Ajit Agarkar — “I can’t wait to play Mumbai” — and less surprisingly, Brett Lee. There are traces of the Australian in his own bounding run-up. His career switch has worked for him so far, but Ashwin’s aiming a few notches higher. Hyderabad's rise after last year's exodus to ICL Arjun Sen Hyderabad “WE HAVE the team to reach the final,” says Hyderabad selector Youraj Singh as he watches his young side battling it out with champions Delhi at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Such a statement from Singh would have been met with incredulity and sniggers last season. After all, Hyderabad had just lost eight first team players to the Indian Cricket League, leaving the selectors with no option but to fall back on a bunch of teenagers to make up the numbers and play the Ranji Trophy . “We didn’t have eleven players to make up the state team after so many of our players left for the Indian Cricket League,” Singh says. “We decided to call up the U-19 and U-22 players and throw them in the deep end.” It was a move that many believed would lead Hyderabad towards the ignominy of relegation. And, had it not been for their arch rivals Andhra beating Bengal, Hyderabad were destined for the drop. “We achieved our aim – to stay up,” says Singh. “We knew it would be tough for the inexperienced youngsters to come in and compete in the Ranji Trophy at once.” Last season may not have been the best in terms of where Hyderabad finished, but it proved to be the ideal learning curve for the youngsters. “It gave the boys belief that they could stand their own at the highest level. They were confident,” Singh says. And it was this new-found con fidence which led Hyderabad to the U-22 South Zone title. Buoyed by their Ranji display, the players beat traditional powerhouses Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to go all the way to the title. That win, Singh says, was the start of the revival in Hyderabad cricket. “The boys started gelling together, there was a new-found cohesiveness in the team. They were confident of their ability to take on the best.” This season has started with a lot of that promise. First, playing away at Orissa, Hyderabad managed three points on the back of a first innings lead, and then, Hyderabad’s youth brigade assured themselves of three vital points with a well-deserved first innings lead against the champs. High after bettering Waughs' mark Subhash Rajta New Delhi CHETESHWAR PUJARA has a penchant for tall scores. And this is nothing neve The Saurashtra batsman scored his first triple-hundred in an under-14 age-group match against Baroda when he was only 13. And the habit he inculcated in his early teens has persisted. He has scored three triple centuries - two in CK Nayadu (u-22) and the other against Orissa in Ranji Trophy - in the last month. And the icing on the cake, his triple hundred against Orissa saw him marching into the record books for stitching together a 520-run fifth wicket partnership with Ravindra Jadeja. "It's a huge feat to better a record standing in the name of Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh," said Pujara. The world record and the big scores he often comes up with speak volumes of his unflappable focus and concentration, along with an insatiable hunger for runs. How does he stay so focused? "I am a religious person. The trait keeps me calm and composed and it reflects in my game as well," he said. His father Arvind Pujara, however, puts it down to his hard work and hunger to succeed. "He's simply crazy about the game and puts in so much effort. And it's the reward of the hard work he has put in that he is reaping now" he said. Nonetheless, scoring three triple centuries in such a short span would have tested his mental and physical strength. "Yes, it's indeed tough. But then one has to be focused, determined and strong enough to handle all this," he said. The other striking feature of his batting is its correctness. But the moment one tries to get him talking about it, he wastes no time in reminding people that he can improvise and change gears when required, perhaps fearing that he might be pushed into a Test-only bracket. "Right preparation is the key to succeed in any format and I feel comfortable in any format," he said. As for his India chances, the ultimate dream of any aspiring cricketet: the middleorder batsman feels he is getting runs at the tight time. "I am doing my job and I am sure the call would come one day if I keep doing well," he said.

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ROUND TWO , DAY 4 Karnataka v Tamil Nadu, Ranji Trophy Super League at Bangalore, 4th day Karnataka cling on for a draw The Bulletin by Sidharth Monga November 13, 2008 Tamil Nadu 531 (Vidyut 193, Karthik 149, Kumar 90) drew with Karnataka 267 (Raghu 76, Suresh 4-58, Balaji 3-46, Ashwin 3-63) and 269 for 4 (Pawan 84, Pandey 57*, Ashwin 3-71) Scorecard Having been bowled out cheaply in the first innings, the Karnataka batsmen applied themselves better and hung on for one point from their Group B match against Tamil Nadu. The empty stands and the general relaxed atmosphere that comes with a Ranji match took away from the tense middle session during which Karnataka lost KB Pawan and Robin Uthappa in quick succession. The fire and ice combination of C Raghu, who played his second solid innings of the match, and rookie Manish Pandey, who got a quick half-century, saw Karnataka to what eventually was a comfortable draw. The teams decided to call the match off with 11 mandatory overs to go. Two seasons ago, this final day would not have meant much for a team that had fallen behind in the first innings - Karnataka in this case. The points system earlier used to reward two points to the team that would get the first-innings lead, and none to the other team. From last season on, though, the respective rewards became three and one, and gave the trailing team an incentive to hang on for a draw, which is what Karnataka did today. They started the day with all their wickets in hand, but very little confidence after a feeble first-innings performance, when they fell behind by 264 runs. KB Pawan, who made a second good start of the match, didn't repeat his mistake and went on to play a long innings. He didn't have Bharat Chipli's company for long, though. He added 10 to his overnight 23, and holed out to mid-on in R Ashwin's second over of the day. Yo Mahesh took an impressive catch running backwards, keeping his eyes on the ball throughout. 318511.jpgR Ashwin's 3 for 71 during Karnataka's second innings couldn't hand Tamil Nadu the five points as the match ended in a draw in Bangalore Ganesh Satish, Karnataka's new No. 3, playing only his second match, combined well with Pawan to keep the bowlers out for more than 27 overs. While the intent was to draw the match, the two didn't let the scoring stagnate, and hence didn't let the bowlers get into a rhythm where they could bowl continuously in the areas they wanted. Satish got off the mark by sweeping Ashwin for a boundary, Pawan followed suit with a steer through the thirdman area. He brought up his half-century with a late-cut, his seventh boundary in more than two hours of batting. Pawan brought up the half-century of the partnership with a pull off L Balaji, and two balls later Satish smashed a slower ball through extra cover. Just before lunch, though, Satish was given out lbw off an Ashwin offbreak, another contentious decision, because this one might have been going down the leg. Robin Uthappa, Karnataka's captain who has been down with a viral fever, went in at No. 4, but that was the time when Tamil Nadu were starting to build momentum and push for an outright result. Minutes after lunch, Pawan edged C Suresh through to Dinesh Karthik. Three overs later, Uthappa failed to clear mid-on - perhaps the weakness because of the illness coming through. A minimum of 42 overs were left at the time, and four to five fielders in the face of the batsmen were expected throughout. Raghu stayed cool then: he shut the scoring, kept getting down to the pitch of the spinners, and kept defending solidly. The spinners tried bowling round the stumps - over the wicket in Suresh's case - but couldn't extract a loose shot out of him. The slips, the silly point, and the forward shortleg, all kept waiting but didn't come into play. For 134 minutes, Raghu was a picture of determination and coolness. Of the first 91 balls he faced, he scored only 11, but in the context of the match every ball faced was like a run scored. The first ball after tea, his 92nd, he flicked for a four, and then scored another boundary, before the match was called off. Pandey, from the other end, cashed in on the aggressive fields, and struck cleanly to get his second half-century in as many Ranji matches. He swept the spinners to the midwicket boundary with ease, twice stopping the shot half-way through: a half-sweep-half-push. But the timing on those shots was good enough to carry the ball to the boundary. The two stayed undefeated, Raghu on 21 off 112 balls, and Pandey on 57 off 77. Tamil Nadu, who enforced a follow-on for the second time in a row, failed to get 20 wickets again, but with would have made fair strides in the Group B points table with the three points. ** How they were out Chipli: tried to hit Ashwin to the mid-on boundary, but didn't connect properly. Yo Mahesh took a superb catch running backwards Satish: beaten by an offbreak, but wasn't happy with the lbw decision: this one might have down the leg Pawan: played forward to C Suresh, but the break on the ball took the edge Uthappa: looked for a big hit down the ground, but couldn't clear the mid-on Punjab v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy Super League at Mohali, 3rd day Punjab 232 (Sohal 106, Gajendra Singh 4-67) and 41 for 1 beat Rajasthan 133 (Gagandeep 4-37, Gony 4-39) and 169 (Saxena 83, Kakkar 3-30, Charanjit 3-38) by nine wickets Scorecard 326605.jpgVineet Saxena's 83 failed to avoid a defeat for Rajasthan Mumbai vs Gujarat, Ranji Trophy Super League at Surat, 3rd day Mumbai surge to the top Cricinfo staff November 12, 2008 Mumbai 486 (Jaffer 172, Rahane 104, Muzumdar 61, Parmar 6-143, Makda 3-59) beat Gujarat 203 (Makda 73, Kulkarni 4-70) and 44 (Kulkarni 3-7, Agarkar 3-15, Powar 3-19) by an innings and 239 runs Scorecard Uttar Pradesh vs Baroda, Ranji Trophy Super League at Vadodara, 4th day Baroda 235 (Solanki 71, Praveen 5-70) and 314 (Solanki 71, Parab 67, Chawla 4-122) drew with Uttar Pradesh 286 (Srivastava 79, Kaif 51, Praveen 50, IK Pathan 6-85) and 151 for 6 (Kaif 45*, Veragi 3-58) Scorecard Uttar Pradesh were lucky to gain three points from the Group B match in Vadodara. Chasing 264, UP had slipped to 97 for 6, but captain Mohammad Kaif, batting low at No. 7, and wicketkeeper Amir Khan played out 30.5 overs to ensure a draw. 322368.jpgMohammad Kaif scored a vital 45 not out as Uttar Pradesh held on to three points in Vadodara UP gained three points by virtue of their first-innings lead, and have six points from two games, the same as group leaders Punjab. Twelve wickets fell on the final day. Baroda, resuming on 239 for 4, lost their final six wickets in 22.4 overs. For the second time in the match, Rakesh Solanki fell for 71. UP were faced with a target of 264, but lost Tanmay Srivastava, their top scorer in the first innings, in the third over. With a run-rate around four needed, UP chose to play it safe, but they found themselves in trouble at 67 for 4 after 21.4 overs. Medium-pacer Salim Veragi struck twice, and the two Irfan Pathans took one apiece. Tahir Abbas and Piyush Chawla put on 30, but the two fell in the space of five deliveries. Kaif, though, played a steady hand, scoring 45, and at the other hand, Amir Khan saw off 90 deliveries for an unbeaten 7. Another POV Kaif denies Baroda a win 14 Nov 2008, 0019 hrs IST, VADODARA: The stage was set for an exciting final day of the Ranji Trophy tie between Baroda and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday and the home team tried their best to win the match. However, Uttar Pradesh, thanks to a defiant Mohammed Kaif, managed to hold their nerves and drew their second match of the season. The lack of good bowling attack from both ends proved to be a major hindrance for Baroda who had removed six UP batsmen after setting them a target of 264. UP captain Kaif (45 runs, 99 balls) stood in the way of Baroda’s victory as he resisted the home team’s bowling attack till the very end. UP finally ended at six down for 151. Earlier in the day, Baroda batsmen, who started with an 239 for four, attempted to score as quickly as possible. Rakesh Solanki was the top scorer in the second innings too as he scored 71 runs from 169 balls. Hyderabad vs Delhi, Ranji Trophy Super League at Hyderabad, 4th day Hyderabad 334 (Pai 130, Abhinav 76, Sangwan 4-86) and 230 for 3 (Teja 113*, Arjun 54*, Manhas 3-52) drew with Delhi 284 (Bisht 78, Chopra 51, Ashwin 6-52) by 81 runs Scorecard Hyderabad had secured the first-innings lead, and they batted out 75 overs on the final day to secure their three points. Beginning the day on 31 for 0, Hyderabad's openers managed a century stand. T Suman was the first to fall, lbw for 52, and Mithun Manhas struck two further blows. There were no more successes for Delhi, with opener Ravi Teja scoring a century. He added an unbroken 115 with captain Arjun Yadav, who chipped in with 54. Another POV Sore Delhi lose the plot G.S. Vivek Posted: Nov 14, 2008 at 2335 hrs IST Uppal, November 13 : The fourth day of this Ranji Trophy tie wasn’t exactly a tense battle, it was more an example of how dreary the prevailing rules and regulations can make proceedings. With Hyderabad already having taken the first innings lead and three points on Wednesday, there was once again little left to play for on the final day here in Uppal. Unlike the Punjab bowlers last week, the Delhi side were in no trouble with their over-rates and didn’t want to bowl any more than the minimum of 75 overs before the scheduled call-off time, set at an hour after tea. And so, Aakash Chopra rose to the occasion, using his imagination to keep all those watching irritated. As the afternoon wore on, the Delhi team’s behaviour bordered on the ridiculous — there were incessant, frivolous, on-field exchanges over, among other things, choice of songs to be sung, and what part-time bowlers should be employed. With ’keeper Puneet Bisht wanting a break, a lengthy chat about who should don the gloves was caught on the stump microphones (Eventually, Shikhar Dhawan took over). They might have picked up just one point for their troubles, but their body language on the final day didn’t match the tag of defending champions. The beneficiaries 14_11_2008_022_009_013.jpg In the middle of all this, D Ravi Teja kept his concentration, and mixed it up with a few doses of aggression, to post his third first-class ton, while skipper Arjun Yadav completed his own half-century as the fourth-wicket pair put on 115 runs to take Hyderabad’s second innings score to 230/3 in 90 overs. Teja was unbeaten on 113 while Arjun finished on 54. Overnight batsman T Suman too helped himself to 52, but first innings centurion Anoop Pai and No 3 Rushi Raj both missed out. Pai was dismissed for a blob during an inspired spell of off-spin bowling from Mithun Manhas, who despite battling a bad back, picked up three wickets in nine overs to provide a sense of purpose to a day that otherwise kept Delhi occupied figuring out ways to reach the airport before a big political rally caused traffic jams. What went wrong? Narender Singh, the specialist off-spinner, was left out of the playing XI at the last minute to make way for an extra seamer. Watching part-timer Manhas extract turn and bounce, it’s fair to say the move backfired. The visitors slipped as much due to...their choice of combination as Ashish Nehra’s insistence on taking a heavy load early in the season, rather than picking and choosing his games. But the most glaring mistakes were committed by the batsmen, as they tried too hard to dominate. The selection committee meets on Friday to pick the side against an in-form Mumbai at the Kotla next week, and they must get things right, for it isn’t too often that Delhi are up against the wall on home turf.... Injuries blight Delhi Ashish Nehra did his right hamstring in the first innings and on Thursday wicketkeeper Puneet Bisht twisted his knee. Nehra managed only 10.2 overs in the match, not even taking the field in the second innings. Bisht did not return after the tea break and Shikhar Dhawan kept wickets. While Bisht should be fit to play against Mumbai, Nehra is a serious 'doubt'. Andhra vs Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy Super League at Nasik, 4th day Andhra 348 (Watekar 142, Fallah 6-102) and 210 for 5 dec (Sumanth 58*, Reddy 53) drew with Maharashtra 393 (Khadiwale 103, Bhosale 77, Jadhav 63, Shrikhande 59) and 27 for 1 Scorecard It was a dull day in Nasik, with Andhra, having conceded the first-innings lead, batting out nearly the whole day with the chance of winning the game remote. Resuming on 2 for 0, Andhra played out 80 overs before declaring, setting Maharashtra an improbable 166 from the remaining overs in the day. Hemal Watekar, the first-innings centurion, fell cheaply, but partnerships of 78, 42 and 56 for the second, third and fifth wickets made sure there was no collapse. LNP Reddy and B Sumanth made half-centuries, while legspinner Digambar Waghmare took 2 for 33 off his 18 overs. Maharashtra's first-innings centurion, Harshad Khadiwale, also failed as his team reached 27 for 1 in eight overs. Another POV Match ends in a draw Special Correspondent Nashik: Maharashtra’s Rohit Motwani was let off with a reprimand by Match Referee Sanjay Patil for directing foul language at Andhra seamer Kalyankrishna. Playing in his second Ranji Trophy match here at the Old Golf course ground, Motwani, hooked two short deliveries from Kalyankrishna for a six and four and swore immediately. The umpires Vishwas Neruurkar and Milind Patak intervened to prevent things going out of control on a day when the two teams seemed to lack energy and enthusiasm to raise the level of play. Draw offer rejected At the start of the 15 mandatory overs Andhra accepted an offer from the umpires to bring an end to the proceedings, but Maharashtra, like in the previous match against Tamil Nadu, rejected the same and continued to bowl. “We did not want the mockery of cricket to continue. There was no point in continuing the match and we took the offer from umpires, but Maharashtra did not,” said Andhra coach M.V. Narasimha Rao. Obviously piqued by Maharshtra’s decision, Andhra batted for five mandatory overs and declared its second innings at 210 for five. Maharashtra which collected three points from the drawn match has four from two matches, while Andhra has two from as many matches. Saurashtra vs Orissa, Ranji Trophy Super League at Rajkot, 4th day Saurashtra 620 for 4 (Pujara 302*, Jadeja 232*) beat Orissa 302 (SS Das 76, Sehgal 64*, Biswal 62, Jobanputra 4-56, Makvana 4-142) and 234 (Jadeja 5-44) by an innings and 84 runs Scorecard Saurashtra seal win 323764.jpg Saurashtra were made to fight till the end for their win in Rajkot, a comprehensive innings-and-84-run rout of Orissa. After piling up 620 for 4, Saurashtra patiently pegged away at the wickets, taking ten wickets each on the final two days to gain six points. Battling for a draw was Orissa's only option, who began the day trailing by 314 runs with ten second-innings wickets in hand. Bikas Pati and Shiv Sunder Das, the Orissa captain, were involved in a 67-run stand for the second time in the game. Pati, the first to fall, scored 44 off 49 in the stand, while Das was run out for half of Pati's score. Niranjan Behera and Halhadar Das were the only other batsmen to go past 20, and Orissa's second innings lasted 85.1 overs - they played 101.4 in the first. The final wicket gave Ravindra Jadeja, whose 232 not out was his maiden first-class ton, his career-best figures. Another POV Saurashtra humble Orissa Rajkot: A five-wicket haul by Ravindra Jadeja enabled hosts Saurashtra humble Orissa by an innings and 84 runs on the fourth and final day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group match here on Thursday. Orissa, who were following on after being bundled out for 302 on Wednesday in reply to Saurashtra’s 620 for four declared, were dismissed for 234 in the second innings. Jadeja, who scored an unbeaten 232 in Saurashtra’s first innings and added a record-breaking 520 runs for the fifth wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (302 not out), was the pick of the bowlers with figures of five for 44. He was ably supported by fellow spinners Rakesh Dhruve (2/18) and Kamlesh Makwana (2/92).

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A Review of Ranji performance after Round II Narwal called up for Bhandari AMIT BHANDARI has been dropped from the Delhi squad for their crucial Ranji match against Mumbai which starts on Sunday and will be replaced by Sumit Narwal. Bhandari, who started the match against Punjab, was left on the bench for the Hyderabad game, his place going to Parwinder Awana. Speaking about the decision, Delhi skipper Aakash Chopra said: “It will be difficult to accommodate Bhandari in the eleven, so we decided that, instead of keeping an experienced player like him on the bench, we would not include him in the squad.†Chopra added that Bhandari had been dropped “only for one match.†Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya, too, echoed a similar thought. “We have to give an opportunity to players to prove themselves and Narwal is a player who took his chances last time around, so we decided to give him a go,†said Dahiya. “As far as Bhandari goes, we all thought it wouldn't be right to bench a senior player like him.†A Delhi selector, however, had a completely different take on the issue. “Bhandari doesn’t figure in to the scheme of things at the moment and this move was a long time coming.†Saurashtra vs Orissa (Kandheri Cricket Stadium, Rajkot) :Round of applause for world record partnership IN THE first round last week, Saurashtra suffered an innings defeat at the hands of Gujarat. This round, Saurashtra recovered tremendously by winning by an innings and 84 runs against Orissa. The match will more be remembered for the world record 520-run partnership for the unseparated fifth wicket between Cheteshwara Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja. 15_11_2008_022_007_008.jpg Pujara scored his third triple century within a month, the earlier two coming in the Col CK Nayudu under-22 games. His 302 not out was his career best. Jadeja, who had scored his maiden first class century by making 232 not out, had a fine run with the ball too, picking up five wickets in Orissa’s second innings. Brief scores: Saurashtra: 620/4 decl. (Pujara 302*, Jadeja 232*) beat Orissa: 302 (SS Das 76, Biswal 62, Sehgal 64; Makvana 4-142) and 234 (Jadeja 5-44) HT’s players of the match : Cheteshwara Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja Hyderabad vs Delhi (Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad): LEFT-HANDED Anoop Pai's 130 and his partnership with wicket-keeper batsman Abhinav Kumar (76) helped Hyderabad seize the early advantage against a Delhi attack that lost Ashish Nehra due to hamstring. The home team held their nerves and helped by wicket-to-wicket bowling by medium-pacer Ashwin Yadav, who bagged his maiden five-wicket haul in first class cricket — 6 for 52, took the first innings lead and earn a honourable draw. 15_11_2008_022_007_012.jpg With the match out of Delhi’s control, Hyderabad batsmen helped themselves to meaningful practice in the second innings with Ravi Teja scoring an unbeaten century. Brief scores: Hyderabad: 334 (Anoop Pai 130, Abhinav 76; Sangwan 4-86) and 230/3 (T Suman 52, Ravi Teja 113*) drew with Delhi: 284 (Chopra 51, Dhawan 47, Bisht 78; Yadav 6-52) HT’s players of the match : Anoop Pai and Ashwin Yadav Punjab vs Rajasthan (PCA Stadium, Mohali) Just a shade unlucky were Punjab, who missed their bonus point despite defeating Rajasthan in three days. Facing a victory target of 41, Punjab could have earned the extra point had they not lost a wicket. Unfortunately, the first innings centurion Sunny Sohal fell but more importantly, Punjab won, handing Rajasthan their second successive defeat. 15_11_2008_022_007_017.jpg For the second successive game, Rajasthan’s Vineet Saxena top-scored for the side but the rest including their imported captain Y Venugopal Rao were found wanting. Rajasthan, who were lucky to survive in the Super League last season, will have to seriously bring their resources together in the remaining matches if they have to remain among the country’s top 15 teams. Brief scores: Rajasthan: 133 (Gagandeep 4-37, Gony 4-39) and 169 (Saxena 83; Charanjit 3-38, Kakkar 3-30) lost to Punjab: 262 (Sohal 106; Gajendra 4-67) and 41/1 HT’s player of the match: Sunny Sohal Karnataka vs Tamil Nadu (M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore) TAMIL NADU gave their coach WV Raman almost a heart attack for the kind of start they had on the first morning. Abhinav Mukund, triple centurion against Maharashtra, captain S Badrinath and wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik were back in the pavilion without entering the double digits and the total reading at 51 for 3. But Karnataka let slip the advantage as debutant exciting batsman Arun Karthik (149) and established left-hander Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan (193) scored big hundreds to take TN to a healthy score. 15_11_2008_022_007_022.jpg Karnataka were lucky to escape with a draw after following on. Brief scores: Tamil Nadu: 531 (Karthik 149, Vidyut 193, Suresh 90; Vinay 3-90, Joshi 4-136) drew with Karnataka: 267 (Raghu 76; Balaji 3-46, Suresh 4-58, Ashwin 3-63) and 269/4 (Pawan 84, Pandey 57*; Ashwin 3-71) HT’s players of the match: Arun Karthik and Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan Baroda vs Uttar Pradesh (Moti Bagh Stadium, Baroda) OMITTED FROM the India ODI team, Irfan Pathan made his presence felt in the domestic fixture by picking up 6 for 85. But his effort was not enough to stop visitors Uttar Pradesh from taking the first innings lead in the drawn encounter. Praveen Kumar, also left out from the ODI side, took 5 for 71 to help UP restrict Baroda to 235. Praveen came good with the bat to score a quick 50 at number nine to help UP move past Baroda’s total. 15_11_2008_022_007_026.jpg UP rode well on Tanmay Srivastava’s 79 and captain Md Kaif’s 51. Baroda put up an improved show in the second innings, and with time run ning out, they could not force a victory. Facing a target of 264, UP managed 151 for 6. Brief scores: Baroda: 235 (Solanki 71; Praveen5-71) and 314 (Parab 67, Solanki 71; Chawla 4-122) drew with UP: 286 (Srivastava 79, Md Kaif 51, Praveen 50) and 151/6 (Veragi 3-58). HT’s player of the match: Praveen Kumar Maharashtra vs Andhra (Golf Club Ground, Nasik) THE YOUNG Maharashtra outfit continued to impress with the bat to hold Andhra for a draw and take the first innings points. Andhra, led single-handedly by hemal Watekar’s 142, made a fighting 348. Left-arm medium-pacer Samad Fallah impressed with the ball by taking six for 102. 15_11_2008_022_007_030.jpg Opener Harshad Khadiwale was equal to the task by scoring his second Ranji hundred and with support from the top-order, Maharashtra overwhelmed Andhra's first innings score. There was little to choose between the two teams in the second innings. Brief scores: Andhra: 348 (Watekar 142; Fallah 6-102) and 210/5 decl.: 210/5 decl. (Prasad Reddy 53, Sumanth 58 n.o.) drew with Maharashtra: 393 all out (Khadiwale 103, Bhosale 77, Shirkhande 59, Jadhav 63; M Suresh 4-75) and 27/1 HT’s player of the match: Harshad Khadiwale Mumbai vs Gujarat (Lalbhai Contractor Stadium, Surat) MUMBAI CONTINUED from where they left against Rajasthan, crushing Gujarat by an innings and 239 runs in the first of their three back-to-back away games. Gujarat, who let slip the advantage after winning the toss and electing to field, did not learn from their first innings mistakes, being bowled out for just 44. 15_11_2008_022_007_034.jpg While captain Wasim Jaffer (172) and Ajinkya Rahane (104) batted Gujarat out of the match on the first day, their efforts were well supported by bowlers, all of whom got into the groove. However, the star bowler was Dhawal Kulkarni, who ended with seven wickets against Surat. Brief scores: Mumbai: 486 (Jaffer 172, Rahane 104, Muzumdar 61; Parmar 6-143) beat Gujarat: 203 (Makda 73, Singh 41; Kulkarni 470) and 44 (Agarkar 3-15, Kulkarni 3-7, Powar 3-19). HT’s players of the match: Wasim Jaffer and Dhawal Kulkarni Frazer sacked, Taposh new Ranji coach Jaipur: Fed up with the tension between skipper Venugopal Rao and coach Ian Frazer, Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) sacked the Australian from his post and appointed chief curator Taposh Chatterjee in his place. Rao and Frazer had been at loggerheads for a while on team matters and the differences had reached a point where Rao had threatened to quit. Sources said RCA was not happy with the tension between the two and felt it was the main reason behind the lacklustre performance of Rajasthan in the Ranji Super League where the team lost its first two matches by huge margins. Sources close to Frazer, however, said that it was Frazer who had volunteered to step down when he was told by the RCA that Rao was mulling to quit.

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Guest HariSampath   
Guest HariSampath

Gujarat being mowed down by Mumbai....and this state has THREE Ranji teams, how pathetic. And also, it was this same Gujarat that thrashed Saurashtra by an inngs...puts many performances in perspective

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Guest HariSampath   
Guest HariSampath
Check out Pujara: three triples in a month!
2 of the triple 100s were in U-22 games in the west zone, and this 300 was against a weak side Orissa. Pujara is not yet a contender for the national team. He would have to score consistently against tougher bowling and then play India A etc , against some international bowling before staking a serious claim. Right now he has just got a couple of headlines, thats all. He is nowhere in contention.

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Anureet Singh: Delhi’s loss & Railways’ gain Vinayak Bhushan Padmadeo Posted: Nov 11, 2008 at 2326 hrs IST New Delhi, November 10 For four years, Anureet Singh bowled at Delhi’s pre-Ranji camp, but wasn’t named in their team. But in only his second year with the Railways, he has already made his place in the Ranji side. Anureet made a dream debut for Railways as he took six for 49 against Karnataka in Bangalore last week. He admitted to being a bit apprehensive. “I was a bit nervous as I was bowling the second over of the match. But once that was completed, I was ok,” Anureet says. Tired of being repeatedly shunned by Delhi, Anureet tried his luck with the Railways. Singh was picked up for the Railways Under-22 side that was being coached by Abhay Sharma at the time. “He did well for the U-22 side and when I was made the coach of the senior team. I pitched in for his selection,” Sharma said. Sharma had to fight for Singh’s inclusion in the Ranji squad, as selectors weren’t keen. “Initially, the selectors weren’t keen on his inclusion, but thankfully they heeded to my request and he was brilliant in his first match,” Sharma adds. Before all this, Sharma saw to it that Anureet was on Railways’ pay rolls and played the zonal-railways tournament to impress the Railways Sports Promotion Board. Once it was done, Anureet’s passage to the senior squad was a cakewalk. “Anureet was played ahead of Santosh Saxena, who has been a regular in the team for the last seven-eight years. He repaid my faith in him,” Sharma says of his protégé. Interestingly, Anureet credits Sharma for his match haul of 6/49. “Abhay sir found that my landing foot was going across and that’s why I was drifting down leg in Karnataka’s first innings. His inputs made me change the stride and I got those wickets in the second innings,” Singh says. Recalling his struggles with Delhi, Singh says: “I was called for the trials for four years. I played in the trial matches and took wickets regularly. But somehow, my name was never on the team sheet. But I have moved on and I am happy playing for Railways.” Anureet Singh in focus NEW DELHI: Two years ago he came to the Railways’ ‘nets’ with dreams of making it big. Now he carries the ambitions of Railways in a season of hope. Anureet Singh, the lanky fast bowler, would be the man to watch out for at the Karnail Singh Stadium when Railways meets Baroda in the Ranji Trophy super league contest here from Sunday. The humble background was a driving force for Anureet. From his non-descript address in east Delhi, he worked hard and made a huge impact on his first-class debut this season when he claimed six for 49 in Karnataka’s second innings. Coach Abhay Sharma had seen a spark in the boy and is convinced he has the potential to “go far.” Line and length is Anureet’s strong point and he likes to hit the deck because he is deceptive off the pitch and has to bowl in the right areas to get the best results. Railways claimed three points from its last match even as Baroda, which conceded the first innings lead to Uttar Pradesh in its only match, would be hard pressed to deliver in the absence of Munaf Patel and Yusuf Pathan. The teams have played the Ranji Trophy finals in 2001 and 2002.

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Previews of Round III Problems galore for UP Sharad Deep Ghaziabad A green top is likely to spice up the contest between two well-matched sides as Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu lock horns in their Ranji Trophy super league Group ‘B’ match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Cricket Stadium here on Sunday. Having earned six points each from two games, both sides will try to collect as much points as possible from this tough game and strengthen their bid for a quarterfinal berth. The sight of a prominent grass cover on the track must be pleasing to the eyes of the fast bowlers in both the camps. On paper, the two teams have depth in their seam-attack. But the host must be eyeing a positive result as its pacemen have contributed heavily to the side’s success this season. Home team's problems OVER-DEPENDENCE on skipper Mohd Kaif, middle-order batsman Suresh Raina and opener Tanmay Srivastava has been Uttar Pradesh’s biggest cause for concern in recent years. The three have been doing the bulk of the scoring for the past three seasons, including 2005-06, when they won their maiden Ranji Trophy title With Raina doing national duty against England — the last year’s runners-up now have only Kaif and Srivastava to look up to in the batting order. Things are expected to remain the same when they take on Tamil Nadu in their Group B super league match at the Nehru Stadium here from Sunday. Barring Kaif, who has 200 runs to his name, and the lefthanded opener Srivastava (236 runs in three innings), others failed to impress with the willow. Anshul Kapoor, despite getting opportunities at the top of the order, has so far scored 6, 0, 21 in three outings. Thanks to his poor run, the team management may replace Kapoor with Shivakant Shukla; the left-hander had a good season in 2005-06 both in under-22 and Ranji Trophy. While seamer Sudeep Tyagi is not in the best of form, there are also doubts over all-rounder Praveen Kumar’s fitness — he has suffered an ankle injury on the third day of their match against Baroda. Piyush Chawla’s six-wicket haul against Baroda was one of the few positives for UP. As for the Dinesh Karthik-led Tamil Nadu, both their batsmen and bowlers performed well against Maharashtra and Karnataka, and will go into match as firm favourites. Murali Vjay started with a bang, scoring a double century, Abhinav Mukund has a triple ton to his name while S. Vidyut, Arun Karthik and Suresh Kumar are also in great form. As far as the bowling is concerned, C. Suresh (9 wkts), R Ashwin (9) and Lakshmipathy Balaji (5), have been impressive. Karnataka v Andhra: Struggling teams aim to bounce back The Big Picture 320415.jpgRahul Dravid's inclusion will boost an inexperienced Karnataka batting line-up © AFP It's virtually a bottom-of the-table clash when Karnataka take on Andhra in Mysore. The good news for both the teams is that since there have been no outright results in their group yet, they are still only four points behind the leaders. Andhra's troubles so far this season have been mainly because of their ineffective bowling attack: their batsmen have run up scores in the region of 350 in both matches but Andhra have ceded the vital first-innings lead on both occasions, costing their side four points. While Karnataka's bowling hasn't been in top form this season, their real area of concern is the inexperienced batting; they folded for 127 against Railways and were forced to follow-on against Tamil Nadu. The specialist batsman with most matches under his belt is 23-year-old captain Robin Uthappa, with no other senior pro to guide the newcomers in the line-up. That drawback has been addressed by the inclusion of Rahul Dravid, who will be looking to play himself into form after an extended fallow period on the international circuit. Players to watch Besides Dravid, the other man to watch in the Karnataka side is Uthappa, who finds himself in the doldrums as far as national selection is concerned. When he was dropped from the ODI side after a promising beginning in 2006, he made his case with a spectacular Ranji season, amassing 854 runs to lead the batting charts. Uthappa started this season in a similar vein, with a superb Challenger Trophy and a century against Railways before being laid low by a viral fever. He has been declared fit for this match and how he fares will have a large bearing on Karnataka's performance. For Andhra, 24-year-old legspinner M Suresh has made a great start to the season; the two best bowling performances in his first-class career have been in the two matches he's played this season. There was also a doughty 46 at No. 8 against Uttar Pradesh, which boosted Andhra's total to a challenging 349. Team Karnataka (from): Robin Uthappa (capt), Rahul Dravid, KB Pawan, C Raghu, G Satish, Thilak Naidu (wk), Manish Pandey, Sunil Joshi, Vinay Kumar, NC Aiyappa, Sunil Raju, S Aravind, Deepak Chougule, KP Appanna, CM Gautam. Andhra (from): Y Gnaneswara Rao (capt), AG Pradeep, D Kalyankrishna, Hemal Watekar, LNP Reddy, DP Vijaykumar, GV Saratbabu, ASK Verma, Manoj Sai (wk), I Raju, Achyut Rao, Ravi Shankar, M Suresh, A Veera Babu. Mumbai vs Delhi : Big game hunting WINNING, IT is believed, is not everything in sport. It is the ambition, and not the outcome, that counts. Try telling that to the Mumbai or Delhi players. For when it comes to Delhi v Mumbai, winning is all that matters and nothing else suffices. It is the big one. Defending champions Delhi take on the might of Mumbai and neither wants to lose. Judging exclusively on the starts these two teams have had to the season, it would be safe to say Mumbai are the favourites. But, like so many times before in this rivalry, the formbook could amount to precious little. Delhi haven’t looked like defending champions in the first two games of the season. Their batting has flattered to deceive, often trying to dominate opposition bowling attacks far too quickly, while the bowling has been off-colour. Four points from two matches isn’t the kind of return skipper Aakash Chopra would have wanted, and with the dropping of veteran pacer Amit Bhandari grabbing all the headlines instead of the cricket, the hosts know they must win against Mumbai and get the season back on track. A task easier said than done. Already missing four key players – Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma and Virat Kohli, Delhi were dealt another massive blow at Hyderabad when Ashish Nehra did his right hamstring in. While the team insisted that a final call on Nehra’s inclusion in the playing XI would be taken on Sunday, it would be of little surprise to see him sit this one out. If Nehra doesn’t make it, Delhi’s pace attack will consist of the relatively inexperienced trio of Pradeep Sangwan, Parwinder Awana and Sumit Narwal. Delhi’s batsmen have let the team down in both matches so far, and need to get their act together as soon as possible. For Mumbai, however, there seem to be no such concerns. Wasim Jaffer’s men have got off to a flier this season, winning both their matches – against Rajasthan and Gujarat – with a bonus point. Sitting pretty on top of the group with 12 points, Mumbai could be just a win away from qualifying to the quarterfinals. Despite Rohit Sharma away and all-rounder Abhishek Nayar down with dengue, Mumbai look the balanced of the two teams. And perhaps, it was this all-round strength of the opposition that had the Delhi thinktank in two minds about the kind of wicket they want. Jaffer leads the batting and will expect able support from Sahil Kukreja and Ajinkya Rahane. Though Ajit Agarkar skipped practice on Saturday with fever, he is expected to shoulder the fast bowling load along with the highly rated Dhawal Kulkarni. This match is about much, much more than the six points. It is about pride, bragging rights and proving a point. Communication gap NOT THAT the players needed any charging up, but the Delhi v Mumbai game got just that little bit more interesting when a ‘communication gap'’ within the DDCA resulted in the Mumbai team unable to practice on Friday. The visitors, who had expressed to get an extra session in on Friday evening, were left waiting in front of their hotel for almost an hour for a team bus that never arrived! It was worse for the players who had decided to take a car to the ground in the hope that their kits would follow in the bus. The team management tried to contact the DDCA, but to no avail. And that wasn’t the only trouble Mumbai faced since landing in the Capital, the team shifted from the hotel they had been booked in at Karol Bagh, apparently ‘appalled at the lack of fa cilities’. Upbeat Railways look to upset Baroda Heena Zuni Pandit New Delhi IN WHAT is expected to be an interesting encounter, Railways meet Baroda in a Group ‘A’ match at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Sunday. Railways, high after earning three points on the basis of a firstinnings lead in their drawn match against Karnataka, will take to the field with the same line-up. With Yere Goud — who scored a century against Karnataka — in good form and Sanjay Bangar too making handsome contributions, Railways are expected to give Baroda a run for money. “Everyone is in good form and the boys are confident,†said coach Abhay Sharma. With their batsmen yet to strike form, Baroda will again depend on their bowlers, especially, Irfan Pathan. The left-arm seamer had an impressive outing in the last match against Uttar Pradesh, picking up seven wickets. Even though they have just one point to show for, Baroda cannot be taken lightly as they have the players to turn the table. While Baroda would love to see their batsmen score some runs, they will have to be careful against Murali Karthik, who already has a 5-wicket haul in the season. Asked about his team’s strategies, Sharma said: “Instead of thinking about the game, we will concentrate on the first session because I think that will be crucial for us.†Teams (from) Railways: A Pagnis, SB Bangar, K Sharma, HD Rawle, S Sanyal, YKT Goud, M Rawat (w-k), Raja Ali, M Kartik, H Singh, A Singh; Baroda: C Williams, SS Parab, A Bilakhia, RK Solanki, PR Shah (w-k), SA Gaekwad, IK Pathan, K Panchal, RV Pawar, IS Pathan, SY Veragi. IN WHAT is expected to be an inter- esting encounter, Railways meet Baroda in a Group ‘A’ match at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Sunday. Railways, high after earning three points on the basis of a first- innings lead in their drawn match against Karnataka, will take to the field with the same line-up. With Yere Goud — who scored a century against Karnataka — in good form and Sanjay Bangar too making handsome contributions, Railways are expected to give Baroda a run for money. “Everyone is in good form and the boys are confident,†said coach Abhay Sharma. With their batsmen yet to strike form, Baroda will again depend on their bowlers, especially, Irfan Pathan. The left-arm seamer had an impressive outing in the last match against Uttar Pradesh, picking up seven wickets. Even though they have just one point to show for, Baroda cannot be taken lightly as they have the play- ers to turn the table. While Baroda would love to see their batsmen score some runs, they will have to be careful against Murali Karthik, who already has a 5-wicket haul in the season. Asked about his team’s strate- gies, Sharma said: “Instead of thinking about the game, we will concentrate on the first session be- cause I think that will be crucial for us.†Teams (from) Railways: A Pagnis, SB Bangar, K Sharma, HD Rawle, S Sanyal, YKT Goud, M Rawat (w-k), Raja Ali, M Kartik, H Singh, A Singh; Baroda: C Williams, SS Parab, A Bi- lakhia, RK Solanki, PR Shah (w-k), SA Gaekwad, IK Pathan, K Panchal, RV Pawar, IS Pathan, SY Veragi. Saurashtra meets Punjab Rajkot: Cheteshwar Pujara has been in good form for Saurashtra this season. But Pujara will face a test against Punjab’s robust seam attack in Manpreet Gony and Gangandeep Singh in the third round of the National cricket championship that gets underway here from Sunday. Punjab captain Pankaj Dharmani said his young team would be facing Saurashtra for the first time in the championship and he has had a look at Pujara and Jadeja’s batting on television. Sunny Sohail (110 against Delhi and 106 against Rajasthan) has been in sizzling form and some of the others too have been in good nick, so have been seamers Manpreet Gony and Gagandeep Singh. The teams (from): Punjab: Pankaj Dharmani (capt.), Karan Goel, Ravinder Singh, Sunny Sohal, Ravneet Ricky, Ankur Kakkar, Taruwar Kohli, Uday Kaul, Siddharth Kaul, Amanpreet Singh, Manpreet Gony, Gagandeep Singh, Charanjit Singh, Sarabjit Ladda and Varun Khanna. Saurashtra: Jaydev Shah (capt.), Sagar Jogiani, Kanaiya Waghela, Sitanshu Kotak, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Pratik Metha, Balkrishna Jadeja, Bhushan Chauhan, Sandeep Jobanputra, Sandip Maniar, Rakesh Dhruv, Kamlesh Makwana, M. Dodia and Jayesh Odedra. Umpries: G.A. Pratapkumar and Sameer Bandekar; Match Referee: Sunil Gudge. — Special Correspondent Hyderabad takes on Gujarat Principal Correspondent AHMEDABAD: A confident Hyderabad will take on Gujarat, which is struggling to recover from the humiliation it suffered at the hands of Mumbai in the previous match, in the four-day Ranji Trophy Super League match at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, here from Sunday. Arjun Yadav-led Hyderabad, having taken the vital first innings lead against Orissa and Delhi in the first two matches, will be looking for a solid start from openers T. Suman and D. B. Ravi Teja. “The pitch looks good and the ball seems to carry with some bounce,†said coach Kanwaljit Singh after the training session. “We are pleased with the way things have gone for us so far. We will continue to look for the collective effort from the boys,†he said. With hard-hitting all-rounder Amol Shinde likely to recover after missing the previous game with a twisted ankle, Hyderabad will finalise its playing eleven only tomorrow. With fast bowlers M. P. Shoaib, M. P. Arjun and Ashwin Yadav expected to provide the early breakthroughs, the spinners — left-armer A. Lalith Mohan and Ahmed Quadri — should rise to the expectations. In batting, the team may look to experienced Arjun Yadav and aggressive Ravi Teja. Gujarat coach Ashok Patel feels that his team has a long batting order which should come good on a “perfect batting†strip. “It is important to forget what happened in the previous match (when Gujarat was bowled out for a miserable 44 against Mumbai to suffer an innings defeat) and look for the job on hand,†was his advice to his players. The teams (from): Hyderabad: N. Arjun Yadav (capt.), D. B. Ravi Teja, T. Suman, D. Rushiraj, Abhinav Kumar (wk), M P. Arjun, Amol Shinde, M.P. Shoaib, Ashwin Yadav, A. Lalith Mohan, Vishal Sharma, P. Akshath Reddy, Ahmed Quadri and Vijay Goud. Coach: Kanwaljit Singh. Manager: Chitti Sridhar. Gujarat: Parthiv Patel (capt.), Neeraj Patel (vice-capt.), Nilesh Modi, Priyank Panchal, Bhavik Thakur, Sunny Patel, Digant Popat, Rajesh Tabiar, Timil Patel, Mohnish Parmar, Anupam Patel, Siddarth Trivedi, Ashraf Mokda, Amit Singh and Eswar Choudhary. Chief coach: Ashok Patel.

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Some good matchups in the third round : Mumbai vs Delhi UP vs TN Punjab vs Saurashtra It will be interesting to note the performance of Pujara as he'll face a relatively sterner bowling attack. With the exodus of as many as 12 players from the Punjab team to the ICL, Punjab has a relatively young team with an average age of only about 23.

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Guest HariSampath   
Guest HariSampath
Expecting a Dravid double here. Hopefully.
sorry dude....Dravid got a pathetic 39 off 95 balls....after playing 34 overs against an Andhra attack...

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