2017-18 Ranji Trophy 1st round, day 2 round-up: Gautam Gambhir's unbeaten century puts Delhi on top
Prashant Chopra's triple century on his birthday, Gautam Gambhir's unbeaten century and Saurashtra pacers' destruction with the ball headlined day 2 of the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy.
Chopra continued from where he had left off last season as he scored a brilliant 338 against Punjab at Dharamsala to take his side to 729 in the first innings. Gambhir's unbeaten 136 gave Delhi the upper hand as they took the first innings lead against Assam while Saurashtra are just four wickets away from an innings victory.
One of the pre-tournament favourites, Tamil Nadu, are on the verge of taking home just one point as Andhra's batsmen punished them for a dismal batting performance, taking a 55-run lead. The most interesting piece of action came from Ashok Dinda who scored 55 off 25 balls (eight fours and two sixes) against Services.
Let us take a look at all that happened on day 2 of the first round.
Centuries from Gautam Gambhir (his 40th in first-class games) and Nitish Rana helped Delhi take an 11-run lead over Assam. Rana was dismissed for 110 while Gambhir remained unbeaten on 136. Delhi ended the day at 269/4.
Hosts Uttar Pradesh are well on their way to securing all the six points as they have Railways on the mat at 27/3 at the end of day 2. After bundling out Railways for just 182, Akshdeep Nath's 75, along with some useful contributions from Rinku Singh and Shivam Chaudhary took UP to 250 and gave them a 68-run first innings lead.
UP bowlers stuck early in Railways' secon innings as Ankit Rajpoot's two wickets in two balls dented the visitors' hopes of a recovery. Discarded Indian batsman Suresh Raina failed for UP as he got out for just 6.
The other Group A match between Maharashtra and Hyderabad was washed out due to rain.
Delhi: Delhi 269/4 (Gautam Gambhir 136*, Nitish Rana 110, Abu Nechim Ahmed 3/39) lead Assam 258 by 11 runs.
Lucknow: Railways 182 and 27/3 (Ankit Rajpoot 2/6) trail Uttar Pradesh 250 (Akshdeep Nath 75, Anureet Singh 3/42) by 41 runs.
After bundling out Rajasthan for 330, the Jammu and Kashmir openers started off strongly as they put on a century-stand for the opening wicket with their side ending the day at 150/1, Ahmad Bandey batting on 72. Earlier in the match, Robin Bist's 113 took Rajasthan to 330 in their first innings.
In the second Group B match in Trivandrum, Jalaj Saxena's all-round show put Kerala on top against Jharkhand as his unbeaten 47 took his side to 250/8 when stumps was called at the end of day 2. Sunny Sohal's 6/94 wasn't enough for Jharkhand, who were bundled out for just 202, thanks to Jalax Saxena's 6/50.
In an another Group B match at Lahli, Saurashtra's pacers are forcing Haryana into an innings defeat. The visitors are just four wickets away with the home team needing 78 runs to negate the deficit. Shaurya Sanandia's four-wicket haul, along with three wickets each from Kushang Patel and Jaydev Unadkat helped their team bundle out Haryana for just 107 in the first innings.
After enforcing the follow-on, Saurashtra reduced the hosts to 93/6 in the second innings when the stumps were drawn.
Trivandrum: Kerala 250/8 (Mohammed Azharudeen 51, Jalaj Saxena 47, Sunny Gupta 6/94) lead Jharkhand 202 (Ishan Kishan 45, Jalaj Saxena 6/50) by 48 runs.
Jaipur: Jammu and Kashmir 150/1 (Omar Ahmed Bandey 72*, Shubham Khajuria 53) trail Rajasthan 330 (Robin Bist 113, Ashok Menaria 69, Mohammad Mudhasir 5/81) by 18 runs.
Lahli: Haryana 107 (Shaurya Sanandia 4/44, Kushang Patel 2/31, Jaydev Unadkat 3/35) and 93/6 (CK Bishnoi 53*, Shaurya Sanandia 2/15) trail Saurashtra 278 by 78 runs.
After being reduced to 69/4 inside the first hour of the match, Madhya Pradesh made a brilliant comeback as they declared their first innings at 551/9, thanks to a brilliant 196 from Shubham Sharma, 104 from Ankit Sharma and 99 from Devendra Bundela. In return, Baroda managed to get to 36/2 when the day came to an end with both Puneet Datey and Ishwar Pandey accounting for a wicket each.
In another Group C match in Chennai, Andhra are on their way to creating the first upset of the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy. After resuming day 2 at 8/0, Andhra gave a reality check to one of the tournament favourites Tamil Nadu, taking a first-innings lead of 55 at the end of the day with three wickets still in hand. Tamil Nadu's pace duo of Lakshminarayanan Vignesh and Krishnamoorthy Vignesh started the day on a positive note as they took three wickets in the first hour before R Ashwin's brace reduced the visitors to 64/5 in the first session.
Washington Sundar dropped Ashwin Hebbar at deep midwicket when he was new at the crease and the batsman cashed in on the opportunity by scoring 64 and put on a 118-run partnership for the sixth wicket with B Sumanth, who remained unbeaten on 72. R Ashwin ended with figures of 2/51 while the Vigneshs accounted for two wickets apiece.
The match between Odisha and Tripura in Bhubaneswar has been washed out for a second consecutive day.
Chennai: Andhra 231/7 (B Sumanth 72*, Ashwin Hebbar 64, K Vignesh 2/46) lead Tamil Nadu 176 by 55 runs.
Indore: Baroda 36/2 (Kedar Devdhar 20*, Puneet Datey 1/10) trail Madhya Pradesh 551/8 decl. (Shubham Sharma 196, Ankit Sharma 104, Devendra Bundela 99) by 515 runs.
Services made a brisk start to their first innings, ending day 2 at 103/1 after Bengal piled on 552 runs in their first innings at Delhi. Sudip Chatterjee's 115, along with fifties from Wriddhiman Saha and Aamir Gani took Bengal to over 450 before Mohammed Shami and Ashok Dinda put on 77 runs for the last wicket to take the score over 550. Dinda remained unbeaten on 55 off 25 balls with the help of eight four and two sixes.
After being reduced to 132/5 in Goa, Chhattisgarh made a brilliant recovery, thanks to Manoj Singh's century and Jatin Saxena's 82 to post 458 on the board in their first innings against Goa. In return, Goa ended the day on 28 without the loss of any wicket.
Punjab opener Pargat Singh came out all guns blazing as his side ended day 2 at 110 for the loss of one wicket against Himachal Pradesh in Dharamsala. Earlier in the day, Himachal Pradesh declared their innings at 729/8. Prashant Chopra, who remained unbeaten on 271 overnight, completed his triple century, on his birthday, before getting out for 338.
Delhi: Services 103/1 (NK Singh 44*, Mohammad Shami 1/33) trail Bengal 552/9 decl. (Sudip Chatterjee 115, Ashok Dinda 55*, Wriddhiman Saha 55) by 449 runs.
Goa: Goa 28/0 (Sumiran Amonkar 13*) trail Chhattisgarh 458 (Manoj Singh 125, Jatin Saxena 82, Darshan Misal 5/79) by 430 runs.
Dharamsala: Punjab 110/1 (Pargat Singh 64) trail Himachal Pradesh 729/8 (Prashant Chopra 338, Paras Dogra 99, Ankush Bains 80) decl. by 619 runs.