CHENNAI: Manish Pandey’s blistering double century and Kerala’s fightback against Saurashtra were the highlights for South Zone teams in Saturday’s Ranji Trophy action. Tamil Nadu’s late-order rally against Madhya Pradesh was also among the notable points.
Group A: Pandey slaughtered Uttar Pradesh bowlers in Kanpur during his 301-ball 238, that included 31 fours and two sixes. It was his highest score in first-class cricket. He added 354 in a fourth-wicket partnership with D Nischal, who fell for 195. Playing his second match, Nischal faced 425 balls and hit 23 fours. Karnataka, who need just a point to ensure a knockout spot, were 642/7 at stumps on Day 2.
In Guwahati, Hyderabad bowlers wrapped up Assam for 136 in the first innings. None crossed 40. Right-arm medium pacer Mohammad Muddassir took five. Following on, Assam were 36/2. Hyderabad’s chances of qualifying are thin.
Group B: Kerala made a remarkable comeback, bundling out Saurashtra for 232 in T’puram. Resuming on 37/0, the visitors had coasted to 107 before losing Snell Patel. Left-arm spinner Sijomon Joseph then triggered a slide, as Saurashtra slipped from 144/1 to 178/7.
A 45-run stand for the eighth wicket between Jaydev Unadkat and Jay Chauhan helped Saurashtra scrape out a seven-run lead. Kerala were 69/1 at stumps. Saurashtra, Gujarat, and Kerala constitute the top-three with 23, 20, and 18 points.
Group C: In Ongole, an unbeaten 50 by Dhawal Kulkarni helped Mumbai stretch their score to 332 against Andhra Pradesh. It’s almost a must-win game for Mumbai, which Andhra can’t afford to lose. At 74/2, Andhra had work to do.
In Vadodara, Baroda posted 503 against Odisha. At stumps, Odisha were 64/2 with Natraj Behera at the crease. Both sides have minimal chance of qualification.
Tamil Nadu’s hopes were shouldered by the wicketkeeper N Jagadeesan, whose unbeaten 94 helped the team reach 196/6 in reply to Madhya Pradesh’s 264. Reaching the 200-mark seemed tough at a point as they were 76/6. V Yo Mahesh (44 no) was the other not out batsman.
Group A: In Guwahati: Hyderabad 326 (Akash Bhandari 71 no, Das 5/112) vs Assam 136 (Mudassar 5/36) & 362; In Kanpur: Karnataka 642/7 (Pandey 238, Nischal 195) vs UP. Group B: In T’puram: Kerala 225 & 69/1 vs Saurashtra 232 (Uthappa 86, Sijomon 4/43, Thampi 3/36). Group C: In Ongole: Mumbai 332 (Kulkarni 50 no, Ayappa 4/110) vs Andhra 74/2; In Indore: MP 264 (Ankit 77, K Vignesh 4/32, M Mohammed 3/67) vs TN 191/6 (Jagadeesan 91 no, Yomahesh 44 no, Pandey 3/36, Datey 3/36); In Vadodara: Baroda 503 (Solanki 109, Rathwa 115, Mohanty 5/85) vs Odisha 64/2.