Dhawan’s ton scripts Delhi’s big win
NEW DELHI: Leading from the front, skipper Shikhar Dhawan smashed an unbeaten 116 as Delhi thrashed Maharashtra by seven wickets in a Group B Ranji Trophy match to stay in contention for a knock-out berth.
Dhawan anchored the innings to perfection as his unbeaten century helped the hosts chase a challenging target of 270.
He got fantastic support from Mohit Sharma (51) and Mithun Manhas who smashed his way to a 40-ball-51 with the help of five fours and three sixes.
En route to his 16th first-class century, Dhawan faced 194 balls hitting 12 boundaries and a six.
Dhawan-Manhas combination added 83 runs in only 83 balls in the post lunch session which turned out to be decisive.
Delhi now have 17 points from seven games and they still have a fair chance of qualifying if they beat Vidarbha in their final league game in Nagpur.
It was one of the rare occasion this season when Delhi batsmen, save Unmukt Chand, fired collectively.
Unmukt was again guilty of playing a rank bad shot as he tried to cut a delivery from Shrikant Mundhe and dragged the back ball onto his stumps.
However, Mohit Sharma was the partner that Dhawan was looking for as they slowly but steadily started the chase.
Dhawan was in punishing mood on anything that was on his pads as well as deliveries that were dug in short. Young left-hander Mohit also played some lovely drives and was the first to reach half-century.
The duo added 94 runs for the second wicket as Mohit was trapped leg before by left-arm seamer Samad Fallah at the stroke of lunch.
However, it was this partnership that became an ideal launchpad for Manhas to launch a furious assault on Maharashtra bowlers. He took on seamer Nikit Dhumal who was hit for three huge sixes.
He also muscled him through square leg for a boundary to get 16 from the over. In the next over he hooked Dhumal over fine leg for his third six. He reached his 50 in no time considering he came into bat when Dhawan was on 42.
When Manhas was finally caught brilliantly by Ankit Bawne at gully off Mundhe's bowling, the match was already in Delhi's grip as they had reached 182. Brief Scores: Maharashtra 196 & 266. Delhi 193 & 273/3 (Shikhar Dhawan 116 no, Mohit Sharma 51, Mithun Manhas 51). Delhi won by 7 wickets. Points: Delhi 6 Maharashtra 0. MUMBAI SETTLE FOR DRAW VS SAURASHTRA RAJKOT: Despite the need for an outrightwin, Mumbai today settled for a draw in their group "A" match against Saurashtra when they restricted the hosts to 300 and then decided to bat again instead of imposing follow-on.
Mumbai got three points while Saurashtra got one point.
Arpit Vasavada's century was the only highlight of the day, as hosts, resuming at overnight 248 for 8, managed to add another 52 runs. Vasavada, who was on 83, completed his century and remained unbeaten on 111 runs. He was supported well by Jaydev Unadkat who made 28 as the duo added 70 runs for the ninth wicket. Dhawal Kulkarni removed Unadkat and then Siddharth Trivedi and finished with impressive figures of four for 58.
However, captain Ajit Agarkar did not enforce followon and decided to bat again. In the second innings, Mumbai made 169 for four.
Wasim Jaffer (71) and Rohit Sharma (71) were the notable contributors for Mumbai. Ankit Chavan (1) and Iqbal Abdulla (0) were at the crease when both the captain agreed to call off the match. Mumbai now have 14 points while Saurashtra
have 16. Brief Scores: Mumbai 606 for 5 declared and 169 for four (Wasim Jaffer 71, Rohit Sharma 71) against Saurashtra 300 (Arpit Vasavada not out 111, Jaydev Shah 60, Dhawal Kulkarni 4-58, Javed Khan 2-43). HARYANA EARN THREE POINTS AGAINST UP LUCKNOW: A slender first-innings lead of 49runs proved to be crucial for Haryana as it helped them take three points against Uttar Pradesh.
The hosts, despite posting 348 in their second essay, had to be content with a point.
From individual performances' point of view, Uttar Pradesh's wicketkeeper-batsman Eklavya Dwivedi hogged the limelight with a 193-ball 121, the 24-year-old's maiden firstclass century. Brief scores: Uttar Pradesh: 227 and 348 (Eklavya Dwivedi 121, parvinder Singh 64 Harshal Patel 4/100). Haryana: 276 and 106 for three in 43 overs (Nitin Saini 68). BUNDELA, JALAJ STEER MP TO 8-WICKET WIN GWALIOR: Skipper Devendra Bundela (100)scored an unbeaten century and shared a match- winning 185-run stand with Jalaj Saxena (72 not out) as Madhya Pradesh spanked Punjab by eight wickets in their Group A match.
Chasing a 190-run target, Madhya Pradesh overcame two early jolts to chase down the required runs in 45.3 overs.
The hosts earlier shot out Punjab for 364 as the two overnight batsmen -- Sandeep Sharma (28) and Baltej Singh (8) could resists the home bowlers for just 5.1 overs.
Punjab, who were following on, had began the day at 354 for eight at Captain Roop Singh Stadium.
MP's chase was not ideal as they lost opener Naman Ojha (0) and Anand rajan (6) inside the first five overs.
Paceman Sandeep Sharma had Ojha caught behind in the fifth ball of the innings and then he trapped Rajan in his third over. Saxena and Bundela though batted well to steer the side to a comfortable victory. Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh: 323 and 193 for 2 in 45.3 overs (D Bundela 100 not out, J Saxena 72 not out S Sharma 2/39). Punjab 148 and 364 (f/o) in 97.1 overs. INNINGS WIN FOR RAILWAYS BHUBANESHWAR: All-rounder Karan Sharmagrabbed a career-best eight-wicket haul as Railways crushed defending champions Rajasthan by an innings and 12 runs to record their first win of the season here on Tuesday.
Replying to the Railways' mammoth first innings score of 405, Rajasthan were following on after being dismissed for 135.
Their second essay ended at 258 with Karan being the wrecker-in-chief in the Group A encounter. With this win, Railways, who had drawn their previous five matches, have jumped to fifth position with 14 points.
Resuming at the overnight 153 for two, Rajasthan seemed steady as Robin Bist and Ashok Menaria completed contrasting half-centuries.
While Rohit consumed 194 deliveries for his 68-run knock, which included five fours and a six, Menaria proved to be the aggressor with his 69-ball 56 which was studded with 10 boundaries, including a six. Final Scores: Railways: 405 (Shukla 109, Madkaikar 86) Rajasthan: 135 and 258 (f/o) (Bist 68, Menaria 56, Chouhan 51 Karan 8-97). AP, JHARKHAND MATCH ENDS IN DRAW DHANBAD: Andhra Pradesh pockted three pointsby virtue of first innings lead after their Ranji Trophy Group C match against Jharkhand ended in a draw here today.
Needing to chase an improbable 143-run target for an outright win at the fag end of the day, Andhra finished at 32 for four in 10 overs in their second innings. The outcome of the match was already decided after Jharkhand, resuming at 20 for no loss, declared their second innings at 295 for nine, thereby setting the improbable target in front of the visitors.
However, Andhra will take home three points from the match because of a vital 153-run first innings lead.
Andhra scored 410 in their first innings in reply to Jharkhand's 257 all out. Brief Scores: Jharkhand: 257 and 295 for 9 in 91.3 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 99, Akash Verma 82 Shaik Basha 6/74). Andhra Pradesh: 410 and 32 fof 4 in 10 overs. Points: Andhra Pradesh 3, Jharkhand 1.