Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Elite Group A roundup: Fazal ton puts Vidarbha ahead, sizeable leads for Baroda and Mumbai

After being asked to follow on, defending champions Vidarbha produced a much better batting performance in the second innings to finish the day on 287 for 3 against Maharashtra at the MCA Stadium in Pune. Skipper Faiz Fazal, who was the leading run-scorer last Ranji season, scored his 17th First-Class century off 248 balls and with support from a half-century from Wasim Jaffer put Vidarbha into the lead with an advantage of 64 runs.

After being rolled over for 120 in the first innings, the defending champions lost opener Sanjay Ramaswamy for 29 before Fazal and Ganesh Satish added 91 runs for the second wicket. The partnership was broken by Nikit Dhumal. Fazal remains unbeaten on 116 and received able support from Akshay Wadkar who is 37 not out. For Maharashtra, Anupam Sanklecha, Samad Fallah and Dhumal picked up a wicket each.

Brief Scores: Vidarbha 120 all out and 287 for 3 (Faiz Fazal 116*, Wasim Jaffer 63) lead Maharashtra 343 all out 64 runs at stumps on Day 3

Mumbai have extended their lead over Railways by 161 runs at stumps on day 3 at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Railways were buoyed by a half-century from Arindam Ghosh and some vital lower order contributions from Harsh Tyagi (39), Avinash Yadav (48) and Anureet Singh (38) to lift them from a precarious 115 for 6 to a respectable 307. Tushar Deshpande continued his impressive show and finished with 6 for 70.

Mumbai in reply were jolted early with Manish Rao removing opener Jay Bista for 5, after which Akhil Herwadkar and Ashay Sardesai made steady progress. But Tyagi removed Sardesai out leg before wicket half an hour before stumps for Mumbai to reach 57 for 2.

Brief Scores: Mumbai 57 for 2 (Akhil Herwadkar 24*) lead Railways 307 all out (Arindam Ghosh 71; Tushar Deshpande 6 for 70) by 161 runs.

At the SCA Stadium in Rajkot, Saurashtra’s Jaydev Unadkat grabbed seven wickets for 66 runs to help restrict Chhattisgarh to 315 for 8. Chhattisgarh failed to make the most of a promising start and after the opening stand between Sahil Gupta and Rishabh Tiwari put on 90 – both departing in quick succession – Unadkat took out their top order to complete a five-wicket-haul. Harpreet Singh scored 60 and Sanjeet Desai chipped in with 36 but Unadkat’s regular strikes ensured that Chhattisgarh never quite had another big partnership going. Unadkat then removed Desai and Omkar Verma to deal a couple of late strikes. Sumit Kumar is unbeaten on 36 with six boundaries.

Brief Scores: Chhattisgarh 315 for 8 (Harpreet Singh 60, Sahil Gupta 53; Jaydev Unadkat 7 for 66), trail Saurashtra 475 all out by 160 runs.

At Vadodara’s Moti Bagh Stadium, Baroda bowled out Gujarat and batted to reach 161 for 7 in the second innings with a lead of 149 runs. Resuming the day on 264 for 6, Gujarat were bowled out for 302 with Atith Seth, Lukman Meriwala and Bhargav Bhatt picking up three wickets each. In reply, Gujarat were led by a testing spell of bowling by Rush Kalaria, picking up 4 for 29 to have Baroda struggling at 87 for 6 at one point. It took a courageous half-century from Pinal Shah to keep Baroda’s hopes alive.

Brief Scores: Baroda 290 and 161 for 7 (Pinal Shah 71; Rush Kalaria 4 for 29) lead Gujarat 302 all out (Rujul Bhatt 76) by 149 runs.