Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the Ranji Trophy 2015-16 Group A match between Maharashtra and Karnataka at Pune, Maharashtra. The race to make it to the playoffs is intensifying and reigning champions Karnataka will be vying for an outright win against Maharashtra to strengthen their cause on the points table. Karnataka is currently ranked fourth on the table, while for Maharashtra getting into the top three to qualify seems less than a distinct possibility as they are currently ranked eighth with just one more game to go.  COMPLETE COVERAGE: Ranji Trophy 2015-16

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Karnataka 50/1 | Maharashtra 212 | Overs 19 | BATTING: Mayank Agarwal 25(61), Robin Uthappa 1(18): At stumps, Karnataka trailed Maharashtra by 162 runs with 9 wickets to spare and three days left in the match. Batting first, the hosts posted 212 runs in 62.4 overs before Karnataka showed up good batting effort as they went on to lose just one wicket by the end of the opening day of Round 9. OUT! Samarth R c K M Jadhav b Shrikant Mundhe 20(37)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Maharashtra 39/0 | Overs 8 | BATTING: Swapnil Gugale 25(31), Sangram Atitkar 13(17): Maharashtra are coming off from a draw match against Assam where the latter had earned three points for first innings lead. Winning the toss, Karnataka have chosen to field. Meanwhile, the hosts have started off their innings decently without a loss of wicket after eight overs. Abhimanya Mithun, Vinay Kumar and Arvind Sreenath are the bowlers who have come into action so far in the match.

Karnataka is fourth on the points table and a win will shoot them into the top three. Against a weak Maharashtra team they bear a good chance of securing an outright win. In their previous game Maharashtra managed to secure a draw against the dominant Assam side but lost out on the three points since Assam took the first innings lead. Maharashtra were bowled out for 196 in their first innings in response to Assam’s 298.

Karnataka’s previous game was against Delhi and they got a mammoth first innings score of 542 in response to which Delhi got bowled out for 301 but on follow on gave a solid response thwarting any hopes of an outright win for Karnataka. Robin Uthappa top-scored for Karnataka in that game scoring 148, while Mayank Agarwal also scored a century with his innings coming to a close at 118. In the bowling department all their bowlers contributed in the first innings helping to restrict Delhi to a lowly total.

Squads:

Maharashtra: Akshay Darekar, Chirag Khurana, Rohit Motwani(wk/c), Kedar Jadhav, Shrikant Mundhe, Anupam Sanklecha, Rahul Tripathi, Ankit Bawne, Sangram Atitkar, Nikti Dhumal, Swapnil Gugale, Harshad Khadiwale, Domnic Joseph, Vijay Zol, Samad Fallah