Chhattisgarh lost the close contest against Services by 18 runs    Getty Images (Representational Image)
Chhattisgarh lost the close contest against Services by 18 runs Getty Images (Representational Image)

The Sharad Pawar Cricket Academy at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai witnessed a cliffhanger here on Friday as Services beat Chhattisgarh in a thriller by 18 runs on the final day of the Group C Ranji Trophy 2016-17 clash. Chhattisgarh required 279 more runs on the final day with all 10 wickets intact. They got off to a flying start as well and kept the chase in control. But once the openers were dismissed, the Services bowlers did not allow them to make a comeback in the game and eventually won by 18 runs. They thus earned vital 6 points for their side. Veteran player Diwesh Pathania was the pick of the bowlers with his four-for while Vikas Yadav complemented him well by picking 3 wickets.

Starting the day from their overnight score of 6 without any loss, Chhattisgarh were off to a great start on the final day in pursuit of the remaining 279 runs. Their openers added 80 runs for the first wicket, with Chauhan departing first after a quickfire 52. From here on, Chhattisgarh kept losing wickets at regular intervals. When Gupta fell for 87 as the fifth wicket for the score of 210, Services saw an opening and crushed the opposition. Chhattisgarh innings folded for 266, as Services registered a well-fought victory.

Full updates: Ranji Trophy 2016-17, Round 8

Earlier, on Day Three, Services opener Nakul Verma (156*) and middle-order batsman Rahul Singh Gahlaut added 175 for the fifth wicket in 201 balls. Gahlaut was unlucky to miss out on his third First-Class hundred this season when he fell for 99. Services eventually declared their second on 340 for 7, thus setting Chhattisgarh 285 to win. They had earlier scored 225 in their first innings.

Chhattisgarh, who lost the close match, had scored 281 in their first innings, taking a 56-run lead. The match was then set up brilliantly for a fascinating finish on the final day after Services brave declaration; with both the teams having a realistic chance of winning it.

Brief scores:

Services 225 & 340 for 7 dec. (Nakul Verma 156*, Rahul Singh Gahlaut 99; Pankaj Rao 3 for 64, Ahuday Kant Singh 3 for 79) beat Chhattisgarh 281 and 266 (Sahil Gupta 87, Abhimanyu Chauhan 52; Diwesh Pathania 4 for 67, Vikas Yadav 3 for 65) by 18 runs.