Bengal pacers make merry as Jharkhand dismissed for 173

Pacer Akash Deep led Bengal’s impressive show with a four-wicket haul as Jharkhand failed to last three full sessions and folded for a paltry 173 in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal at Eden Gardens here on Tuesday. The Bengal pace trio of Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar (3/61) and Ishan Porel (1/26) claimed seven wickets between them to revel in bowling-friendly conditions after the home team skipper Manoj Tiwary won a good toss.

More than half of Jharkhand’s score was made by their No 3 batter Kumar Suraj, who looked composed and elegant en route to a gritty 89 not out.

The lefthander struck some elegant cover drives, scored on both sides of the wickets using his wrists beautifully but only to be stranded 11 runs shy of a third first-class hundred.

Suraj batted deep into his crease to negate the pace threat by the Bengal pacers and carried his bat through but wickets kept on falling at the other end.

Jharkhand No 11 batter Ashish Kumar (12 off 8 balls) was one of the four Jharkhand batters to get to a double digit as he lent fine support to brighten Suraj’s century prospects.

But Ashish fell after a mix-up as Bengal ended their innings in 66.2 overs. The duo put together 20 runs for the last wicket.

Bad light meant that Bengal could not come out to bat in the first innings as day one ended with 21 overs in arrears.

Opting to bowl, Bengal got a perfect start with Akash Deep cleaning up Kumar Deobrat with an incoming delivery.

He bowled with brisk speed and accurate line, making it difficult for Jharkhand who lost half of their side for 77 runs.

Akash Deep got his fourth victim with a yorker that trapped Shahbaz Nadeem plumb in front. Mukesh Kumar at the other end bagged his third victim in Rahul Shukla (0).

Bhut strikes century batting at No. 9, saves Saurashtra the blushes

Batting at number nine, bowler Parth Bhut shone with the bat and saved Saurashtra the blushes with a gritty century on the first day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Punjab here.

Bhut was yet to open his account when Saurashtra lost their eighth wicket for 147 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

However, thanks to the 25-year-old left-arm spinner’s unbeaten knock of 111 and his last-wicket partnership of 95 runs with Yuvrajsinh Dodiya (17), the hosts could stretch their total to 303 before getting bowled out with three overs still remaining in the day.

In reply, Punjab faced just one over and were three for no loss when the stumps were called on Tuesday.
Prabhsimran Singh (2) and Naman Dhir (1) were at the crease.

In all, Bhut struck 11 boundaries and four sixes while scoring his runs at a fairly decent strike-rate of 71.61.

Venkatesh takes five wickets as Karnataka blow away Uttarakhand on Day 1

Medium-pacer M Venkatesh sizzled with a five-wicket haul as Karnataka produced a sensational bowling effort to bundle out Uttarakhand for a paltry 116 on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal here on Tuesday.

Karnataka were 123 for no loss at stumps.

The 22-year-old Venkatesh justified captain Mayank Agarwal’s decision to field after winning the toss as he rocked the top-order, removing Avneesh Sudha (17) and Dikshanshu Negi (9) early after Vidhwath Kaverappa (2/17) drew the first blood, dismissing opener Jiwanjot Singh (1).

Vijaykumar Vyshak (1/25) then had Swapnil Singh (0) caught by Samarth R, while Kaverappa cleaned up Aditya Tare (14), as Uttarakhand lost half their side for only 64 in 27.4 overs.

Kunal Chandela (31) tried to hold one end but wickets continued to tumble, with Venkatesh returning to strike twice in the 47th over, sending Akhil Rawat (14) and Abhay Negi (1) back to the dressing room.
The Mysore pacer also had Chandela caught by Manish Pandey to put the final nail in Uttarakhand’s coffins as spinner K Gowtham mopped up the tail with two wickets.

In reply, Karnataka seemed to be batting on a different track as both the openers — Ravikumar Samarth (54) and Mayank Agarwal (65) — looked in full flow during their unbeaten fifties.

While Samarth cracked seven boundaries, Agarwal had nine hits to the fence besides a maximum.

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