Maharashtra have almost tripped up Mumbai’s chances of making the Ranji quarters as both teams finished on identical first inning score of 384. It led to an unexpected twist at Brabourne.
There were only 9 previous instances in Ranji Trophy where both teams ended up having their first-innings scores level. And Mumbai, needing three points to make it to the quarterfinals, only had to surpass Maharashtra’s total of 384 and force a draw. However, despite Prasad Pawar’s maiden century (145) and Tanush Kotian’s 93, they managed only 384.
When the 8th wicket fell Mumbai needed 44 more runs with Kotian fighting the lone battle. Then Mohit Avasthi fell, they needed 13 more runs. But with the scores level, left-arm spinner Vicky Otswal bowled Kotian to dash Mumbai’s hopes.
With no team getting the lead, as things stand both Maharashtra and Mumbai will get only one point and will not make the quarterfinals. For one of them to qualify, they need to produce an outright win.
Brief scores: Maharashtra 384 & 51/2 in 22 overs vs Mumbai 384 in 116 overs (Prasad Pawar 145, Tanush Kotian 93, Pradeep Dadhe 3/80).
Luck smiling on Andhra
When the final league match commenced, Andhra’s hopes of qualifying was the unlikeliest scenario of the Maharashtra-Mumbai game ending in a draw and both teams getting one point each and them winning their final game against Assam with bonus point.
But by beating Assam by an innings and 95 runs, Andhra are sitting on top of Group B with 26 points. In case, there is no outright winner between Mumbai and Maharashtra, the latter also will end up with 26 points.
However, Andhra has one bonus point more than Maharashtra and that will take them through.
Brief scores: Assam 113 & 153 in 54.1 overs (Kunal Saikia 36, Lalith Mohan 5/40) lost to Andhra 361.
Jharkhand lose, but can still make it
Resuming the third day at 85/2 and still trailing Karnataka by 51 runs, Jharkhand could only put 201 on board in their second innings. And needing 66 runs to win, Karnataka reached the target with 9 wickets in hand to land a big blow to Jharkhand’s hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals.
However, Jharkhand can still make it to the quarterfinals as Kerala and Rajasthan – the two teams who could leapfrog them to the second spot – found themselves in a hole.
Brief scores: Jharkhand 164 & 201 in 78.5 overs (Supriya Chakraborty 48, K Gowtham 5/75, Vasuki Koushik 3/21) lost to Karnataka 300 & 66/1 in 18.1 overs.
It gets tougher for Kerala
Despite Jharkhand handing them an opening, Kerala failed to drive home the advantage as they conceded first innings lead to Pondicherry. Needing a win to go through, Kerala folded for 286 in their first innings in response to Pondicherry’s first innings total of 371. And with only one more day left and Pondicherry already 119 runs ahead and 9 wickets in hand, unless Kerala trigger a collapse with the ball, they will fail to make the quarterfinals.
Brief scores: Pondicherry 371 & 34/1 in 14 overs vs Kerala 286 in 113 overs (Akshay Chandran 70, Sagar Udeshi 5/62).
Rajasthan need 212 runs & have 4 wickets in hand
Like Kerala, Rajasthan also had a chance to qualify for the quarterfinals at the expense of Jharkhand. However, they are staring at a group stage exit as they need another 212 runs to beat Services with just four wickets in hand. With all the top-order batsmen gone, and only Deepak Chahar left to come, Rajasthan have a mountain to climb at Jodhpur.
Brief scores: Services 178 & 276 in 103.5 over (Ravi Chauhan 98, Lovekesh Bansal 50, Aniket Choudhary 5/58) vs Rajasthan 136 & 107/6 in 38 overs (Yash Kothari 72, Pulkit Narang 4/20).
Uttarakhand, Punjab on course
At Lahli, Uttarakhand were 125/1 in their first innings as they look set to make the quarterfinals. Having dismissed Haryana for 233, they are on course to take the first innings lead. To make it easier for them, at Nadaun there was no play between Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The former needed a win to upstage Uttarakhand. Elsewhere, at Mohali, there was no play on Day 3 between Punjab and Vidarbha as the hosts have all but sealed their spot in quarterfinals