Ranji Trophy: Vihari bats left-handed, helps Andhra reach 379; MP slumps to 144 for 4

In an act of bravery, Andhra skipper Hanuma Vihari batted left-handed and defied the speedy Avesh Khan to add 26 runs for the 10th wicket to help the team reach 379 against Madhya Pradesh on the second day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal here on Wednesday.

Andhra then reduced the defending champions to 144 for 4 at stumps to seize control of the match.

Resuming at the overnight score of 262 for 2, things did not go Andhra’s way as the hard-working MP bowlers hit back after toiling hard during the massive 251-run stand between Ricky Bhui (149) and Karan Shinde (110).

Shinde reached his ton off 254 balls even as Bhui kept going to frustrate the home team’s bowling attack.

Medium-pacer Anubhav Agarwal (4 for 72) broke the partnership when he got Shinde to nick one to wicket-keeper Himanshu Mantri with the score at 323.

Five runs later, Bhui’s marathon innings ended when he was caught by Saransh Jain in the covers off Agarwal.

The MP bowlers then got into the act and struck at regular intervals to leave Andhra at 353 for 9 when Vihari walked in to bat.

Batting left-handed after injuring his left hand wrist, the Andhra captain managed to hit a couple of boundaries to make sure the team total swelled to 379. He batted with only one hand.

He was dismissed LBW by Jain for 27. He had retired hurt on Tuesday on 16 after being hit by a bouncer from Avesh Khan.

Vihari’s brave effort was reminiscent of his heroics in the Sydney Test against Australia in January 2021. Along with Ravichandran Ashwin, Vihari who had a hamstring injury, defied the Aussie bowlers for close to four hours to deny the opposition a win.

Abhimanyu, Gharami slam fifties, Bengal take first innings lead

Skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sudip Gharami struck half centuries as Bengal took a slender first innings lead against Jharkhand on day two of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal here on Wednesday.

After bowling Jharkhand out for 173, Bengal were 238 for 5 at the end of the second day with a crucial 65-run first innings lead.

Abhimanyu (77) and Gharami (68) displayed a dominant show with the bat after rookie opener Kazi Junaid Saifi (1) was adjudged LBW off Ashish Kumar in the ninth over of the day.

From there on, Abhimanyu and Gharami added 136 runs for the second wicket to put the home side to touching distance of claiming a first innings lead.

But Bengal suffered a mid-innings collapse after the duo fell in quick succession as the home side went on to lose four wickets for the addition of 60 runs to be reduced to 207 for 5.

Just when Bengal were staring at a batting debacle, the left-handed duo of Abhishek Porel (25) and and Shahbaz Ahmed (17) took control of the proceedings in an entertaining unbroken partnership.

The wickekteeper-batter Porel struck some delightful cover drives and the sloppy fielding by Jharkhand also helped Bengal’s cause.

For Jharkhand, Supriyo Chakraborty bagged two wickets while Ashish, Anukul Roy and Shahbaz Nadeem took one each.

“We are happy to take the first innings lead. But our aim will be to add as many runs as possible on Day 3, keeping in mind that in cricket, anything is possible,” Bengal coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla said.

“The partnership of Abhimanyu and Gharami was a vital one, but we have bigger targets ahead of us.” Brief Scores:
Jharkhand: 173 all out.

Batters put Karnataka in command against Uttarakhand

Karnataka, riding on veteran all-rounder Shreyas Gopal’s unbeaten 103, took a massive 358-run lead against Uttarakhand on day two of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final match here on Wednesday.

On a day when runs flowed freely for the hosts, skipper Mayank Agarwal (83) was involved in a 159-run opening partnership with Ravikumar Samarth (82) before Devdutt Padikkal (69) and Nikin Jose (62) too scored half centuries as Karnataka ended the day at 474 for five.

None of the Uttarakhand bowlers seemed effective against the batter-heavy Karnataka side at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, with pace bowler Deepak Dhapola, who had career-best figures of 8/35 in an innings during the Ranji Trophy group phase this season, returning empty-handed on Wednesday.

With the Uttarakhand strike bowler seemingly ineffective, there were four half-centurions and a century-maker in Karnataka’s lineup. Commencing day two at 123 for no loss, overnight batters Agarwal and Samarth, who were on 65 and 54 respectively on Tuesday, flourished in favourable home conditions.

Prabhsimran, Naman hit centuries to give Punjab upper hand against Saurashtra

Openers Prabhsimran Singh and Naman Dhir struck sparkling centuries to give Punjab the upper hand on the second day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match against Saurashtra here on Wednesday.

Resuming the day at 3 for no loss in reply to Saurashtra’s first innings total of 303 all out, Punjab were 327 for 5 from 91 overs at the close of second day for a lead of 24 runs with Prabhsimran and Naman scoring 126 and 131 runs respectively.

Prabhsimran faced 158 balls from which he struck 13 fours and three sixes, while Naman hit nine fours and seven sixes during his 180-ball knock.

Prabhsimran was the first to go at the team score of 212 in the post-lunch session while Naman stayed a little longer and was the third Punjab batsman to get out.

One-down Pukhraj Mann (1), Anmolpreet Singh (9) and Nehal Wadhera (4) did not contribute much but captain Mandeep Singh and wicketkeeper Anmol Malhotra took Punjab past Suarashtra’s first innings total.

Mandeep was batting on 39 off 120 balls, while Malhotra was giving him company on 16 off 57 deliveries when the stumps were drawn.
For Saurashtra, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Yuvrajsinh Dodiya took wickets apiece while Parth Bhut got one.

On the opening day on Tuesday, left-arm spinner Parth Bhut shone with the bat and saved Saurashtra with a gritty 111 not out off 155 balls.

Coming out to bat at number nine, Bhut struck 11 fours and four sixes during his 155-ball unbeaten knock to help Saurashtra post 303 all out in 87 overs after electing to bat at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

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