Karnataka will be looking to win the Ranji Trophy for the first time since 2014. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Karnataka continued their magnificent run in the Indian domestic circuit as they defeated 41-time champions Mumbai in just two and a half days at the BKC complex ground on Sunday. This was the second loss for Mumbai at home, having lost to Railways in their previous encounter. Karnataka had held the initiative after they had secured a 24-run lead in the first innings. Having reduced them to 26/4 at the end of day 2, Karnataka looked to wrap up the innings quickly. However, some spirited batting from Sarfaraz Khan and his 83-run stand with Shams Mulani gave Mumbai some hope of a fightback. V Koushik, though, broke the stand and Prateek Jain ran through the lower order with four quick wickets as Mumbai were bowled out for 149, setting Karnataka a target of 126.
Devdutt Padikkal and Ravikumar Samarth gave Karnataka a fast start and they stitched 78 for the opening wicket. Shams Mulani, though, broke the stand and there was a spirited bowling effort from Shashank Attarde. The offspinner took four wickets but Karnataka had closed in on the target with Padikkal scoring fifty as they won the match by five wickets to consolidate their lead at the top of the Ranji table.
Services Trounce Maharashtra
At Palam, Services secured a thumping innings and 94-run win against Maharashtra. The Naushad Shaikh led side were never in the hunt after being dismissed for a woeful 44 in the first innings, with Poonam Poonia taking five wickets and was backed up by Sachidanand Pandey and Diwesh Pathania's three and two wickets respectively. Ravi Chauhan's aggressive 65, backed by solid knocks of 47 lower down the order from Arjun Sharma and Vikas Hathwala helped Services stitch a 241-run lead. Maharashtra fared slightly better in the second innings but it was small consolation.
Shaikh was the top scorer with 41 and Vishant More hit 36 but Pathania and Pandey took five wickets apiece as Services won by a comfortable margin.
Delhi On Top Vs Punjab, Baroda Win
In a low scoring thriller in Vadodara, Baroda got the better of Railways by a big margin. Baroda notched up 201 thanks to an attacking 86 from Deepak Hooda. Anureet Singh, who had earlier played for Railways in past seasons, was now playing for Baroda and he showed his class with 5/39 and he was well assisted by Lukman Meriwala's four wickets as Railways were bundled out for 99. However, Baroda were blown away by Himanshu Sangwan's four wickets and three wickets apiece from Amit Mishra and Pradeep T as they were dismissed for 98. Chasing 200, Railways were unable to cope with Meriwala and he finished with 6/25 as they won the match by 99 runs.
At Mohali, Delhi turned the match around in spectacular fashion against Punjab thanks to Dhruv Shorey's brilliant 96 and Nitish Rana's 92 as Delhi took a crucial 26-run lead. Towards the end of day 3, Simarjeet Singh took two wickets and aided by Kunwar Bidhuri and Subodh Bhati, Punjab were reduced to 44/4, having a slender lead of just 18 runs.