Saurashtra, Andhra enter Ranji quarter-finals, Mumbai and Maharashtra bow out after draw
Saurashtra managed to reach the knockout stage of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group B despite losing to Tamil Nadu in their last match, while Mumbai and Maharashtra were knocked out of the race after drawing thrillers. Andhra also made it to the knockout stage from this group along with Saurashtra. Saurashtra, Andhra and Maharashtra are tied on 26 points after seven rounds of the league stage.
Maharashtra missed out on a place in the next round after not earning a single bonus point during their campaign. Andhra beat Assam by an innings in their last match to earn a bonus point (seven ends) to knock Maharashtra out of the title race. Mumbai needed a first innings lead or a win to reach 26 points but in the match against Maharashtra, both the teams scored 374 runs in the first innings and the match was inconclusive.
Due to this, both the teams got only one point each. Left-arm spinner S Ajith Ram’s six wickets helped Tamil Nadu beat Saurashtra by 59 runs in the match played in Chennai. Chasing 266 for victory, Saurashtra’s innings was bundled out for 206 in 68.2 overs. Harvik Desai’s innings of 101 runs in 205 balls went in vain. Starting the day with one wicket for four runs, Saurashtra’s team had lost four wickets for 18 runs till the 12th over.
Apart from contributing 45 runs, experienced Arpit Vasavada shared an 89-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Desai. Ravindra Jadeja, who was returning from injury, gave good support to Desai after this. Jadeja, who scored 15 runs in the first innings, scored 25 runs in the second innings. His 51-run partnership with Desai was broken by Ajit Ram. Desai was the last batsman to be dismissed by Sandeep Warrier (1/5).
It was Tamil Nadu’s second win but the team finished fifth in the group table with 25 points. Andhra benefited when Mumbai and Maharashtra ended in draws. Mumbai bundled out Maharashtra’s second innings for 252 runs after the scores were tied in the first innings. The team had a target of 253 runs in 28 overs. The dismissals of skipper Ajinkya Rahane (35) and Divyansh (63) derailed the team’s campaign and they were 58 runs away from victory at the end of the match. Delhi beat Hyderabad by nine wickets to end their campaign on a positive note. In this match played in Hyderabad, after bundling out the home team’s second innings for 124 runs, Delhi won by scoring 47 runs in one wicket in 8.4 overs.