Ranji Trophy: Maharashtra in final, Karnataka well placed
Maharashtra thrashed Bengal by 10 wickets to enter the final while in the other semi-final Karnataka have a handy first innings lead with five wickets intact against hosts Punjab on the third day, Monday.
At the Holkar Stadium in Indore, Bengal, resuming at 16/1 in the second innings, were bowled out for 348 runs and saved the ignominy of an innings lost as they managed a slim lead of seven runs.
Wriddhiman Saha remained unbeaten on 108 while Arindam Das and Sudip Chatterjee made 34 and 39. For Maharashtra, Samad Fallah, Anup Sankelcha and Dominic Joseph picked up three wickets each.
It took Maharashtra just two overs to achieve the target of eight runs and enter the final where they will face either Karnataka or Punjab.
Bengal had to pay heavily for their batting collapse in the first innings when they were bowled out for 114 after Fallah's 7/58. Maharashtra had piled up a competitive 455 in their first innings.
Meanwhile, at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali, Karnataka have opened up a 81-run lead with five wickets in hand.
Riding on an unbeaten 107 by Karun Nair, Karnataka made 351 for five in the first innings at stumps. Manish Pandey also struck a fine 65 and Chidambaram Gautam made 58.
At close of play, giving Nair company was Amit Verma, who was batting on 65. The duo had put up 110 runs for the unfinished sixth wicket stand.
At Indore: Bengal 114 and 348 (Wriddhiman Saha 108 not out, Sourav Sarkar 35). Maharashtra 455 and 8/0. Maharashtra won by 10 wickets.
At Mohali: Punjab 270 all out in first innings. Karnatka 351/5 in first innings (Karun Nair 107 batting, Amit Verma 65 batting, Manish Pandey 65; Harbhajan Singh 2/79).
(Posted on 20-01-2014)