Goa hold on to avoid innings defeat, HP-Punjab play out draw
Himachal Pradesh 729 for 8 dec (Chopra 338, Dogra 99, Sandeep 4-149) and 145 for 6 (Dogra 45*, Gony 2-20) drew with Punjab 601 (Abhishek Gupta 202, Abhishek Sharma 94, Gurvinder 6-162)
A 239-run partnership between debutants Abhishek Gupta and Abhishek Sharma narrowed Punjab’s overnight deficit of 245 to 128, before they were bowled out for 601 in response to Himachal Pradesh’s 729. Himachal offspinner Gurvinder Singh finished with a career-best haul of 6 for 162. Himachal then batted out 40 overs in the second innings play as the match ended in a draw in Dharamsala.
Having begun the day on 484 for 6, the overnight pair were separated when Sharma fell six short of a century, managing to add only 13 to his overnight score of 81. Wicketkeeper-batsman, Gupta, however, converted his overnight score of 129 into a near run-a-ball 202 on debut. He hit 24 fours and five sixes in his knock to left-arm spinner Akash Vashisht.
Handed a lead of 128, Himachal wobbled early in their second innings, losing six wickets for 81 by the 22nd over, with medium-pacers Sandeep Sharma, Manpreet Gony, and Barinder Sran taking two wickets each. Paras Dogra and Vasisht then put up an unbroken 64 runs for the seventh wicket to take Himachal through to stumps. They picked up three points for their first-innings lead, while Punjab took home one point.
Prashant Chopra was adjudged Player of the Match for his triple-hundred for Himachal in the first innings.
Bengal 552 for 9 dec (Chatterjee 115, Pandey 4-108) and 161 for 5 dec (Raman 40, Pathania 3-71) drew with Services 359 (Navneet 121, Gani 5-109) and 212 for 7 (Hathwala 64, Seth 2-18)
A half-century from Vikas Hathwala ensured a draw for Services against Bengal in Delhi. Bengal’s second innings declaration at 161 for 5 left Services with a target of 355 but the latter kept losing wickets to give Bengal a glimmer of an outright win.
Wickets from the pace-bowling line-up of Ashok Dinda, Mohammed Shami and Kanishk Seth had left Services at 124 for 5, before Hathwala and Muzzaffaruddin Khalid battled in a 75-run sixth-wicket partnership. Where Hathwala was brisk, scoring 64 off 71 deliveries with nine fours and two sixes, Khalid played out 99 deliveries to remain unbeaten on 9 at stumps.
Chhattisgarh 458 (Manoj 125, Jatin 82, Misal 5-70) drew with Goa 277 (Amonkar 79, Kamat 47, Ruikar 5-72) and 170 for 7 (Amonkar 53, Bandekar 25, Ruikar 5-29)
Goa scrambled for a draw on the final day in the face of Chhattisgarh left-arm spinner Sumit Ruikar‘s first 10-wicket match haul in first-class cricket. Following on after conceding a 181-run lead in the first innings, the home team averted a loss after the eighth-wicket pair of Shadab Jakati and Amit Yadav played out 80 balls to force a draw.
An early collapse on the final day saw Goa lose six wickets for 54 runs, having finished on 223 for 4 overnight. Ruikar started the collapse with the wicket of Reagan Pinto in the third over of the day, and ran through the line-up with thereafter. He’d begun the day with only one wicket to his name. In their second innings, Goa’s resistance came from opener Sumiran Amonkar and Darshan Misal’s 54-run stand for the fourth wicket, before No. 6 batsmen Saurabh Bandekar and wicketkeeper Samar Dubhashi made scores in excess of 20 to keep them alive.