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Ranji Trophy: UP, Puducherry register big wins


New Delhi, Dec 31: Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry kept their Ranji Trophy quarter-final dreams alive after decimating Haryana and Manipur, respectively within two days of their Round 8 matches on Monday.

Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar starred in UP's 6-wicket win over Haryana, bagging a career-best 14/65, while Puducherry thrashed Manipur by 10 wickets, to bag seven points from the match.

Elsewhere, Delhi rode on three-wicket hauls from Subodh Bhati and Kulwant Khejroliya to take a 20-run first innings lead over Bengal, who squandered a promising start from Abhimanyu Easwaran (40) and Sudip Chatterjee (56) to be bundled out for a meagre 220. Later in the day, Delhi extended their second innings lead to 61.

Assam overcame their first innings disappointment, courtesy Rishav Das' brilliant 95 to post 245 in their second innings and set a target of 230 for Jammu and Kashmir, who in reply lost opener Ahmad Banday cheaply.

Andhra ended the second day posting 207/3 in reply to Hyderabad's 271 while Baroda were 14/2 at stumps in their second innings but managed to stretch their lead to 127 after Krunal Pandya and Bhargav Bhatt combined to snare seven wickets to bundle out Railways for 200 in the first innings.

Rajasthan rode on half centuries from Chetan Bist, Mahipal Lomror, Ashok Menaria and Robin Bist to reach a commanding 343/3 and lead by 99 runs at stumps against Goa.

The Services ended the day at 183/4, thereby managing a slim 6-run first innings lead over Odisha, while Jharkhand found themselves in a commanding position, thanks to centuries by Kumar Deobrat and Mohammad Nazim to reach 307/4 at stumps against Tripura. Jharkhand now have a 54-run first innings advantage.

Gujarat enjoyed a 184-run lead over Maharashtra after riding on brilliant batting from the likes of Priyank Panchal, Kathan Patel, Chintan Gaja and Manprit Juneja to post 414/3 at the close of play.

Chhattisgarh rode Harpreet Bhatia's 21st first-class fifty to reach 121/3 at stumps in response to Karnataka's massive 418, courtesy centuries from K.V. Siddharth and Dega Nischal.

Mumbai were tottering at 169/6 in response to defending champions Vidarbha's mammoth 511 while Madhya Pradesh ended the day at 47/2, stretching their lead to 185 runs after bowling Himachal Pradesh out for a meagre 127 in reply to their first innings total of 265. 

Mohammed Azharudden's unbeaten 76 helped Kerala fight back and clear Punjab's 96-run first innings lead as the southern side reached 127/3 at stumps.

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