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On Sunday, all the hard work done on the sidelines paid off as Natt, playing his fifth Ranji game, made an important unbeaten 70 (7x4, 3x6), and along with senior batsman Ketan Panchal (72, 7x4, 3x6) stitched together 126 runs for the eighth wickets at stumps on Day two. The duo ensured that Baroda batted six sessions to put up a massive 525 for seven.
Overnight batsmen Abhimanyu Chauhan (113, 18x4) and captain Ambati Rayudu (131, 22x4) added 70 more runs, taking their partnership to 213 before Sumit Narwal sent back Chauhan. In the period between lunch and tea, Delhi threatened to undo the good work as Parvinder Awana and Rajat Bhatia struck quick blows as Baroda lost five wickets in around 20 overs. However, Natt and Panchal had other ideas, keeping Delhi from further breakthroughs for 42 overs until stumps.
Home advantage lost
With the match looking set to be decided on the basis of first innings lead, Delhi have lost the advantage twice while bowling — once when Baroda struggled at 109/3 and Chauhan-Rayudu stole the show, and again at 399/7 only for Natt-Panchal to combine well.
"When I joined Panchal, I immediately told him that he need not worry as I was confident of providing support. I had my doubts whether I could score runs in Ranji cricket but batting with Panchal has assured me that I can play like a batsman," said Natt. Having braved body blows from Narwal to play the innings of his short career, Natt knows Baroda will rely on him with the ball too. The left arm medium pacer had picked a five wicket haul against Karnataka in Baroda's season opener. From being ruled out by his doctors after knee and ankle surgeries, to being his team's hope with bat and ball, Gagandeep Singh Natt has come a long way.
Brief scores: Baroda 525/7 in 168 overs (A Rayudu 131, A Chauhan 113, K Panchal batting 72, G Singh Natt batting 70; R Bhatia 3/35, S Narwal 2/84, P Awana 2/94) vs Delhi at stumps on Day two
Extra cover: Tamil Nadu, Punjab take innings lead, Orissa close in on outright win
Balaji scalps four
Chennai: Captain Lakshmipathy Balaji and Malolan Rangarajan shared eight wickets between them as Tamil Nadu gained a 43-run first-innings lead over Maharashtra on the second day. After overnight batsman Rangarajan got out ,TN bowlers took charge and turned the tide in their favour. Balaji succeeded in dismissing Harshad Khadiwale and Chirag Khurana, and with Malolan chipping in with his nippy and good length deliveries, the Maharashtra top-order collapsed to 41 for four. When Shrikant too made his exit three overs later on 61, TN dismissed the Maharashtra tail.
Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu 276 all out (Yo Mahesh 81, R Prasanna 56; S Mundhe 4/38) vs Maharashtra 233 all out (S Mundhe 61, K Jadhav 45; L Balaji 4/28, M Rangarajan 4/55)
Uday leads Punjab’s reply
Bhuvaneshwar: Punjab rode on Uday Kaul's unbeaten 96 to take the first innings lead against Railways. At stumps, Punjab were on 230 for five in reply to Railways 205. Amitoze Singh (55) and opener Jiwanjot Singh (44) also contributed with their bat. Punjab, however, witnessed a shaky start as they lost their first three wickets on 35. For Railways, Krishnakant Upadhyay scalped two wickets for 50 runs. Punjab fast bowlers Sandeep Sharma(4/38) picked up four wickets, while Siddarth Kaul (3/66) and Manpreet Gony accounted for three and two wickets respectively.
Brief Scores: Punjab 230 for five in 80 overs (Uday Kaul 96 batting, Amitoze Singh 55; Krishnakant Upadhyay 2/50) vs Railways 205.
Haryana in trouble
Rohtak: Orissa closed in on an outright victory against Haryana after polishing off the top-order of the hosts in the second innings as well. Basant Mohanty and Alok Mangaraj took two wickets apiece. Abhimanyu Khod (56) and skipper Amit Mishra (12) will resume the Haryana innings. At start of the day Orissa resumed their first innings at 177/6 and were all out for 219. Mohit Sharma (5/49) completed a five-wicket haul. Haryana started their second innings poorly as they lost the openers within the first five overs. Sunny Singh (36) steadied the ship before being caught by Natraj Behera off Mangaraj.
Brief Scores: Haryana 66 & 165 for 5 in 68 overs (A Khod 56 batting, Sunny Singh 36; B Mohanty 2/21) vs Orissa 209 all out in 74 overs. (N Behera 44, ;M Sharma 5/49).
Jadeja snares six
hyderabad: Ravindra Jadeja snapped six wickets in a brilliant bowling performance as Saurashtra shot out Hyderabad for 186 to take a crucial 74-run first-innings. Jadeja ran through the Hyderabad middle and lower order after off-spinner Kamlesh Makvana had claimed the wickets of both the openers Akhsath Reddy (51) and Ravi Teja (20). Hyderabad were in a decent position at 83 for two then but Jadeja took three quick wickets to reduce them to 94 for five. Syed Quadri ran out of partners on 48. Earlier, Saurashtra was all out for 260. Pacer Ashish Reddy returned with a fine six-wicket haul.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 260 all out in 98.1 overs (S Jackson 67; A Reddy 6/56) vs Hyderabad 186 all out in 87.3 overs (Akshath Reddy 51, S Quadri 48 not out; R Jadeja 6/71)
Parida scores a century
Jaipur: Rashmi Ranjan Parida struck a century while Robin Bist played a knock of 85 as Rajasthan took lead against Madhya Pradesh to finish on 306/6. Rajasthan were 50 runs ahead of MP's first innings total of 256 with Dishant Yagnik (21) and Madhur Khatri (2) at the crease. Rajasthan's experienced duo of Parida and Bist showed a lot of determination while batting to put their team in the drivers' seat. Skipper Vineet Saxena (32) and Puneet Yadav (32) also made useful contributions. At 87/3, Bist found an ably ally in Parida and revived Rajasthan with their 85-run stand for the fourth wicket. Bist fell 15 runs short of a well-deserved century. Wicket-keeper batsman Dishant Yagnik then added 82 runs for the sixth wicket with Parida before the latter fell in the penultimate over completing his well-deserved hundred. Pandey was the pick of the bowlers from MP with 4 for 65.
Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh 256 all out in 85 overs (R Khan 54, D Bundela 53; P Singh 4/63, R Singh 4/68) vs Rajasthan 306/6 in 93 overs (R Parida 108, R Bist 85; I Pandey 4/65)
Nadaun: Andhra 372 all out in 99 overs (B Sumanth 102, A Majumdar 101; V Malik 5/74, R Dhawan 3/99) vs Himachal 224/5 in 77 overs (P Dogra batting 109, R Dhawan batting 40; D Vijaykumar 3/59)
Jamshedpur: Jharkhand 360 all out in 151.4 overs (M Vardhan 73, I Jaggi batting 57, K Deobrat 58, S Gupta 53; S Bandekar 4/76, S Yadav 2/41) vs Goa 24/1 in 14 overs (A Desai 13, M Bisla batting 5, A Asnodkar batting 3)