Ranji Trophy: Saxena puts Uttarakhand on top against Nagaland

Vineet Saxena missed out on a double century by 15 runs but his knock ensured Uttarakhand put up a massive 557 against Nagaland.

Vineet Saxena missed out on his double hundred by only 15 runs.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Vineet Saxena missed out on a double century by 15 runs but his knock ensured Uttarakhand put up a massive 557 against Nagaland to keep them firmly in sight of a sixth win on the trot in its Ranji Trophy Plate Group fixture here on Sunday.

At the close of play on the penultimate day, Nagaland was 182 for 4 trailing by 168 runs with opener Sedezhalie Rupero (85), and middler-order batsman K.B. Pawan (46) putting up a valiant fight.

Captain Rongsen Jonathan (23) and Abrar Kazi (7) were at the crease as the group leader was six wickets shy of its sixth successive win. Opener Saxena was looking all set to score a double-hundred but Arbar Kazi trapped him LBW as he departed for 185 from 384 balls (19x4) earlier in the day.

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The host had added four runs to its overnight total of 371 when Saurabh Rawat (42) fell but No. 9 batsman Mayank Mishra struck a quickfire 58 in as many balls (5x4, 3x6) to prop the total.

In Jorhat, Taruwar Kohli starred with both bat and ball, waging a lone battle for Mizoram, even as Sikkim sniffed a third win. Having bagged a 5 for 39 to help Mizoram bundle Sikkim out for 169 in its second essay, Taruwar remained unbeaten on 105 from 179 balls (13x4) to keep hopes alive.

Mizoram was 162 for 8 with Kohli unbeaten at the crease as his team still needed 179 runs more to secure an improbable win on the final day.

Earlier, Sikkim set a 341-run target with Bipul Sharma slamming a brisk 72-ball 65, studded with six fours and four sixes.

Brief scores:

In Dehradun: Nagaland 207 and 182/4; 52 overs (Sedezhalie Rupero 85, KB Pawan 46; Malolan Rangarajan 2/60). Uttarakhand 557; 151.5 overs (Vineet Saxena 185, Vaibhav Singh 101, Mayank Mishra 58, Karn Kaushal 48, Saurabh Rawat 42; Arbar Kazi 3/124)

In Jorhat: Sikkim 332 and 169; 49.1 overs (Bipul Sharma 65, Ashish Thapa 43, Taruwar Kohli 5/39, Sinan Khadir 3/50). Mizoram 161 and 162/8; 56 overs (Taruwar Kohli 105 batting; Ishwar Chaudhary 4/74, Milind Kumar 2/42).

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