Ranji Trophy: Chirag Khurana helps Maharashtra pile on runs

Khurana, who got a reprieve when he was on five on the first day after being bowled off a no-ball by left-arm pacer Mrinmoy Dutta, made Assam pay for the error with an innings that was calm and composed without ceding ground to the opposition in the first session of the play.

This was Chirag Khurana's first century of the season.   -  R. Ragu

Chirag Khurana piled on the misery for Assam with an unbeaten century on day two to help Maharashtra tighten its grip on the match with a commanding total of 542 in its first innings.

>Scorecard

Khurana, who got a reprieve when he was on five on the first day after being bowled off a no-ball by left-arm pacer Mrinmoy Dutta, made Assam pay for the error with an innings that was calm and composed without ceding ground to the opposition in the first session of the play.

Khurana found an able ally in wicketkeeper-batsman Vishant More as the pair put on 124 runs for the sixth-wicket. The duo were smart in their approach as they kept rotating the strike regularly with a spread out field after the pacers failed to create any sustained pressure.

Assam got its first breakthrough when More cut a short-pitch delivery from leg-spinner Amit Verma straight into the hands of the backward point fielder.

Khurana employed the sweep shot to find the boundaries on more than one occasion to the spinners and his experience of playing at the IIT Chemplast ground from playing in the city league last year came in handy as he scored his first ton of the season.

In reply, Maharashtra pacer Anupam Sanklecha, who picked 14 wickets in the last match continued his good form as he rattled the Assam top-order with three wickets.

Sanklecha got two wickets in as many balls in the fifth over. First, he dismissed opener Rahul Hazarika, who was caught at second slip, and then got Sibsankar Roy to inside edge onto his stumps before Amit Verma foiled the hat-trick ball with a square drive to the point boundary.

Sanklecha then dismissed Verma who looked good during his brief stay with a well constructed dismissal. The fast bowler pushed the left-handed Verma on the back foot with a couple of deliveries before pitching one full to induce the error and get him caught behind.

Opener Rishav Doshi was unbeaten on 53 and with wicketkeeper Kunal Saikia added 76-runs to ensure Assam got to stumps without further trouble.