UP in commanding position against Maharashtra in Ranji Trophy

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Kanpur, Nov 24 (UNI) Opener Shivakant Shukla's classy century guided former Ranji Trophy champions Uttar Pradesh to a commanding position against Maharashtra on the second day of their four-day Ranji Trophy Group 'B' Super League match here at Green Park stadium today.

Resuming from overnight score of 86 for one with Shivakant(45) and Parvinder (35) at the crease, UP finished the day at 290 for six managing a first innings lead of 69 runs with four wickets in hand.

The diminutive Shivakant Shukla hit a superb 131 off 354 balls with the help of 14 fours before falling to S Fallah after the tea break but not befor adding 137 runs for the second-wicket with Parvinder Singh, and then 55 runs for the third-wicket with skipper Mohd Kaif (20).

Shukla displayed an array of strokes specially the late cuts during his second Ranji century which came in his 25th first class match, his previous best being 116 against Hyderabad at Lucknow in 2005-06.He was out of the team in most of the matches before coming back to form showing maturity and stability in his performance.

'' The knock came at the right time of my career and will boost my confidence to do better in future matches also,'' said Shivakant at the end of the day.

Despite an inexperienced Maharashtra bowling attack, the UP batsmen threw their wickets on loose shots. First one was overnight batsman Parvinder Singh (68, 9x4, 1x6), who was looking good after scoring his maiden half-century of the season, was out trying a big hit. Skipper Mohd Kaif, seeking favour from Indian selectors for his re-entry into national team, must be a disappointed man. He started in his customary fashion taking quick singles and twos along with Shivakant, but was unlucky as a swinging delivery from S Fallah found him in front of the wicket.

Bad form with willow continued to haunt former Indian Under-19 skipper Ravikant Shukla (0) even today. Only a couple of years ago, he was considered to be a bright promising talent but poor strings of score this season failed to add to his reputation.

Young all-rounder Bhuvaneshwar Kumar struck an unbeaten 28, which contained three boundaries and was at the crease with Rudra Pratap Singh (9) when the stumps were drawn.

SCOREBOARD Maharashtra (1st innings): 221.

UP (1st innings): S Shukla c D Shilamkar b S Fallah 131 T Srivastavac D Waghmare b M Mangala 4 P Singh c N Pradhkar b D Waghmare 68 Mohd Kaif lbw S Fallah 20 R Shukla c R Motwani b S Fallah 0 B Kumar batting 28 P Chawla c R Bhosle b D waghmare 16 RP Singh batting 9 Extras (lb2, nb8, w4) 14 Total (for 6 wkts in 121 overs) 290 Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-149, 3-204, 4-208, 5-246, 6-274.

Bowling: S Fallah32-8-82-3, M Mangala 30-0-55-1, H Khadiwale 6-3-14-0, E Haq (jr) 28-10-55-0, N Pradhkar 11-2-19-2 D Waghmare 14-2-63-2.


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