Continuing his impressive performance with the bat yesterday, Ravindra Jadeja followed up his first-innings figures of 27.1-13-27-6, picking up a couple more to leave Tripura, who were following on, still adrift of Saurashtra’s total by 193 runs at stumps. At 11/3, Tripura were left staring at an defeat on a crumbling surface in Rajkot.
Meanwhile in Nagpur, India speedster Umesh Yadav smashed an unbeaten 119-ball 128 to take Vidarbha to 467. Batting with complete freedom, the well-built fast bowler belted 7 sixes and as many fours. In reply, Odisha reached 79/2 at stumps.
At the Barsapura stadium in Guwahati, Karnataka bounced back in spectacular fashion by dismissing Assam for 194. The defending champions showed their class and were led admirably by skipper Vinay Kumar who bowled with precision. The opening duo of Samarth and Mayank Agarwal began solidly in their second innings and helped Karnataka to a 70 run lead, with all wickets intact.
In an intriguing slugfest at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, the Tamil Nadu batsmen were left ruing their shot-making on a minefield which was tailor-made for spinners. They collapsed to the left-arm spin of Bhargav Bhatt and set a feeble target of 122 for Baroda who were 4/0 at the close of play. The Tamil Nadu spinners would have to pull off a miracle if they want to entertain thoughts of an unlikely win.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann who was recently picked in the ODI squad for the South Africa series, piled on the agony for the Railways’ bowlers with a flawless 201 on a fairly placid surface in Mohali. In tandem with the unfancied Gitansh Khera, he punished a demotivated and tired bowling unit to enable Punjab reach a mammoth 604/5. Captain Yuvraj Singh decided to declare and Railways safely negotiated the remaining six overs without any mishap.
Services inched closer to a victory over Jharkhand at the Airforce Complex ground in Palam. Even though the Jharkhand batsmen fared much better in the second innings, they had effectively surrendered the match on the opening day when they were bundled out for a paltry 45. Diwesh Pathania was not satisfied with his first innings heroics as he once again razed through the opposition batting line-up with a 7-wicket haul. Needing 77 to win, Services were at 5/0 at stumps.
Riding on massive hundreds by Mohammad Saif and the cherubic Sarfaraz Khan, Uttar Pradesh plundered the Madhya Pradesh bowling attack to post a daunting 656/5. With no sign of relenting, the 17-year old Sarfaraz treated the likes of Ishwar Pandey and Jalaj Saxena with utter disdain, hitting 4 sixes and 15 fours in his 164-ball 155. But, Praveen Kumar showed no indication of a declaration as he implored his batsmen to carry on.
Gautam Gambhir batted with fluency alongside youngster Unmukht Chand as they held fort for Delhi against Rajasthan XI. They put together 166 for the first wicket before Chand ran out of patience. Even though Delhi are not out of the woods yet, the partnership ensured that they had a handy lead of 74 runs at the end of day’s play. Captain Gambhir will have to marshal the rest of his batting line-up in order to post a competitive total at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur.
At the Sher-E-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir reached 330 on the back of twin half-centuries from Waseem Raza and Bandeep Singh. In reply, Kerala were comfortably placed at 158/2. Rohan Prem remained unbeaten after compiling a patient 187-ball 67.
Rain dampened spirits and halted Maharashtra’s response to Haryana’s 335. The persistent downpour in Pune meant that Maharashtra could face only 3 overs which they survived without losing any wicket.
From the picturesque Pune to the laid-back Goa, the heavens also opened up in Porvorim. After Hyderabad finished their innings at 325/9, Goa could only face 15 overs. They lost a solitary wicket to close the day at 47/1.
The match between Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh was also affected by rain. During the only session of play, Andhra crawled to 213/4 with Kaif batting on 89 not out.