November 19, 2012

Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Round III

Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Round III, Day 3

Siddarth Ravindran

5.20pm Stumps in Chennai, with Maharashtra at 75 for 8.

It’s been a fun day. Manoj Tiwary gave a nudge to the national selectors with a big hundred, after which Bengal are in prime position to take an outright win. The most thrilling game was in Chennai, where first the home side’s batting collapsed, but not as spectacularly as Maharashtra, who go into stumps at 75 for 8, facing a target of 193. UP are in complete control against Karnataka thanks to Parvinder Singh’s big hundred. Delhi are facing a huge challenge, trying to overhaul Baroda’s big first-innings score, while Haryana hung on determinedly to give Odisha some anxious moments after initially seeming to be completely out of the game. Join us tomorrow for the final day's action. Ciao!

5.10pm At stumps in Meerut, Parvinder Singh is 143*, Piyush Chawla is 16* and UP are completely in charge at 343 for 5. Karnataka will, at best, look to stave off an outright defeat on the final day.

5.05pm We could have a finish in Chennai today itself

A half-hour extension has been granted since Maharashtra are eight down. Play will continue, at least till the light permits.

Not turning out to be such a straightforward chase for Odisha. They are now 60 for 3, Biplab Samantaray is the latest batsman to be dismissed. Target is 148.

Kerala finish the day on 168 for 1, VA Jagadeesh is unbeaten on 92, and Abhishek Hegde is on 74. With the first-innings lead conceded to Assam, unlikely to have much thrills on the final day in Malappuram.

5.00pm Last update from Amol today: "Offspinner Madhur Khatri is brought in to bowl what was going to be the last over. And Naman Ojha steps out to hit him over long-off for a six and sweeps the next one through square leg for a boundary to raise his ninth first-class hundred. At stumps, MP 200 for 1. Ojha unbeaten on 102 (166b, 11x4, 3x6) and Satyam Choudhary, who was dropped by Khatri at point off Pankaj, batting on 33."

4.55pm Maharashtra eight down Shrikant Mundhe, who has had such a good game so far is the man to go, falls for a duck to Aushik Srinivas. Maharashtra 75 for 8! What a mad game this is turning out to be.

Amol Muzumdar closing in on twin tons, as is B Sumanth. The two, who piloted Andhra in the first innings with a big stand, have now added 161 for the fourth wicket. Andhra 179 for 3, the overall lead is 286. Muzumdar 89*, Sumanth 73*.

4.50pm Stumps at the Kotla. Delhi are 215/3, with Manhas and Bhatia batting. Stumps in Uppal. Saurashtra sitting pretty at 270 for 6, Kotak still around on 47* and the lead is 344.

4.45pm Stumps in Cuttack. Railways 183 for 2, leading by 74. Can't see much excitement in that game against Punjab on the final day. Amit Paunikar is unbeaten on 113.

Maharashtra lose their seventh Rohit Motwani is bowled by R Aushik Srinivas for 14. Maharashtra are 73 for 7.

4.35pm
Amol from Jaipur: "With the Rajasthan pacers operating for the better part of the innings, even the extra half an hour will not seem to be enough for 90 overs to be completed. With a little over 15 minutes to go for stumps, there are still five more overs to be bowled. MP are 176 for 1, with Naman Ojha unbeaten on 88."

4.30pm Bhuvneshwar misses a hundred

K Gowtham has Bhuvneshwar stumped for 91 by Robin Uthappa, who is keeping wicket after the regular stumper CM Gautam was hurt by a delivery from spinner KP Appanna.

Stumps at Eden Gardens, where Gujarat are reeling at 18 for 4 after nine overs.

4.20pm It's stumps at Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur. Once again, Swapnil Asnodkar is batting at the end of the day's play, unfortunately for him, his team have been made to follow-on, and Goa face a battle for survival tomorrow. Goa 16/0, still 138 behind Jharkhand.

Stumps at Agartala as well, where Tripura have reached 285 for 4, with Abbas Ali unbeaten on 105. They too face a difficult task as they need to overhaul Services mammoth score of 563 tomorrow, or bat out the day.

4.15pm Amit from Delhi: "Mohit Chauhan is dismissed lbw. Mohit is gone for 73, the umpire thought that ball was going on to hit the leg stump. A good knock from Mohit comes to an end. Now Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia are batting, Delhi's most experienced pair."

4.10pm Saurashtra's lead have crossed 300 in Hyderabad. Shitanshu Kotak is unbeaten on 25. Sagar Jogiyani has been dismissed for 69.

Amol: "The penalty of five runs seems to have confused umpire NR Seetharam Prabhu. While Pankaj Singh asked for his cap after bowling the sixth ball of the over, Prabhu said he needed to bowl an additional ball because of the one that skidded and rammed the helmet. A consultation (not confrontation) with the Rajasthan players is followed by another with the match referee through walkie-talkie and Prabhu finally calls it an over."

4.05pm Amit from the Kotla: "Delhi make it to 200, have only lost two wickets so far. Mohit Sharma is unbeaten on 70, and Mithun Manhas is with him on 37. Baroda have spread out the field and are waiting for the batsmen to make a mistake. The light is fading in Delhi, and it looks like we will finish a few overs short."

And Amol from Jaipur messages about this increasingly rare sight: "And that's a five! Pankaj Singh puts in a lot of effort but instead of rising, the ball skids and bounces in front of wicketkeeper Dishan Yagnik, who fails to pouch it, and thuds into the helmet behind the keeper."

4.00pm Odisha are making slow-and-steady progress. Their target is 149, and they are now 21 for 0 after 12 overs.

3.55pm In Cuttack, Amit Paunikar has slammed a century to dominate Railways' innings: he is now on 113 out of a team score of 183 for 2. He'll be thrilled, especially as his previous five scores in first-class cricket are: 0, 9, 0 , 4 and 0.

3.50pm Another one down in Chennai

Kedar Jadhav is gone for zero, 'duck out' as we used to call it in gully cricket. Maharashtra are 50 for 6 after 21 overs. Balaji, Yo Mahesh and Malolan Rangarajan have taken two wickets again.

For those of you asking, here's a look at the points table.

3.45pm It's quieter in some of the other games: Kerala's Abhishek Hegde and VA Jagadeesh are still in the middle, and have taken their side to 89 for 1, the lead is 67.

Meanwhile, Andhra's Amol Muzumdar and B Sumanth have both gone on to hit half-centuries. Andhra are sailing steady at 135 for 3.

And in Meerut, Parvinder and Bhuvneshwar are completely blunting Karnataka's attack. UP are now 296 for 4, Parvinder is 128*, Bhuveshwar is 84*.

3.40pm Wickets tumbling in Chennai

A few minutes after I confidently predict the match going to the fourth day, Tamil Nadu have taken three wickets in the space of 12 deliveries. Yo Mahesh takes two of them, including the opener Harshad Khadiwale. Kedar Jadhav, triple-centurion in the previous match, will need to play an epic innings of a different kind for Maharashtra to survive this. Maharashtra 44 for 5.

3.35pm Manoj Tiwary can do no wrong

After whacking a 191 earlier in the day, he has now got the big wicket of Parthiv Patel, caught by the wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for 12. Gujarat reeling at 18 for 4.

And Amol updates from Jaipur: "After resisting his natural instincts for almost three hours, Naman Ojha seems to be cutting loose. He makes a mockery of Ashok Menaria part-time left-arm spin by hitting him for two sixes over long-on, the first of which almost landed on the street behind the pavilion, and cut him delicately for a boundary in between. MP have now raced to 134 for no loss, with a lead of 11."

Two minutes later, he pings: "And Rajasthan finally gets the much-needed breakthrough in the 41st over. Rituraj Singh, bowling his 16th over, traps Zafar Ali (54) in front of the wickets. MP 134 for 1. Satyam Choudhary joins Naman Ojha, who is batting on 78."

3.30pm Our reader Yayathy asks: "How about the entry fee at Chennai? Will the match last till day 4 for me to watch it?" I think it will be free entry in Chennai. As for the match lasting till tomorrow, I think it will.

Maharashtra are still only two down, and they used a strange tactic: sending in their debutant Satyajeet Bachhav, who batted at No. 10 in the first innings, as an opener in the second. Whatever the thinking behind the move was, it didn't click. Harshad Khadiwale and Sangram Atitkar, however, have stayed together for half an hour to take Maharashtra to 38 for 2. The target is 193.

3.25pm Amol seems to be having a fun time in Jaipur: "The opening wicket partnership seems to have relaxed the MP camp, which was a tad tense after conceding the first innings lead of 123. While smiles have returned on coach Mukesh Sahani and chief selector Narendra Hirwani's faces, Barfi songs are being played in the MP tent."

3.20pm Bengal rip through Gujarat top order

After declaring on 526 for 7 (Laxmi Shukla 113* off 117 balls), Bengal have nipped out three wickets in four overs. Two of the three Patels in the Gujarat side are out, but the dangerous Parthiv Patel is still batting. Gujarat 17 for 3.

3.15pm From Delhi, Amit sends this: "Baroda are using negative tactics. When left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt is bowling, they are keeping long leg, deep midwicket and long-on. When the quicks are bowling, they have a deep point in place. It will be interesting to see how Delhi deal with this strategy. If Delhi don't lose too many wickets today, could be a good one-day game in store tomorrow."

3.10pm In Malappuram, Kerala's Hegde and VA Jagadeesh, who put on a solid stand in the first innings, are keeping the Assam bowlers at bay again. Kerala 53 for 1 after the loss of Raiphi Gomez for a duck.

3.05pm Jharkhand enforce the follow-on

Good to see a team not just sit back on the cushion of a first-innings lead, content with three points. Jharkhand have a 152-run lead, just enough to enforce the follow-on and they have asked Goa to bat again.

3.00pm Hundred for Parvinder

UP's Parvinder Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have completely buried the game now, with an unbroken 171-run stand. Parvinder has gone on to his eighth first-class hundred, while Bhuvneshwar is now 79*. UP's lead is a mighty 361. Karnataka are fielding a totally new-look attack, with three debutants, and are missing their senior pace trio of Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and S Aravind.

2.50pm First-innings shootout in Agartala

Abbas Ali, the vastly experienced former Madhya Pradesh player, has hit his second consecutive hundred for Tripura, who are now 270 for 4. Services' score (563 for 4) is still a long way away.

2.40pm Seem to have jinxed Haryana

They are bowled out for 300, which leaves Odisha a target of 149. Basant Mohanty and Alok Mangaraj have taken four wickets apiece.

Andhra's first-innings centurions, B Sumanth and Amol Muzumdar, are it again; they have added 95 for the fourth wicket now, and both are in their 40s. Twin centuries? Andhra at 113 for 3 now, an overall lead of 230, and they have this game against Himachal comfortably under control.

2.35pm Railways have lost two wickets, but their opener Amit Paunikar is still going strong on 79. Railways 136 for 2, which puts them 27 ahead of Punjab at tea.

In Delhi, the home team have gone in to tea at 155/2, Mohit Sharma is unbeaten on 54. "He has a calming presence," says Amit.

2.30pm Century for Laxmi Ratan Shukla

Bengal continue to dominate against Gujarat. After Tiwary's big hundred, not it is the turn of Shukla, who has hit his first hundred in two years, almost to the day. Last year, he was dismissed on 99 against Baroda, but this time he doesn't miss out. He's 113 off 117 deliveries, with 15 fours and two sixes. Bengal 526 for 7, lead is 266.

In Hyderabad, a 70-run stand between Sagar Jagiyani and Jaydev Shah is broken. Both reached half-centuries, and Jagiyani is still around on 51. Shah was caught behind for 55. Saurashtra are 172 for 4, lead is 246.

2.25pm Haryana keep fighting

Can Haryana pull off a miraculous comeback? Their ninth-wicket pair has added 72 runs, and their lead is now 142 runs. Outside chance for a win, or just delaying the Odisha voctory? 22-year-old Jayant Yadav is unbeaten on 61 and Mohit Sharma, who took five wickets in the first innings, is keeping him company.

2.20pm Amol messages from Jaipur: "Naman Ojha and Zafar Ali keep Rajasthan bowlers at bay. With 20 minutes remaining for tea, the duo have put on an unbroken opening partnership of 83 runs."

2.15pm Goa fold for 208

Jharkhand have taken a 152-run first-innings lead against Goa in Jamshedpur. Their captain Shahbaz Nadeem continues to take wickets for fun: he has five in this innings, to go with the 17 he snared in the previous two Ranji matches.

2.10pm Don't count out TN yet!

L Balaji has taken two wickets in his first two overs, and Maharashtra 9 for 2 after three overs. Proving to be a very difficult track to bat on in Chennai. TN have opened with Balaji and left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas.

2.00pm Unmukt Chand falls

Soon after reaching his 50, Chand has been dismissed. Amit: "Chand just can't believe Left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt has done it. A classic left-arm spinner's delivery, he flighted it and then turned enough to clip the off-bail, as Unmukt tried to play forward defensive. Suddenly Baroda players are making a lot of noise, Bhargav is getting a bit of turn and also bowling a good line. Manan Sharma fluffed his lines and that can be the difference in this match but we have Mithun Manhas now."

Delhi are now 141/2.

1.50 pm Tamil Nadu bowled out

Left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar and legspinner Chirag Khurana took four wickets apiece as TN have folded for 149, leaving Maharashtra a target of 193. Can they get there? The top scorers for TN were Dinesh Karthik and Baba Aparijith, both of whom hit 35.

L Balaji celebrates a wicket, Tamil Nadu v Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy, Group B, 2nd day, Chennai, November 18, 2012
L Balaji took four wickets in the first innings, how will TN fare in the second?  © K Sivaraman
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1.45pm In Delhi, Amit says: "Unmukt has now moved to 47, and Delhi are 120 for 1. Some lovely cover drives from him, one off Bhaja in particular stood out."

And in Jaipur, Madhya Pradesh's openers have calmly progressed to 64 for 0 after 20 overs.

1.40pm Haryana hanging on

They don't have a realistic chance of saving the game, but their batting has shown plenty of stubborness in the second innings. The ninth-wicket pair has hung around for 50 minutes now, and Haryana are 263 for 8. Their lead is now 99.

1.35pm Jharkhand closing in on a first-innings lead against Goa, who are now 182 for 7, just past half of what Jharkhand made.

Andhra's top order has folded against Himachal, with Rishi Dhawan taking three quick wickets. Andhra's first-innings centurions, B Sumanth and Amol Muzumdar, however are steadying the side, with their 40-run stand taking the score to 58 for 3.

1.25pm The runs continue to desert Kerala's Raiphi Gomez, who has been sent up the order in the second innings after Assam took a slender first-innings lead. Gomes is gone for a duck - his recent scores in all formats are 0, 2, 0, 15*, 1, 6, 5, 19. Kerala 7/1

In Meerut, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Parvinder Singh are taking the game well out of Karnataka's reach. The UP pair have now put on 125, and the lead is well beyond 300. Bhuvneshwar 65*, Parvinder 71*. UP 213/4.

1.20pm Railways openers tearing along at Cuttack, they have scored 72 in 17 overs, with Amit Pauniker racing to 44 off 51. They need to get plenty of runs - and fast - to have a chance of getting something from this game, after having given away a 100-plus first-innings lead.

And from Delhi, Amit has this: "Delhi have reached 93 in 26 overs, scoring at a steady pace Vijay Dahiya's boys are walking the talk."

1.15pm Tamil Nadu in trouble

Their top scorer in the first innings, Yo Mahesh, has been dismissed and L Balaji whose four wickets were vital in getting the first-innings lead has also fallen. TN 128 for 6 against Maharashtra. Overall lead is 171.

1.05pm Tiwary misses double

Manoj Tiwary has fallen for 191, missing his fifth double-century. He's gone for 191 off 312 balls, 21 fours and one sixes. Bengal, however, continue to be in total control against Gujarat, having reached 419 for 6, the first-innings lead already 159.

1.00pm Haryana are now 228 for 8, ahead only by 75 runs at the fall of their eighth wicket. Medium-pacer Alok Mangalraj has four second-innings wickets, the first time he has managed to get a four-for. Odisha will be thinking of the bonus point already.

12.55pm Jadeja falls for 4

Hyderabad's debutant fast bowler Ashish Reddy is now eyeing a ten-for on debut, he has two this innings, including that of Ravindra Jadeja. That gives Reddy eight in the match so far. Saurashtra are 91 for 3, over they are 165 ahead.

12.50pm Virat Kohli hits the winning runs in the Ahmedabad Test, and India take a nine-wicket victory. Over at Kohli's hometown, the man who succeeded him as the World Cup-winning India U-19 captain, Unmukt Chand, is beginning to open out. He hits a couple of boundaries as Delhi move to 77 for 1.

12.40pm - Assam bowled out In Malappuram, Kerala have taken the last Assam wicket to keep the visitors' lead down to 22. However, it will take a near miracle from Kerala to turn this into a win

12.30pm Tiwary closes in on double In Kolkata, Manoj Tiwary is 183 not out, and Bengal are approaching 400. We are in for a declaration some time later today. Bengal can do with an outright win

12.10pm Assam have taken the first-innings lead. Just about, but that's good enough. Like Dheeraj Jhadav earlier in the day, Tarjinder Singh also misses out on his hundred, caught-behind for 92. From 254 for 6, just 10 short of Kerala's score, Assam gave themselves some anxious moments, slipping to 261 for 9, including two wickets to Sony Cheruvathur in three balls. The Assam wicketkeeper Rajdeep Das and No. 11 Arlen Konwar kept their cool to confirm the first-innings lead.

Saurashtra are 88 for 2 at lunch, Ravindra Jadeja is batting on 4*.

Noon Dinesh Karthik has been stumped by Rohit Motwani after a brisk 35. Again, Tamil Nadu will be looking to their lower-middle order to rescue them as they are now at 104 for 5, an overall lead of 147.

In Jaipur, the update is: "MP openers have no trouble in playing out six overs before lunch. They head into the break at 22 for no loss, with Naman Ojha on 10 and Zafar Ali on 12."

And Amit sends this from Delhi: "At lunch, Delhi are 63/1 in 20 overs. Unmukt Chand is on 11*, and was dropped by Firdaush Bhaja off his own bowling. Is Chand trying to curb his natural game because of national selector Saba Karim's presence? Let's hope not, he's a terrific player when on song."

11.55am Amol sends this in: "And the third umpire comes into the picture for the first time. Naman Ojha plays Pankaj Singh with soft hands towards mid-off and Zafar Ali calls for a quick single. Madhur Khatri, running in, gets a direct hit at the striker's end and umpire Amish Saheba refers it to the third umpire. Ali has made his ground, though.For those who are unaware, the BCCI shoots all the Ranji games with a four-camera set-up. And the match referees double up as the third umpire."

11.45am In Meerut, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Parvinder Singh are taking the game away from Karnataka. The pair have added 70 for the fifth wicket, UP are 158 for 4, overall lead of 260.

11.35am Lunch-time at several games.

Manoj Tiwary has raced along to 174*, but Anustup Majumdar has been run-out for 68. Still, Bengal comfortably in charge, having reached 374 for 5 against Gujarat. a lead of 114.

In Jamshedpur, Rohit Asnodkar, playing his second first-class match in four years, is undefeated on 15, and has kept the Jharkhand attack at bay for an hour, after Goa lost four early wickets in the morning. Goa are 110 for 5. Rohit Asnodkar's only other first-class match since 2008 was also against Jharkhand.

Tripura have made it to 166 for 2 by lunch in reply to Services' mammoth 563 for 4 dec.

11.30am TN have lost another wicket. Baba Aparijith, the Under-19 star, who was unlucky to be dismissed in teh first innings after a shot ricocheted off a close-in fielder to the bowler, has fallen for 35. TN now 84 for 4.

11.25am Amol from Jaipur: "Anand Rajan cleans up Aniket Choudhary to fold up the Rajasthan innings for 379. The hosts have a lead of 123. And with 151 overs remaining in the match so far, Rajasthan have all the time to push for an outright victory."

11.20am Dhawan's cameo is over. Amit: "Baroda draw first blood,a short ball from Murtuza Vahora, Dhawan goes for the pull and mistimes it and is caught at square leg. Delhi 41/1."

Over at the Ahmedabad Test, England have been bowled out, setting India a target of 77.

11.15am Bhuvneshwar Kumar having a great game at his home ground at Meerut. He made a combative 36 in the first-innings to provide Mohammad Kaif with much-needed support, then he took five wickets to bowl out Karnataka for 181. Now, he's keeping Karnataka's bowlers at bay, having batted nearly two hours to make an unbeaten 21. UP 111 for 4.

11.10am Amit: "Delhi have made a confident start. Shikhar Dhawan showing some purpose here, and has just hit a beautiful cover drive off Gagandeep Singh. Baroda's bowling has been wayward so far." Dhawan 29* off 30 balls, Delhi are 37/0 after nine overs.

Badrinath gone for 8. Not often that M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund and S Badrinath all fail in both innings of a match, but it has happened now. Darekar again with the wicket, getting Badrinath caught-and-bowled. TN 77 for 3. The overall lead is 120.

11.05am From Jaipur, Amol sends this: "Pankaj Singh's lofted drive off left-arm spinner Rameez Khan goes straight into the hands of the fielder at mid-off. Rajasthan 366 for 9, with a lead of 110."

Punjab have been bowled out for 314, the innings unravelling after Uday Kaul fell for 100. Still, they have a solid 109-run first-innings lead against Railways. No wickets for the experienced left-arm spinner Mural Kartik.

10.55am Himachal have been bowled out for 265, giving Andhra a first-innings lead of 107 runs. Vijaykumar finishes with 6 for 80.

Meanwhile, Saurashtra are in no hurry to force the pace after having taken the first-innings lead. They are 51 for 1, after 23 overs against Hyderabad.

10.50am Haryana hurtle towards defeat

Abhimanyu Khod has been caught-behind for 74, and Haryana are now 191 for 7, effectively 38 for 7. Odisha quick bowler Basant Mohanty has three in the innings, and eight in the match. This could be his first ten-wicket haul in a five-year career.

10.45am The first-innings race is well and truly on in Malappuram. Assam's Dheeraj Jadhav, who hit the first double-century of the Ranji season, has missed out on a hundred, as he is run out for 98. Assam still 34 behind Kerala's 264. All depends on Tarjinder Singh, who has moved along to 88*.

10.40am M Vijay gone cheaply

Vijay has been dismissed by Maharashtra left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar for 14. He began the season with a 266 in the Irani Cup, and had lots of runs in the Challenger as well, but the big scores haven't yet arrived in the Ranji Trophy. TN 42/2 in what is proving to be an engrossing match in Chennai.

10.35am Manoj Tiwary and Anustup Majumdar going strong at Eden Gardens. The pair have put on 97 now, as Bengal reach 295 for 4 against Gujarat. First-innings lead has already been taken, Tiwary 141*, Majumdar 39*.

10.30am Baroda have finally been bowled out

They finish on 561 at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Parvinder Awana gets four wickets. Here's Amit: "A good effort by Baroda that, but Delhi's bowling was disappointing. They were good in patches but they weren't consistent over a period of time. They have around 160 overs to get the runs. The performance of their spinner hurt their cause, and also they got a bit complacent after the fall of 7th wicket (at 399). Perhaps they didn't expect a 130-odd partnership that has boosted Baroda to a big score."

10.25am Goa are crumbling

They had begun the day on 24 for 1 in reply to Jharkhand's 360, but they have slid to 72 for 5 now. Swapnil Asnodkar is also out. Jharkhand well on their way to three points, at least.

10.20am The latest from Jaipur. Amol: "And Pandey gets his sixth. He manages to extract bounce off the wicket and Rituraj Singh could only manage to edge it to Zafar Ali at second slip. 341 for 8."

10.15am In Meerut, UP has lost the rock of their first-innings effort, Mohammad Kaif. He is bowled by Karnataka's stand-in captain Stuart Binny for 36. UP are 93 for 4, a substantial 195 ahead on a two-paced pitch.

10.10am Amol isn't just keeping an eye on the cricket in Jaipur: "Just as a wicket falls, we experience the first fight of the match. But it's not on the field. At the far end of the KL Saini Stadium, a couple from the caretaker's family has a go at each other. In higher pitch, higher than the usual Rajasthani voice, the couple is relentlessly arguing. While the players are undeterred, security guards near the rope enjoy the live episode of a daily-soap."

10.05am Not a happy birthday for Paras Dogra

He has three centuries in three matches this season, but he can't add too much to his overnight score of 109. He's gone for 122 as Andhra fast bowler P Vijaykumar completes his five-for. Himachal's chances of the first-innings lead evaporate, they are 239 for 7, a long way behind Andhra's 372.

Meanwhile, over at the Test in Ahmedabad, Pragyan Ojha has got the breakthrough India have been toiling for. Prior is gone, and England are 357 for 6, just 27 ahead. Cook's monumental innings still continuing.

10.00am Here's Amol Karhadkar first update of the day: "After taking the first innings lead, Rajasthan have every reason to ensure the last two days are not as boring as they usually are in a Ranji game. It seems they have started on a positive note to force a result. The first four overs of the day saw four boundaries as Dishant Yagnik and Madhur Khatri have managed to add 21 runs to their overnight score of 306 for 6."

9.55am Duck for Mukund

Shrikant Mundhe's terrific game continues - after four wickets in the first innings, and a battling 61 which had Maharashtra sniffing a first-innings lead, he has now got rid of the prolific Abhinav Mukund for a duck. TN 7 for 1. His last century came way back in 2007, when he was representing Vidarbha.

Shrikant Mundhe raises his bat after scoring a half-century, Tamil Nadu v Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy, Group B, 2nd day, Chennai, November 18, 2012
Shrikant Mundhe troubled Tamil Nadu with the bat yesterday, now he's bothering them with the ball  © K Sivaraman
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9.45am Stop the press, Uday Kaul has finally been dismissed this season. He's gone for a round 100, dismissed by Sanjay Bangar, who now has astonishing figures of 21-11-22-1. Punjab 263/6 v Railways.

9.40am Manoj Tiwary still going strong at Eden Gardens, he's now moved to 116*. This is first first-class century in nearly a year. His previous one was a 187 against Delhi last December, and it ended a run of four hundreds in four matches. Bengal 235 for 4 v Gujarat, just 35 away from levelling the scores.

Meanwhile, Baroda are still batting on at the Feroz Shah Kotla, though they have already used up two days. Amit Shetty informs: "Finally Gagandeep Singh is out for 76 and a 132-run partnership ends, Awana is the bowler. I'm hoping Baroda declare after an hour or so of batting, as their bowlers will need time in this game. Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya has promised that they would play positive cricket." Baroda 536/8.

9.30am BIsla dismissed

Manvinder Bisla, hero of this year's IPL final, was without a Ranji team last season, and has moved to Goa this year. He scored 80 in his previous match, but has fallen early today, lbw 14. Goa 50 for 2 v Jharkhand.

9.20am There have already been plenty of calls for changing the points system in the Ranji Trophy. Here's Aakash Chopra with a comprehensive take on the issue. Thoughts?

9.10am In one of the early games of the day, Punjab's Uday Kaul has just reached his century against Railways. His scores in his previous five first-class matches: 100* (today), 165*, 54*, 11, 89, 19, 100*.

8.50am Day three of round three coming up. How many results do you expect today? Just the one in Lahli where Haryana are effectively 12 for 5? Perhaps in Meerut as well, where UP are 55 for 3 in the second innings on top of a 100-odd run first-innings lead in a low-scoring game.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Anirban on (November 19, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

I wonder why bowlers like Pankaj Singh, Basant Mohanti are never even considered in test team selections, let alone bringing them in the team...these are consistent performers on Indian flat tracks..

Posted by Bharjes on (November 19, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

Who said Imtiyaj Ahmed is 120-125 kph. I saw him bowling in GHaziabad and can confirm he is at least 135+, if not more

Posted by Dileep on (November 19, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

UP cricket Association Should be lauded for the pitches being prepared.Ghaziabad and meerut stood out as best examples for bowler friendly pitches which will bring out the real talent from batsmen.

Kudos to UP Cricket Association in this regard.

Can someone please let me know whereabouts of Praveen Gupta,the left arm spinner of U.P. and Varun AARON of Jarkhand..

Posted by ssdash on (November 19, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

the match between railways and punjab is taking place at bhubaneswar not cuttack..hope you change it soon...

Posted by Shaheer on (November 19, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

very very bad captaincy from Raina... why he not declared... if he allowed ktk to bat 10 over atleast, up will get some wicket.... Becoz ktk players very tired... Now it will going to a draw....

Posted by mod on (November 19, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

Dear Prashant::: Pakistan have also a team named hyderabad that is why written hyderabad(India) :: Delhi shold follow Senthil comment: Delhi needs to play like UP played in previous game and deny more than 1 point to ridiculous baroda, go Senthil..go UP..go Delhi.....

Posted by godpunchedmeh on (November 19, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Lakshmi Shukla has shown his capabilities. Did the officials keep their eye on him?? Congrats Manoj for the terrific innings.

Posted by Anonymous on (November 19, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

If BCCI improve the indian cricket to create a pitch like Ghaziabad and Meerut.

Posted by Kannadass on (November 19, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

What a game in Chennai,, Tamilnadu bowlers doing very good job in chenna. Especially by Balaji the caption of TN should get chance in indian team for Eng tests. he also did good job in Wt2o last month. Also good alround performance by Yomahesh and M rangarajan.

Posted by Senthil on (November 19, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

Maharashtra once were 764/7 a week ago and now 73/7. Needing another 120 to win, think they will take this match in to the final day with some excitement if they shown fight.

I wish UP should declare before stumps and ask Karnataka to chase their lead which I believe gone over 350 already. With the kind of bowling UP have they can go for a out right win after their toiling against Maharashtra last week.

I hope Delhi makes some good score tomorrow to deny more then 1 point to the negative Baroda. They played more then 2 days and then started bowling negative lines with defensive field sets. Killing FC crickets. A Rayadu should have used his brain better in attacking with those many runs he have.

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