November 20, 2012

Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Round III

Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Round III, Day 4

Siddarth Ravindran

5.00pm Just two outright results then in the round. Tamil Nadu and Odisha get six points each, most of the other games were first-innings results, while at the Delhi v Baroda match, even the first innings didn't come to an end. Here's a look at the latest points table.

Some of the highlights included Amol Muzumdar's twin centuries which made him the highest Ranji run-getter again, Manoj Tiwary's big hundred, Bhuvneshwar's all-round performance in Meerut, Basant Mohanty's nine-for against Haryana, Yashpal Singh making the highest score ever by a Services batsman, Uday Kaul extending his prolific run, and Ravindra Jadeja making a big impact in a Ranji game again, this time with the ball.

Thanks to Amol and Amit for their entertaining updates. And to the readers who make this blog such fun. Next round starts Saturday, see you then. Cheers!

4.50pm Stumps in the only other game, Kerala v Assam is a draw. Assam finish on 201 for 6, and they too get three points for a first-innings lead.

4.40pm Stumps in Meerut, where Karnataka have hung on for a draw. Final score 274 for 8. Bhuvneshwar finishes with nine wickets in the game, besides a 91.

4.25pm Amit from Delhi: "The two teams shake hands. It's stumps, Delhi finish on 505 for 6. One point for each team. Bhatia 133*, Narwal 65*."

Stumps in Agartala, where Services end on 7 for 0 after two overs. Three points for them, one for Tripura.

Stumps in Hyderabad, where the home team finish on 232 for 6. B Sandeep unbeaten on 50. Three points to Saurashtra, one to Hyderabad.

Stumps in Bhubaneshwar, where Punjab end on 59 for 2. Punjab get three points for the first-innings lead, Railways get one.

4.20pm Amol from Jaipur: "And the misery is over. Rajasthan 88 for 4. Robin Bist [37] and Puneet Yadav [4] avoid any more damage to Rajasthan's quotient by playing out all the mandatory overs. See you in four days from Mumbai."

Stumps in Eden Gardens: Hats off to Rujul Bhatt, whose gutsy century has helped Gujarat draw the game against Bengal, who had seemed all set to take seven points. The draw means Bengal will have to be satisfied with three. Bengal are now on six points, Gujarat on 5.

4.10pm Rujul Bhatt gets his century. He shown plenty of character here, Gujarat seemed dead and buried at the start of the day but they are still hanging on with stumps imminent. The light is fading at the Eden Gardens, and the umpires have the light meters out.

Amit: "Some entertainment in Delhi. Sumit narwal hits two huge sixes, and now a cover drive for four. Something is better than nothing, thanks Sumit.He now completes his half-century, three fours and three sixes."

4.05pm Rujul Bhatt nears his century in Kolkata, he's 96 not out as the match enters its final overs. Kushang Patel is 0 not out after 31 minutes.

4.00pm Gujarat and Karnataka's No. 10s grimly hanging on.Kushang Patel is 0* after 19 minutes, and KP Appanna is 0* after 21 minutes.

Stumps in the Himachal v Andhra match. A draw, as anyone could have predicted. Himachal end on 108 for 4, and get one point for the draw. Amol Muzumdar's twin centuries help Andhra take three points from the game. Himachal and Andhra are on seven points each.

3.45pm Bhuvneshwar doing the trick for UP

He has Ronit More bowled for a duck in the 83rd over. CM Gautam and KP Appanna in the middle now. Seven overs to go. The only man still to bat is debutant HS Sharath, who took five on his first day of first-class cricket, but will he be needed to bat out some nervous overs as well?

3.40pm Karnataka in trouble

K Gowtham has been dismissed for 10. It's that man Bhuvneshwar again, getting his third of the innings and eighth of the match. There are about 10 overs to go, and three Karnataka wickets to get. CM Gautam remains the key.

Late drama at Eden
Shami Ahmed has got Rakesh Dhurve caught-behind for 83. Bengal need two more wickets, Gujarat are 252 for 8, eight overs remaining in the day. Gujarat are 14 behind.

3.35pm Punjab have lost two wickets and Karan Goel has retired hurt. However, their two form batsmen of this season, Jiwanjot Singh and Uday Kaul, are now in the middle. Punjab 36 for 2. Their (far away) target is 245.

3.30pm Gujarat also heading for safety

Rujul Bhatt is unbeaten on 82, Rakesh Dhurve is with him on 81, and Gujarat have progressed to 244 for 7, the eighth wicket stand now worth 141. Gujarat not far away from erasing the deficit now.

Confirmed now, Goa draw with Jharkhand, who get three points from this game and move to 10 after three matches. Goa get one point, and are now at 4 points after two games. Final Goa score was 292 for 8.

3.25pm Goa almost safe now
Rohit Asnodkar and Saheel Dhuri have been batting together for more than 17 overs now, and they have pushed Goa to 292 for 8, an overall lead of 140. Don't think there is enough time for Jharkhand to chase down whatever target is set.

3.20pm In Hyderabad, Jaydev Unadkat has struck, removing Ashish Reddy for 60-ball 56. Saurashtra need another four wickets in the ten overs remaining. Hyderabad 211 for 6. Target 345.

And in Meerut, another run-out has undermined Karnataka's cause. Amit Verma is gone this time, for 33. CM Gautam is the only recognised batsman left. He has three debutant bowlers for company. Can UP deliver in the last leg? They too need four wickets.

3.15pm Century for Rajat Bhatia

Amit updates: "Rajat Bhatia now completes his 12th century, a big six towards deep midwicket off Bhargav Bhatt. Bhatia's another man who has provided yeoman service to Delhi cricket. Delhi 401/6."

3.10pm The dream is over for Tripura

For a long while, they had hoped they could score their highest ever first-class total and overhaul Services' 563 for 4, but it was not to be. They are bowled out for 484, chiefly due to medium-pacer Shadab Nazar, who finishes with six wickets. That's three points in the bag for Services.

3.00pm Could at least the first innings of both sides get over in Delhi? Amit: "Manan sharma is gone, Gagandeep Singh has got him, Delhi are 398 for 6. Four wicket-taking deliveries more. The light is pretty okay as of now."

2.55pm Amol updates: "Ankit Lamba, who was the Rajasthan selectors' first-choice as Aakash Chopra's replacement at the top, wastes his seventh opportunity of the season as he nicks Ishwar Pandey to the keeper. While MP's new-ball bowlers, Ishwar Pandey and Anand Rajan, are running it to have a final go at the batsmen, Rajasthan's ploy of giving lower-order batsman Madhur Khatri to have a go at them fails miserably as he holes out to midwicket. And guess who walks in to bat at No 4? Rituraj Singh."

2.50pm Himachal are still only four down, Andhra fast bowler P Vijaykumar has two wickets this innings, making it a total of eight in the match so far.

And in another match heading for a draw, Assam have moved to 93 for 2 against Kerala. Pallav Das is unbeaten on 48, and Gokul Sharma is with him on 14.

2.35pm Tripura falter

Shadab Nazar, the Services medium-pacer playing only his third game, has struck off successive deliveries to push Tripura to 475 for 9. Abhijit Dey's brave innings is over at 107 as he is bowled by Nazar, who then gets rid of Rana Dutt for a golden duck. A reminder: Services' first-innings score is 563.

2.30pm Tea at Feroz Shah Kotla. Amit: "Delhi are 394/5, Rajat Bhatia is 93*, 168 needed in final session. I can bet on Usain Bolt breaking the 9.5s barrier, but won't put my money on this being anything other than a one-point apiece draw."

Amol: "MP have declared at tea, with the scoreboard reading 466 for 6. They have set an improbable target of 344 runs in the last session. Jalaj Saxena (76*) and Rameez Khan (54*) have shared an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 140 runs."

2.25pm Gujarat are a mere 53 runs away from making Bengal bat again. The partnership between Bhatt and Dhurve for the eighth wicket has now stretched to 110 runs, and Gujarat are 213 for 7. Bhatt is 63*, Dhurve is 71 off 70.

2.20pm Former Tamil Nadu offspinner Sunny Gupta, who hit the headlines in this year's IPL after being surprising picked by Delhi Daredevils in their play-off match against Chennai Super Kings, has taken six of the eight Goa wickets to fall. Goa are 108 ahead with two wickets to go. The final session could see some fireworks.

2.15pm Assam are 75 for 2 against Kerala in Malappuram. The mainstay of Assam's batting, opener Dheeraj Jadhav, has been dismissed cheaply. The unlikely target for Assam is 273.

Tripura hanging on in Agartala. A bhijit Dey, whose previous first-class highest score was 37, couldn't have picked a better day to make a century. He's unbeaten on 107, with Timir Chanda keeping him company. Tripura are 473 for 7 against Services. In the final session, if they make 91 more, they get three points for the first-innings lead. Services need three wickets.

2.10pm Karnataka in trouble

The UP debutant Ankit Rajpoot gets his second wicket - stand-in captain Stuart Binny b Rajpoot 10. Karnataka are 218 for 5, and their last pair of recognised batsmen are in the middle. Amit Verma and CM Gautam batting.

2.05pm Amit says: "Puneet Bisht, the Delhi wicketkeeper, has just been dismissed by Bhargav Bhatt, who now has three wickets. Bisht padded up to an arm ball and was given lbw. Rajat Bhatia 83* Delhi are 379/5."

2.00pm In the final session at Eden Gardens, Rujul Bhatt has reached his half-century whiel Rakesh Dhurve is now on 43* off just 45 balls. The two have added 76 runs, and frustrated Bengal no end.

1.55pm As our reader Aby points out, it's not so pointless in Nadaun after all. Himachal have lost four wickets for 38. Will Andhra's massively delayed declaration come to hurt them?

1.45pm Ashish Reddy decides to hit out against Saurashtra, four fours and three sixes in his 39 off 29 so far. Hyderabad are 180 for 5. The target is 345. Half an hour more of fireworks from Reddy, and this could get interesting.

1.30pm Bengal still seeking the eighth wicket. Rujul Bhatt has moved along to 40.

1.25pm Hyderabad lose their fifth wicket, Nayan Doshi gets his second. All five wickets in this innings have fallen to left-arm spinners, with Ravindra Jadeja getting the other three. Hyderabad 136 for 5. Can they hold on for a draw?

And in Meerut, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's splendid game just gets better. He has now dismissed Ganish Satish for 70, which means both set batsmen, Pandey and Satish, are gone. Karnataka 193 for 4.

1.20pm Amit says: "Manhas is gone for 106, caught-behind off Bhargav Bhatt. A fine innings from the pro." Then he adds. "I am thrilled. Bhaja is back to bowling with his natural run-up."

1.15pm Amol: "Robin Bist is surprised after Aniket Choudhury nods from deep fine leg to a query about whether he wanted to bowl another spell. Meanwhile, Jalaj Saxena is consistently outwitting Pankaj Singh in a 'short' battle. With a deep square leg and deep fine leg in place, Pankaj is bombarding Saxena with short balls. And the MP allrounder has so far hit four fours between the fielders and a top-edged six over deep fine leg."

1.10pm Andhra have declared

The match is dead though as the target Andhra have set is 390, in about one and a half sessions. A few hours of pointless cricket coming up in Nadaun.

Amol from Jaipur: "And a senior local photographer finds something interesting off the field than on it. While Jalaj Saxena pulls Pankaj Singh for a six, the lensman is busy shooting a lizard near the sightscreen. MP, meanwhile, 370 for 6, 247 ahead of Rajasthan."

1.05pm Amit's mood not improving in Delhi: "Another special from Baroda. their quick bowler Firdaush Bhaja is now bowling offspin off a two-step run-up, reminiscent of Manoj Prabhakar bowling offspin in his last international match, the World Cup game against Sri Lanka at the Kotla.

"The wicketkeeper Devdhar isn't standing up to Bhaja's spin. Mithun Manhas hits a cover to complete his 22nd first-class century. There are some players who know how to score at this level, Mithun is one of them. Delhi 332/3."

Meanwhile in Meerut, Manish Pandey has been run-out for 76. Satish is there on 65*, and Amit Verma is with him, Karnataka 183 for 3.

1.00pm Amit: "Mithun Manhas moves into the 90s, witha deft late cut followed by a loft for four. After Raman Lamba and Ajay Sharma, he is Delhi's next Ranji run-machine. Delhi have moved past 300 as well."

12.55pm Ashok Dinda strikes

Bengal have finally got their seventh wicket, as Munprit Juneja is caught and bowled by Ashok Dinda for 32. Gujarat 108 for 7 now.

12.45pm Amol doesn't sound as excited as before. Perhaps that's lunch taking effect. "Experts in the press area are trying hard to keep themselves awake as the match seems to be heading nowhere but for a draw. Their latest ploy is to play songs over cell phone, with the 90s Bollywood tracks dominating their playlist."

By the way, just found out that Odisha's victory is their first outright win in Ranji Trophy since 2008, when they beat Punjab.

12.40pm Odisha have won

Deepak Behera is unbeaten on 35, and Lagnajit Samal is with him on 12 as Odisha complete a hard-fought four-wicket win. Haryana gave it their all, but after the first-innings implosion for 66, it was always going to be very difficult to get something from the game. Odisha now move up to 7 points, while Haryana are yet to get a point after two matches. Take a look at the latest points table here.

12.35pm Two of Goa's imports, Manvinder Bisla and former UP man Ravikant Shukla, are holding up Jharkhand. The pair have been together for 80 minutes, and Goa have moved to 159 for 3, and are now ahead by 7 runs.

12.30pm Bengal are still seeking that seventh wicket but their left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena has some astonishing figures currently: 15-10-7-1.

Odisha are now 137 for 6, 11 away.

12.20pm Most matches set to resume after lunch now. Karnataka are 143/2, Pandey 69*, Satish 43*. Odisha are 126 for 6, having lost Govind Podder for 51. They need 22 more now.

Tripura not going down without a fight. In the face of Services' 563 for 4 dec, they have now reached 418 for 6, with Abhijit Dey unbeaten on 69, and Minsankar Murasingh is batting on 42 off 51 deliveries. Tripura have never scored 500 in an innings before.

12.05pm Amit Paunikar's six-and-a-half-hour innings comes to an end, as he falls for 166. Railways are now at 281 for 4.

Ha, what do I know? Kerala have declared at 294 for 5, setting Assam a target of 275 in a bit more than two sessions. Unlikely Assam will bother with trying to chase that.

After lunch, Rujul Bhatt and Manprit Juneja hanging on for Gujarat. Bengal still need four more to win, Gujarat are 88 for 6 after 51 overs.

11.55am At lunch at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi are 299/3. Mithun Manhas is batting on 77, and Rajast Bhatia is with him on 56. Another 263 runs needed.

11.45am Saurashtra get another

Hyderabad are four down after Arjun Yadav is caught-behind off Nayan Doshi for 31. Nervous times ahead for their batsmen, as they look to stave off defeat. Who do you need in a tight situation in the fourth innings? Hyderabad's biggest name, VVS Laxman, of course, who is unfortunately missing this game due to a bad back.

And it's lunch in Jaipur. Amol: "MP 326 for 6. Jalaj Saxena and Rameez Khan survive anxious moments. Both are yet to open their account."

Manish Pandey and Ganesh Satish going strong in Meerut. Pandey has raced to 69 off 89, and Satish is on a more sedate 43 off 80 balls, as Karnataka move to 143 for 2 after 36 overs.

11.40am An excited Amol pings: "Stop the press! Do we have a game on our hands? Rajasthan have picked two wickets in as many overs. While Menaria found an edge off Anand Singh's bat that was accepted by keeper Yagnik, set batsman Udit Birla is cleaned up by Pankaj Singh. MP 326 for 6, 203 ahead."

11.35am

Amol has this from Jaipur: "Udit Birla, who was dropped on 4 by Dishant Yagnik off Aniket Choudhury, crosses his fifty with a cracking cover drive off Pankaj Singh. MP 324 for 4."

11.30am Odisha getting closer

Govind Podder has completed an invaluable half-century as Odisha inch along to 124 for 5, just 24 away now. Haryana have fought admirably over the past couple of days, but they need some magic now if they are get something from this game.

11.25am Jadeja gets his ninth of the match

Hyderabad are now 104 for 3 after Hanuma Vihari becomes Ravindra Jadeja's third lbw victim of the day.

11.20am In another dull game, in Bhubaneshwar, Railways opener Amit Paunikar is batting on 164, well past his previous career-high of 102. Railways are 272 for 3 against Punjab, and have a lead of 163 runs.

At Eden Gardens, Manprit Juneja and Ruju Bhatt are keeping the Bengal attack at bay. They've been together for more than 45 minutes now, and Gujarat are 83 for 6.

11.15am In Malappuram, both of Kerala's overnight batsmen have reached centuries. VA Jagadeesh dismissed for 127, and Abhishek Hegde still batting on 114. The match is dead, though. Kerala are 268 for 4, ahead by 246 runs. Don't think they will be declaring anytime soon as the pitch is quite flat.

11.10am The latest from Jaipur. Amol: "Devendra Bundela is dismissed against the run of play. The MP captain, who was hitting boundaries at will off spinners Madhur Khatri and Ashok Menaria, perishes two runs shy of his fifty. He tries to cut Menaria and the ball flies to Rashmi Parida in the first slip off his edge. MP 289 for 4, with a lead of 166."

Naman Ojha walks back after scoring a century against Rajasthan ,Rajasthan v Madhya Pradesh, Ranji Trophy, Group A, Jaipur, 3rd day, November 19, 2012
Naman Ojha was pretty pleased with his century yesterday  © Rajasthan Cricket Association
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Amol has also dug up this stat: "Muzumdar's was the 64th instance of a batsman hitting century in each innings in Ranji Trophy history."

11.05am Odisha inching ahead

Govind Podder and Deepak Behera have now added 30 runs to push Odisha to 111 for 5. Still 37 runs needed. Haryana still hunting for those five wickets.

And in Meerut, a win may be out of the question for Karnataka but Manish Pandey and Ganesh Satish are scoring briskly. Karnataka now 104/2, going along at just below four an over.

11.00am Amit getting more and more worked up watching the cricket in Delhi: "This is bizarre. Eight fielders on the leg side and Murtuja Vahora bowling outside leg stump. Why is this farce going on? Delhi have already given up the chase, and Baroda are not thinking of getting them out. You want crowds for Ranji Trophy? To see this? Yeah, right. Rayudu's thinking is simple: even if we don't get three points, I won't let you get away with three. Teams will split points, and cricket will be the loser. Pitch is a factor but mindset is even bigger factor."

10.55am Amol Muzumdar dismissed

Doesn't matter much in the overall scheme of the match, as Andhra are already 354 ahead midway through the first session of the final day. Muzumdar has been caught behind for 104, off youngster Rishi Dhawan, who has now taken five of the six wickets to fall.

10.50am Abbas Ali falls

Tripura's chances of hanging on for a draw after allowing Services to pile on 563 for 4 dec largely depended on their experienced and in-form batsman Abbas Ali. He has just been dismissed for 121, and Tripura are 376 for 6. Much hope now rests on Abhijit Dey, who is batting on 55.

In Meerut, Karnataka are still only two down, both Manish Pandey and Ganesh Satish batting on 20.

10.45am Jharkhand strike

After enforcing the follow-on yesterday, Jharkhand faced some resistance from Goa's openers, but they have now taken out Goa's top three. Their captain Shahbaz Nadeem has just picked his 23rd wicket of this Ranji season. Goa are 91/3, still trailing by 49 runs.

10.40am Odisha hanging on in Lahli

Govind Podder and Deepak Behera have been together for 55 minutes, and they have added 15 runs to push Odisha to 96 for 5. The target's 148.

And Amit doesn't like Baroda's tactics one bit: "It's turning into a disgrace. Two fielders on the off side, seven on the leg side and bowling a leg-stump line. It's time to reflect on points system." Which is exactly what Aakash Chopra has done here.

10.35am Amit: "Baroda have gone on the defensive and set a boundary-saving field. They had deep midwicket, long-on and fine leg for some time. Now it is even worse from Ambati Rayudu. With a spinner on, Baroda have: a deep midwicket, a deep square leg, long-on, long-off and deep point. Delhi 262/3."

10.30am Can't keep Jadeja out of the action

If Hyderabad were hoping to chase down the 345 Saurashtra set them, those hopes having taken a hit as Ravindra Jadeja removes both openers, Akshath Reddy and Ravi Teja. The run-rate has come down as well, after scoring at more than four an over for the first 12 overs, they have only added 12 runs in the next nine overs. Hyderabad 61/2.

10.25am Bengal take their sixth

Now only four away from victory at Eden Gardens. Rush Kalaria has been stumped for 23, and Gujarat are 56 for 6.

Over in Meerut, G Satish and Manish Pandey keeping Karnataka steady after the two early wickets. Karnataka now 56/2.

10.20am Twin tons for Amol Muzumdar

Amol Muzumdar, who during the course of his first-innings century reclaimed the record for most Ranji runs from Wasim Jaffer, has added another hundred. That's his 25th ton in Ranji history, moving him ahead of Vinod Kambli's tally of 24. Next up, is former Karnataka batsman Brijesh Patel and former Maharashtra batsman Surendra Bhave's bag of 26 tons. The all-time highest is by delhi's Ajay Sharma with 31. Among current players, Wasim Jaffer (29) and Hrishikesh Kanitkar (27) are ahead of Muzumdar. Andhra are now 218 for 5, overall lead is 325 runs.

10.15am Thriller in Lahli

Haryana's Mohit Sharma has bowled Odisha wicketkeeper-batsman Halhar Das for 7. Odisha are now 82 for 5. They need 66 runs, Haryana need five wickets. Which is it going to be?

10.10am Rajasthan strike again

And it's the big wicket of Naman Ojha. Amol Karhadkar: "The bowling change has worked for Rajasthan. Naman Ojha tries to drive Rituraj Singh's second ball of the day - full and just outside off stump - but only manages to edge it straight to Vineet Saxena at second slip. Ojha scored 111. MP 214 for 3."

10.05am

A comment from our reader Preet: "Haryana could sure have done with the services of Harshal Patel on this wicket. He swung big and took so many wickets last season. Wonder where he has disappeared? Doesn't even figure in their larger squad for this season." Preet, Harshal is out with an injury. you can't leave out someone who has taken eight-fors in the previous season's quarter-finals and semi-finals.

And here's Amit: "Now Mithun Manhas cuts Bhatt to completes his 50. He's enjoying himself this Ranji season, his scores so far are 42, 65, 161 and 51*. Delhi 249/3."

10.00am Saurashtra declare overnight

Saurashtra have set Hyderabad a target of 345, in 90 overs. Quite a porting declaration that by Ranji standards, where usually the captain would have batted an hour or so in the morning to push the target closer to 400. Hyderabad's openers have begin in a sprightly manner, rushing to 49/0 after 12 overs.

9.55am Karnataka rocked by early blows

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has had a fantastic game already at his home ground in Meerut, strikes the first blow for UP, bowling Robin Uthappa for 17. Soon after, debutant Ankit Rajpoot has opener KB Pawan caught behind. Karnataka 38/2.

9.50am Rajasthan strike. Amol: "Pankaj Singh gets the breakthrough in the seventh over. A full-length delivery finds Satyam Choudhary stranded in the crease. As the ball raps his pads, umpire NR Seetharam Prabhu has no hesitation in raising his finger. Choudhary gone for 34, MP 209 for 2." Anyone thinks Rajasthan can still pull off an outright win? MP ahead by 86 now.

9.47am Victory for Tamil Nadu

Samd Fallah falls to left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas and Maharashtra are bowled out for 88, giving Tamil Nadu a 104-run victory, and that's six points in the bag. That takes them to eight points after three matches. A much-needed victory this after a rain-drenched opening game, and the batathon against Karantaka which earned them just one point. Maharashtra remain on one point after two games.

9.45am Amit from Delhi: "Lovely use of the feet by Mithun Manhas. He comes down track and lofts Bhargav Bhatt over extra cover. He's now batting on 45, Delhi are 229/3."

9.40am TN one wicket from victory

Maharashtra's Akshay Darekar has been dismissed for 3 by Malolan Rangarajan. Maharashtra now 83/9 and Tamil Nadu are on the brink of their first outright win of the season.

Maharashtra's Nikhil Paradkar  is bowled , Tamil Nadu v Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy, Group B, Chennai, 3rd day, November 19, 2012
Maharashtra's batsmen couldn't deliver on a pitch had plenty in it both for the seamers and the spinners  © K Sivaraman
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9.35am Hello to Amol Karhadkar in Jaipur, who sends in his first update: "Hardly any action in the first four overs of the day. MP have added six runs in the first four overs. And the number of spectators who are watching the game is four."

9.30am Things hotting up at Lahli

Haryana v Odisha could well turn out to be the match of the week. After being shot out for 66, no one would have given Haryana much of a chance of even taking the match to the final day, much less having a chance to win. They have struck early today, removing Abhilash Mallick. Odisha now 71 for 4, still need 77 to win.

9.25am UP declare

In Meerut, Uttar Pradesh have declared on their overnight score, leaving Karnataka's batsmen the challenge of batting out the day to salvage a point. The target of 446 is way out of Karnataka's range.

9.20am First-ball wicket for Bengal

Gujarat are now only wickets away from an innings-defeat at Eden Gardens after Venugopal Rao was caught-behind on the first ball of the day. Gujarat 36/5. Rush Kalaria and Manprit Juneja batting.

9.15am Amit Shetty is there nice and early at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Here's his first update: "The equation's simple for Delhi. 90 overs and 347 runs. Rajat Bhatia has driven Bhaja through covers for the first boundary of the day. According to Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya they would figure out how the situation is till lunch and take it from there."

9.00am Here's what UP coach Venkatesh Prasad had to say about this team not declaring yesterday despite having a 400-plus lead: "Our aim was to ensure complete safety for ourselves. We know what the Karnataka batsmen are capable of and we know what they did in the last match against Tamil Nadu. They scored 300 runs on the final day and if we had given them 10 overs today, and the whole day tomorrow, anything could have happened because now the pitch is really good to bat on. We have a big lead now and can go all out tomorrow to get full points."

8.50am Day four of round three, and all 12 matches still in progress. That batsmen haven't dominated this round like they did the previous one, but it's not as if the bowlers have had an easy time either. Outright wins expected today in the Tamil Nadu v Maharashtra game, the Haryana v Odisha match, Bengal v Gujarat, and possibly Goa v Jharkhand. All others are likely to be games played for first-innings points. Remains to be seen whether UP declare overnight and decide to push for an outright victory over Karnataka.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Raghavan on (November 21, 2012, 5:27 GMT)

UP,Bengal and Jharkhand missed out on wins.

Posted by Vineesh Vedsen on (November 20, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

The biggest joke is that the big 3, who have to be in "Indian team under all circumstances", Mukund, Vijay and Badrinath are failing in Ranji Trophy also. But still, they would be in the squad this way or that way. If they are not, people would be crying that such "talents" should be immediately selected in Indian team.

Posted by Jayaesh on (November 20, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

Good to see Manish Pandey back in form ,pity he got run out when he was looking for a really big score, he has all the shots in the book and just needs to sort out his shot selection and he will be in big time soon.Amit your reporter from Delhi was pretty harsh about Manan Sharma ,he is a fine young player who is a very good left arm spinner and explosive middle order batsman.I still feel that lot of better and younger players ae busy playing u-25 and u-19 tournaments......

Posted by Zig1 on (November 20, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

UP have themselves to blame for declaring so late in the match and not able to attain an outright win, they fought well to take 8 Karnataka wickets on the last day but it was a little too late.

Posted by mod on (November 20, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

very sad to saw a draw between UP V/S KTK, realy very poor leadership by up's skipper,

Posted by pgn on (November 20, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Manoj Tiwary has done enough, in my books, to be ahead of Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Badrinath in the pecking order for a slot in the test squad. There are clear areas of improvement for Rohit (largely temparament, concentration) and Raina (short ball) to work on. As for Badri, he was unlucky not to be picked or given a longer run in the past. But what is done is done. His best form days appear behind him and picking him now for his form two to three years back would be a mistake.

Pujara, Kohli, Yuvraj, Rahane, Tiwary should be the first five names in the mix in the test squad before looking at other options.

Posted by Senthil on (November 20, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Group B have more results, so far 5 wins and a possible 1 more after 3 rounds while group A has only 2 wins that too both scored by Punjab after 3 rounds.

I guess teams need to encouraged for results thus eliminating first Innings lead points. If a game is draw, just give the teams 1 point each and for a win 5 points and for Innings Victory or 10 Wicket victory 6 points.

Posted by Senthil on (November 20, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

I m really surprised with so many less results despite there were so many chances. I can't believe Only Tamil Nadu and Odisha has managed wins. Waiting to see UP can do something against Karnataka. I think Gujarat and Hyderabad surprisingly hang on when I expected an easy win for Bengal and Saurashtra. Anyway, it's all lot better then previous 2 rounds except Delhi vs Baroda match.

Posted by Abhinav on (November 20, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

Its time for the selectors to give a chance to Kaif.....The guy is in tremendous form and above all he is a proven performer !!

Posted by Nishith Desai on (November 20, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

Still I don't know why Gujarat is selecting "P Panchal". His last 5 inning score is 0,5,0,4,0. They can always go for Bhavik Thaker in place for him.

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