Ranji Trophy 2003-04 November 25, 2003

Tamil Nadu follow-on against Bengal

Tamil Nadu 110 for 2 and 188 (Paul 7-44) trail Bengal 400 (Haldipur 100, Sanyal 89) by 102 runs
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Shib Sankar Paul, the Bengal medium pacer, forced Tamil Nadu to follow-on on the third day of the Elite B match at Tirunelveli. Paul, who has been Bengal's bowling hero this season, took seven wickets as Tamil Nadu caved in for a mere 188. Without three of their main batsmen, Tamil Nadu struggled, with only S Badrinath (86) averting a complete disaster. However, they put up a better show while following on by losing only two wickets for 110, with Badrinath still unbeaten at stumps.

Rajasthan 53 for 4 and 168 trail Karnataka 350 (Rowland 81, Arunkumar 58, Bharadwaj 50) and 145 by 275 runs
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Karnataka wrested the initiative with a good batting display on the third day of the match against Rajasthan. Barrington Rowland and Vijay Bharadwaj hit fine half-centuries as Karnataka set a victory target of 328. Rowland, carrying on his rich vein of form, hit seven boundaries in his 81. Rajasthan had their backs to the wall at the end of the day when Dodda Ganesh and Venkatesh Prasad reduced them to 53 for 4 and set Karnataka up for their first victory of the season.

Uttar Pradesh 22 for 1 and 205 trail Mumbai 332 (Morris 93*, Thakkar 71) by 105 runs
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At one point Mumbai were 258 for 8 and UP had done a good job in restricting their lead. But Robin Morris hit a breezy 93, and ensured that Mumbai finished with lead of 127 runs. Morris's 120-ball innings included five sixes and six fours, and he put on 74 runs for the last two wickets. Earlier, Bhavin Thakkar also chipped in with 71 to prop up the total. Praveen Gupta, the left-arm spinner, was the most successful bowler for UP with 4 for 79. In their second innings, UP lost the wicket of S Shukla early and will have to battle all day tomorrow if they are to deny Mumbai an outright victory.

Delhi 198 for 6 (Dahiya 61) and 195 lead Railways 234 by 159 runs
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In a low scoring game, Railways gained a small lead, but Vijay Dahiya and Pradeep Chawla played valuable innings for Delhi and set up a fascinating final day at the Karnail Singh Stadium. Dahiya struck 61 and Chawla remained unbeaten on 48 as Delhi went ahead by 159 runs for the loss of six wickets. Harvinder Singh picked up three wickets and finished as the most successful bowler for Railways.

Hyderabad 199 for 4 (Anirudh 68, Vinay 53) trail Assam 537 (Sathish 133*, Sukhvinder 112) by 338 runs
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After being battered on the first two days by the Assam batsmen, Hyderabad made a sedate start to their innings, compiling 199 runs on the third day. Anirudh Singh and Vinay Kumar hit fifties, but Hyderabad lost four wickets and were still 338 runs adrift at stumps. Assam may have batted for too long to force an outright win, but first-innings points are almost assured.

Punjab 323 for 8 (Dharmani 98, Sodhi 66, Mongia 60) trail Baroda 369 (Martin 149, R Parab 54) by 46 runs
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Both teams jostled for the first-innings lead as Punjab finished the third day still 46 runs behind with only two wickets standing. Pankaj Dharmani marginally missed out on a hundred and Reetinder Singh Sodhi hit 66 as Punjab inched towards the Baroda total. Earlier Dinesh Mongia had also hit a fine 60. Rakesh Patel picked up four wickets and Baroda will look to polish off the tail and pick up first-innings honours.

Plate Championship First Round

Vidarbha 52 for 2 and 287 (Gawande 60) lead Tripura 337 (Sachdev 110, Jaiswal 76, Acharya 6-65) by 2 runs
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198 runs were scored on the third day as both teams lost wickets at regular intervals. Tripura gained a vital 49 runs first-innings lead, with Chetan Sachdev scoring a stroke-filled 110. But by the end of the day, Vidarbha erased the deficit, losing two top-order batsmen in the process. Madhusudan Acharya, the offspinner, enhanced his burgeoning reputation by adding three wickets, including Sachdev, to end with career-best figures of 6 for 65. Tripura gained the first-innings bonus points and will look to their spinners to get them an outright win tomorrow.

Goa 41 for 1 and 235 (Swapnil 126, Mohanty 5-44) trail Orissa 466 (Mullick 134, Mohapatra 83, Behara 87, Jakati 5-99) by 190 runs
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Pravanjan Mullick blasted 134 off just 163 balls and Orissa stamped their authority over Goa on the third day. Biswa Mohapatra and S Behera, the openers, hit eighties and Orissa finished their first innings at 466. Shadab Jakati was the most successful bowler ending with a five-wicket haul. Goa suffered a setback in their second innings as AA Swapnil, the first-innings centurion, was forced to retire hurt - something that may prove vital in the ultimate outcome.

Jammu and Kashmir 226 for 5 and 96 (Vashisht 6-32) trail Haryana 304 (Shafiq 71, Snny 66, Ganda 57) by 21 runs
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Jammu and Kashmir 229 for 5 and 96 (Vashisht 6-32) lead Haryana 304 by 21 runs.

After dominating Jammu & Kashmir for the better part of three days, Haryana would have expected a quick finish today. But J&K improved on their first-innings total of 96 to reach 229 for 5. J&K were tottering at 159 for 5, but Dhruv Mahajan, the captain, and Manzoor Dar steadied the innings with an unbeaten 70-run partnership and were on 42 and 30 respectively at stumps.

Services 79 for 2 and 233 lead Himachal Pradesh 291 (Virender Sharma 134, Fazil 5-73) by 22 runs
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Virender Sharma led the way on the third day, as Himachal Pradesh gained a first-innings lead of 58 over Services. It took a run-out to end Sharma's impressive 134, and with it, the Himachal innings for 291. Fazil Mohammed and Arun Sharma claimed the bowling honours to finish with 5 for 73 and 4 for 90 respectively. Services began their second innings cautiously, reaching 79 for 2 at close, with an overall lead of 22.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is on the staff of Wisden Cricinfo in India

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