Ranji round-up, Plate Group, 3rd round, 2nd day December 5, 2004

Jharkhand struggle despite Dhoni blitz

Cricinfo staff

Plate Group Points Table

Jharkhand 159 for 4 (Dhoni 97) trail Kerala 321 (Nair 71, Antony 68, Oasis 56*) by 162 runs

MS Dhoni, recently chosen in the Indian one-day squad to Bangladesh, clattered 97 in 84 balls, but he was the lone star as Jharkhand struggled at Jamshedpur. Dhoni added 134 for the second wicket with Manish Vardhan, but three wickets late in the day gave Kerala the upper hand. Dhoni was dismissed three short of his century by Sreekumar Nair, a left-arm spinner. Nair, who also captains the side, then nailed two more batsmen and Jharkhand finished the day still 162 behind. Earlier, Nair had also shone with the bat and his 71 propped up the Kerala innings. Sunil Oasis's plucky unbeaten 56 was another highlight.

Rajasthan 329 for 9 (Hussain 61*) lead Tripura108 by 221 runs

Rajasthan tightened their stranglehold over Tripura on the second day of the Plate Group game at Jaipur. After bundling out Tripura for just 108 on the first day, Rajasthan were impressive in their batting display, with Zakir Hussain leading the way scoring a dogged 61. At the end of the day, Rajasthan had a commanding lead of 221 with Hussain still batting with the last man, Pankaj Singh.

Orissa 21 for 1 trail Himachal Pradesh 425 (Sangram 100, Mannu 82, VK Sharma 72) by 404 runs

Himachal Pradesh rode on some crucial middle-order contributions and reached 425 in the first innings at Dharmasala. Sangram Singh complete the one run he needed for his hundred but it was left to Ajay Mannu and Virender Sharma to build on the platform that Sangram had set. They added 101 for the sixth wicket, with Sharma hammering 11 fours in his 72. Vishal Bhatia contributed a gritty 44 and helped Himachal pass the 400-mark. Debasis Mohanty was the most successful bowler for Orissa with 4 for 86.

Services 64 for 3 trail Haryana 435 (Shafiq 197) by 371 runs

Shafiq Khan compiled a fighting 197 and put Haryana in a strong position on the second day at the Palam A Stadium in Delhi. Resuming on 85 overnight, Shafiq received some good support from the tail and scored his fourth century in first-class cricket with 21 fours and two sixes. It was also his highest score. Shafiq was the last to fall with the score on 435. Services were wobbling at 64 for 3 when stumps were drawn.

Vidarbha 200 for 3 (Fazal 85, Shitoot 72*) trail Goa 371 (Phadke 88) by 171 runs

Faiz Fazal and Harshal Shitoot spearheaded Vidarbha's reply after Goa had reached 371 at Margao. Vidarbha lost both their openers early, with just 43 on the board, but Fazal and Shitoot added 139 and brought them back into the contest. Fazal spanked 13 fours and a six before falling at the end of the day. Earlier in the day, Amit Dani held the Goa lower order together and his 41-run partnership with the No. 10, Sher Yadav, ensured that they crossed 350.