Punjab wrap up comprehensive victory
Punjab 566 for 4 dec beat Maharashtra 123 and 205 (Aphale 83*, Kanitkar 53, Navdeep 4-79) by an innings and 238 runs
Maharashtra were overwhelmed by an innings and 238 runs in a no-contest at Mohali. Having gained a massive 443-run lead, Punjab declared overnight and wrapped up the game without facing too much resistance. Navdeep Singh, the left-arm spinner, snared 4 for 79 as the Maharashtra batting line-up, which was unstoppable in the Plate Group last season, crumbled for the second time in the game. Kaushik Aphale and Hrishikesh Kanitkar delayed the inevitable with a 102-run stand, but the rest came apart in quick time. Punjab gained a bonus point by virtue of this innings victory and extended their lead at the top of their group.
Baroda 93 and 182 for 5 (Rishikesh Parab 56*) need 94 more runs to beat Hyderabad 170 and 198 (Khaleel 65)
Rishikesh Parab lead the Baroda run-chase in what promised to be a tense finish in Hyderabad. Chasing 276, Baroda needed 94 more with Rishikesh unbeaten on 56 when stumps were drawn. Earlier in the day, Baroda fought back through their bowlers as Hyderabad lost their last five wickets for just 19 with Ibrahim Khaleel, the wicketkeeper, stranded on 65. Rajesh Pawar, the left-arm spinner, mopped up the tail with a hat-trick. Having collapsed for just 93 in the first innings, Baroda put on a better display the second time around with Satyajit Parab and Pawar supporting Rishikesh in the bid for victory.
Bengal 239 (Sanyal 59, Arindam 55, Lahiri 53*, Powar 7-55) and 14 for 0 trail Mumbai 552 for 7 dec by 229 runs
Ramesh Powar had Bengal in a spin as Mumbai took complete control of their game in Kolkata. Powar snapped up five of the first six wickets before returning to mop up the tail. Arindam Das, Sanjib Sanyal and Saurishish Lahiri managed to compile half-centuries but it was too little in the face of Mumbai's 552. Bengal were 14 for no loss in their second innings with an uphill task on the final day.
Assam 396 for 8 (Sathish 178*, Saravanan 50) trail Tamil Nadu 485 for 5 dec by 89 runs
Rajagopal Sathish made a crucial 178 not out and defied Tamil Nadu, his former team, at Guwahati. Satish, who plays in the Chennai league, cracked 29 fours in his unbeaten effort and helped Assam whittle down the lead to just 89 at the end of the third day. Vasanth Saravanan, who also played for Tamil Nadu earlier, made 50 and his 86-run stand with Zakaria Zuffri (49) gave Assam a solid platform. MR Shrinivas, the opening bowler, finished with 4 for 105 but for most of the day Tamil Nadu were thwarted by one of their own.
Andhra Pradesh 237 and 188 for 6 (Venugopal 64, Varma 58) lead Karnataka 328 by 97 runs
The Karnataka tailenders eked out some valuable runs in the morning session, extending their lead to 91 before their bowlers gave them a sniff of victory in Bangalore. Andhra threatened to build a big lead through Venugopal Rao and Alluri Varma, who both made half-centuries and shared a 91-run stand. But four wickets towards the end of the day gave Karnataka the distinct edge. Sunil Joshi picked up his 300th wicket in Ranji Trophy when he bowled Varma.
Delhi 239 for 9 dec and 119 for 4 lead Madhya Pradesh 294 (Bundela 87) by 64 runs
Devendra Bundela, who scored a match-saving hundred against Mumbai, came up with a crucial 87 as Madhya Pradesh gained the first-innings lead at the Jamia Millia Ground in Delhi. Resuming at 207 for 4, the MP lower order fell cheaply but a 55-run lead may prove very handy. Delhi fought back through their bowlers with Ajay Jadeja and Rahul Sanghvi, the left-arm spinner, snapping up three wickets apiece. But with just one day to go, MP might have done enough to get the better of the draw.
Gujarat 384 and 25 for 0 lead Railways 200 (Lalit Patel 5-58) by 209 runs
Lalit Patel's five-wicket haul restricted Railways to just 200 as Gujarat took control on the third day at Ahmedabad. None of the Railways' batsmen managed half-centuries and the Gujarat medium-pacers struck at regular intervals. Tejinder Pal Singh and Siddharth Verma made dogged 40s, but Railways didn't have too much else to cheer.