Ranji Round-up, Plate Group, 4th round, 3rd day December 25, 2004

Haryana and Kerala tighten the noose

Cricinfo staff

Rajasthan 301 and 87 for 4 trail Haryana 412 (B Bist 113) by 24 runs
Scorecard

Rajasthan needed a special middle-order effort to prevent defeat in the final league game against Haryana at Udaipur. They were 87 for 4 at the end of the third day with a slender lead of 24. After a superb start on the second day, Haryana extended their lead to 111 with Shafiq Khan and Sachin Rana chipping in with 40s. Rajasthan began confidently, with a 73-run opening stand, but suffered a mini-collapse towards the end of the day as Amit Mishra, the legpinner, snapped up three wickets.

Jammu & Kashmir 140 and 119 for 1 (Sajjad 75) need 342 more runs to beat Kerala 319 and 281 for 7 dec (Nair 92, Oasis 73)
Scorecard

Kerala were in sight of their first victory of a miserable season, needing nine more wickets to trump Jammu & Kashmir at Palghat. Sreekumar Nair, the captain, followed up his hundred in the first innings with a steady 92 and received good support from Sunil Oasis, who made 73. J&K, though, began their chase to 461 on a confident note with the openers adding 99. However, a successful run-chase would need a minor miracle.

Jharkhand 218 and 110 for 6 (Bhatia 5-23) need 68 more runs to beat Himachal Pradesh 275 and 120
Scorecard

Himachal Pradesh collapsed for 120 in their second innings at Jamshedpur as Jharkhand inched closer to sealing a semi-finals slot. Vishal Bhatia, the Himachal left-arm spinner, pegged them back (5 for 23) and set up an exciting finish with Jharkhand needing 68 more with four wickets in hand. HP have already qualified for the semis.

Goa 278 and 87 for 3 lead Tripura 211 by 154 runs
Scorecard

Goa managed a 67-run first-innings lead in their drab encounter with Tripura at Agartala. Amit Dani and Avinash Aware, the Goa opening bowlers, picked up four wickets apiece and restricted Tripura to 211. Ramaswamy Prasanna fell early, adding only one to his overninght 64, and none of the others crossed 40. Tariq-ur-Rehman and Chetan Sachdev chipped in with 34 each but Tripura fell short. Goa were 87 for 3 in their second innings.

Services 206 for 4 (Reddy 70) lead Vidarbha 184 by 22 runs
Scorecard

MP Reddy's composed 70 enabled Services to gain the first-innings lead against Vidarbha at the Palam A Ground in Delhi. Barring a miraculous comeback from Vidarbha, Services would join Haryana in the semi-finals. All the top-order batsmen got starts but only Reddy managed to cross 50, with eight fours and a six. Pritam Gandhe, the offspinner, was the most successful bowler for Vidarbha with three wickets.