Ranji Trophy round-up, Plate Group, 3rd day November 25, 2005

Thakur powers Himachal to a 14-run win

Cricinfo staff

Himachal Pradesh 163 and 110 beat Vidarbha 93 and 166 by 14 runs

Ashok Thakur starred for Himachal Pradesh, picking up three of the six wickets that fell today, as they held their nerve to clinch a 14-run win against Vidarbha to earn four points in a close encounter at Nagpur. Vidarbha, who started the day needing 121 runs to win, lost both the overnight batsmen quickly but fought hard through a valiant 47-run seventh-wicket partnership between Vikarant Gonnade (35) and Pritam Gandhe (25). Himachal then fought back to remove Gonnade and Harshal Shitoot, the next man in, and looked to have sewed up the game when Thakur, the left-hand medium-pacer, struck twice in an over to have Vidarbha reeling at 142 for 9. Gandhe fought on gamely, hanging around with the last man Pawan Yadav, as they inched close to Himachal before Vikramjeet Malik delivered the decisive blow removing Gandhe.

Madhya Pradesh 393 and 17 for 1 lead Rajasthan 267( Jadeja 67, Yagnik 79) by 143 runs

Sanjay Pandey grabbed a five-for and Narendra Hirwani, the former India legspinner, picked up four to bowl out Rajasthan for 267, gaining a 126-run lead, to put Madhya Pradesh in a commanding position by the end of the third day's play at Indore. Rajasthan, resuming at 10 for 1, were propped up by 113-run fifth wicket partnership between Dishant Yagnik and Ajay Jadeja, the captain, but that was not enough as the toporder could not handle the medium pace of Pandey while the others struggled against the wiles of Hirwani. Madhya Pradesh lost Naman Ojha, the opener, and were at 17 for 1 at close.

Saurashtra 194 (Jogiyani 64) and 32 for 2 beat Tripura 106 (Makvana 5-27) and 119 by 8 wickets

Despite crumbling from their overnight 182 for 5 to 194 all out, Saurashtra fought back to dismiss Tripura for 119 before hitting the required 32 runs to win by eight wickets at Agartala. Sandeep Jobanputra and Sandip Maniar tore into the Tripura toporder while Kamlesh Makvana took care of the tail as Tripura were shot out for a paltry score in their second innings. Earlier, Vineet Jain, the medium-pacer, and Sujit Roy, the offspinner, triggered a collapse as Saurashtra lost five wickets for just 12 runs but that was not enough to prevent Saurashtra picking up four points from this game.

Goa 128 for 1 (Haldipur 74) trail Orissa (Mullick 118) 333 (Aware 5-74) by 15 runs

Pravaranjan Mullick, overnight on 51, went on to a score a superb century as Orissa gained a vital 102-run lead in the Ranji Plate match against Goa at Margoa. Avinash Aware, the fast-medium bowler, cleaned up the tail to end with a five-wicket haul but Mullick by then had guided Orissa to a comfortable position. In reply, powered by Nikhil Haldipur , Goa erased the deficit and were 26 runs ahead but it might not be enough to prevent Orissa from earning at least two points from this game, courtesy the first-innings lead.

Jammu & Kashmir 155 for 8 (Shahid Khan 4-32) lead Jharkhand 361(Diwakar 50, Khajuria 5-104) by 65 runs

Shahid Khan, the left-arm spinner, and Sanjeev Gupta, the medium-pacer, snared seven wickets to leave Jammu & Kashmir struggling at 155 for 8 as Jharkhand gained upper hand by the end of the third day's play at Jammu. Earlier in the day, Sameer Khajuria, the J&K offspinner, scalped four wickets and bagged a five-for but Mihir Diwakar's breezy 50 off 50 balls studded with 10 fours had ensured a 90-run lead for Jharkhand.

Kerala 58 for 2 trail Assam 169 by 111 runs

Sreekumar Nair, the left-arm spinner, struck twice in the space of four balls to unsettle the lower middleorder after Tinu Youhannan had grabbed the key wicket of Vasanth Saravanan early on the third day to bowl out Assam for a paltry 169 to gain the upper hand at Dibrugarh. Somasetty Suresh remained unbeaten on 30, after the early dismissal of Sadagoppan Ramesh, the former India and Tamil Nadu opener, as Kerala reached 58 for 2 at close.