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December 28, 2008
Uttar Pradesh 305 and 285 for 8 (Srivastava 67, Parmar 4-93) lead Gujarat 117 by 473 runs
Having secured a massive first-innings lead on the second day, Uttar Pradesh were in no hurry on the third, plodding along at 2.32 runs an over to shut Gujarat out of the match. Their advantage is now an enormous 473 and they still have two wickets remaining, but with Gujarat needing to win outright to progress, there is unlikely to be any declaration forthcoming.
Most of UP's batsmen got a start but only opener Tanmay Srivastava went on to a half-century. The pace really slackened after the dismissal of captain Mohammad Kaif (46) with the score on 162. Despite Piyush Chawla's 29-ball 24, only 67 runs came in the next 41 overs, with Parvinder Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar crawling to 20s. Wicketkeeper Amir Khan also made slow progress but No. 10 Praveen Gupta was more enterprising, lashing five fours and a six in his 30 - the pair added 56 runs in an unbroken ninth-wicket stand.
UP coach Gyanendra Pandey.outlined his strategy for the team on the final day. "We will continue to bat tomorrow and then try to bowl out Gujarat cheaply," he told the Hindu.
Himachal Pradesh 250 and 200 for 5 (Dogra 82*, Sangram 58) trail Mumbai 495 (Jaffer 108, Rohit 98, Agarkar 50) by 45 runs
There was no change in the match situation after the third day in Ahmedabad, with Mumbai still in command. Resuming on 405 for 6, Mumbai's last four wickets added 90 runs to consolidate the advantage. Ajit Agarkar went on to his 12th first-class half-century, while 20s from Ramesh Powar and last man Rahil Shaikh boosted the lead to 245.
Though HP have only an outside chance for HP to get back in the game, their batsmen, led by Paras Dogra, tried to maintain a brisk pace. Dogra carted 13 fours and a couple of sixes in a 88-ball 82 and was supported by Sangram Singh, HP's leading batsman this season, who made a half-century.
Ajit Agarkar who picked up two wickets as well, was delighted with his effort. "I'm happy with the way things have gone. I was getting my rhythm right and it came after a long time. Let's see how things go on the last day," he told the Indian Express.
Bengal put in a big-hearted performance in the field in the first session to secure a crucial first-innings lead in their quarter-final against Tamil Nadu at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Tamil Nadu came back strongly with quick, early wickets, but Bengal - with their openers absent ill - batted long enough to make sure they didn't squander the advantage. Read the full report here.
Saurashtra 189 and 10 for 2 (Vinay 2-1) need another 315 runs to beat Karnataka 305 and 208 (Akhil 56, Dravid 52, Jobanputra 5-54, R Jadeja 4-58)
Saurashtra did well to keep Karnataka to 208 in their second innings, but Vinay Kumar's double-strike at the fag end of the day leaves them with a daunting chase on a fourth-day pitch at the Brabourne Stadium. Read the full report here.
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