Late strikes put Rest of India on top
Rajasthan 307 for 6 (Bist 93, Parida 85, Menaria 59*) trail Rest of India 663 by 356 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Rajasthan's middle-order batsmen fought hard on the third day in Jaipur but despite their determined performance they still have a mountain to climb to prevent Rest of India from winning the Irani Cup outright. Robin Bist, Rashmi Parida and Ashok Menaria made half-centuries as Rajasthan added 254 runs for the loss of only three more wickets. They still trail Rest of India by 356, though, and need another 157 to avoid the follow-on.
Rajasthan began the third day on 53 for 3 with Bist and Parida yet to score. Parida had made just 2 when he edged Umesh Yadav but was let off by the wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, diving to his right. Both batsmen suffered blows to the glove from Vinay Kumar, who extracted extra bounce, and needed attention from the physio. On 28, Parida was dropped once again, off legspinner Rahul Sharma, this time by Abhinav Mukund at point. Despite those edgy moments, Bist and Parida survived to steer Rajasthan to 135 for 3 at lunch.
Both batsmen reached their half-centuries during the afternoon session: Bist off his 153rd delivery and Parida off his 133rd, when he cut Varun Aaron in the air to the backward-point boundary. Vinay continued to trouble the batsmen with extra bounce, hitting Parida's gloves a second time. There were no reprieves in the second session, though, and Rajasthan went into tea on 211 for 3 with the partnership between Bist and Parida worth 158.
Vinay struck in the first over after the break as Parida, on 85, reached for one that seamed away and edged to second slip. With Menaria for company, Bist began to attack and a flurry of boundaries ensued, including three in an over from Vinay. Bist moved steadily towards his century but, on 93, he was given caught behind off left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha. He had added 67 for the fifth wicket with Menaria in 12 overs.
Rajasthan's fight weakened further a few overs later, when wicketkeeper Rohit Jhalani played on to his stumps while trying to leave a delivery from Vinay. Menaria steered Rajasthan to stumps without further losses and reached his half-century along the way. Rajasthan will need him to bat smartly with the tail on day four and prolong the first innings for as long as possible.