Kerala cling on to draw in thriller
Kerala and Services were involved in a thrilling draw at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi, where the hosts clung on to a draw with one wicket left. Kerala had the upper hand for much of the day, and were in an excellent position to win the game but ended up taking away just one point while Services took three. Seamer Sony Cheruvathur bagged four wickets and was backed up Prasanth Parameswaran, Unnikrishnan Manukrishnan and Padmanabhan Prasanth, who took two each, to bowl out Services for 148. Kerala had conceded a first-innings lead of four runs, but bounced back to reach a winning position.
However, they faltered in their chase of 153 in 63 overs. They top order failed, with the team being reduced to 17 for 3 at one stage. Rohan Prem, Sachin Baby and Karimutthathu Rakesh scored 20s but couldn't push on and at 103 for 9 in the 43rd over, Kerala were staring at defeat. For Services, Yashpal Singh starred with five wickets. However, Manukrishnan and Parameswaran, the last-wicket pair, not unlike James Anderson and Monty Panesar in Cardiff two years ago, saw off 125 deliveries, adding 27, to save the game for Kerala.
Andhra Pradesh were made to wait and work hard but they eventually found success, beating Tripura by 124 runs in Visakhapatnam. They had reduced Tripura to 24 for 5 in a chase of 233 at the end of the third day, and left them in further trouble at 76 for 7. But wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant and the explosive duo of Manisankar Murasingh and Udit Patel put up a fight. Samant fell on 42 with the score on 109 but No.9 and 10 provided plenty of entertainment. Both Murasingh and Udit faced 39 balls, struck eight fours and three sixes. Murasingh made 52, Udit made 59 but soon enough, AP struck to seal victory. Seamet Tekkami Atchuti Rao took four wickets, supported by Syed Sahabuddin who took three.
Goa took three points from their draw against Assam in Guwahati, having gained a first-innings lead. On the fourth day, the tenth-wicket pair of Amit Yadav (68) and captain Robin D'Souza (35) continued their good work, extending their score to 306 before the last-wicket pair added a further 30. There wasn't much to play for in the second innings as an outright result would take a miracle, and Assam batted out 68.3 overs to make 190 for 3. Opener Dheeraj Jadhav helped himself to a century.
There was finally a fair amount of play in the game between Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand in Srinagar. Openers Adil Rishi and Ian Dev Singh shone for J&K, adding 171. Ian scored a century while Adil made 88. In 75 overs, J&K scored 270 before declaring. Jharkhand were left to face only 20 overs, but it was for enough for Manish Vardhan to make an unbeaten 58 in quick time.