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November 9, 2012
Jammu & Kashmir 196 for 7 (Rassol 90, Yadav 2-23) v Goa
It was just before Diwali three years ago when an Under-22 Jammu & Kashmir team was put through an ordeal in Bangalore. Two of their players, Parvez Rassol and Mehrazuddin, were detained by the police who said they had found "residues of explosives" in one of their kit bags.
The players were released after investigations didn't substantiate the suspicion, but their Diwali was ruined. Three years later, just before Diwali, a few days after they had conceded an innings win in the first match, they were down for the count again. The word around was, if you missed all seven points against J&K, you stood no chance of progressing from Group C.
At 89 for 4, it seemed they would go down without a fight again, but Rassol made this Diwali slightly more memorable by scoring an unbeaten 90 to take J&K to a fighting 196 for 7 in and against Goa. He added 26, 34 and 31 for the fifth, sixth and seventh wicket, but dominated the stands so much that two of those partners didn't even reach double figures. He also faced 205 of the 369 balls bowled during the day, and was looking for a second first-class century when stumps were drawn.
Jharkhand 2 for 0 trail Assam 179 (Sunny Gupta 4-56, Nadeem 4-65) by 177 runs
In the match between the group leaders - both tied at seven points - Jharkhand's spinners took eight wickets between them to bowl Assam out for a paltry 179. Sunny Gupta, who had played for Tamil Nadu in between, and captain Shahbaz Nadeem took four wickets each.
The only resistance from Assam came from their Nagaland-born allrounder Hokaito Zhimomi, but he fell two short of what would have been a maiden fifty. He had added 75 for the fourth wicket with Gokul Sharma, but Nadeem broke the partnership by removing Gokul. Minutes later Sunny got rid of Zhimomi, and the rest fell regularly.
Tripura 228 for 6 (Abbas Ali 103*) v Andhra
Syed Abbas Ali has been a wanderer. A left-hand batsman from Madhya Pradesh, he has been to the ICL and back, and has also left MP to play for Tripura. On the first day of the second round, playing his 97th first-class match, the 36-year-old Abbas bailed Tripura out after they had been down at 54 for 3 against Andhra in Anantapur.
Abbas' 15th first-class hundred took Tripura to a fighting total. He found support from Ajay Ratra, Abhijit Dey and Debabrata Chowdhury, who added 32, 44 and 67 with him. Abbas himself hit 15 fours and was unbeaten when the stumps were drawn.
Services 290 for 6 (Desai 61, Chatarjee 54, Anshul Gupta 54, Paliwal 52) v Himachal Pradesh
Four of the eight Services batsmen that batted on day one scored half-centuries, but none of them could convert it into a hundred. Consequently the game hung in balance, at 290 for 6.
Pratik Desai and Soomik Chatarjee began with a century opening stand, but that ended in Chatarjee's run-out. Desai fell about eight overs later to make it 136 for 2, but Anshul Gupta kept getting the runs. Services lost three quick wickets in the middle, including that of another half-centurion Anshul Gupta, but they found more partnerships at 218 for 5.
Rajat Paliwal put on 67 with wicketkeeper Sarabjit Singh, but he too fell soon after crossing 50, leaving the door ajar.
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