Jharkhand, Assam headed towards exciting finish
Assam 179 (Sunny Gupta 4-56, Nadeem 4-65) and 27 for 2 lead Jharkhand 174 (Nemat 53, Konwar 6-67) by 32 runs
Jamshedpur was set to witness an exciting finish to a game that has favoured the bowlers and has yielded 22 wickets on the first two days. Assam made an effective fightback into the contest while defending only 179, taking Jharkhand's last seven wickets for 32 runs. The comeback was inspired by veteran offspinner Arlen Konwar's 10th five-for in first-class cricket.
Jharkhand were cruising at one stage with opener Rameez Nemat scoring 53 and all of top their top five reaching double figures. Just when a big lead looked a formality, Konwar and Abu Nechim struck. It took them Jharkhand only 16.2 overs to take the last seven wickets.
It wasn't all the action on the frenetic second day. Assam had to bat 12 overs before stumps, but lost two wickets over that period, one each to spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Samar Quadri.
Jammu & Kashmir 338 (Rassol 171, Desai 4-24) lead Goa 48 for 0 by 290 runs
Allrounder Pravez Rassol fell 39 short of the highest score by a Jammu & Kashmir batsman, but his 171 took his side to a healthy 338. Coming in at No. 4, he scored more than half the team total. He enjoyed great support from captain Samiullah Beigh, with whom he added 146 for the eighth wicket, overtaking J&K's previous eighth-wicket record of 90. Beigh remained unbeaten on 57.
J&K began the day 196 for 7, and continued with their circumspect progress. Rassol spent 419 minutes at the wicket for his 171, a rate of about 20 runs to the hour. Beigh, too, spent close to three hours for his 57, but their coach Bishan Bedi won't be complaining after they failed to reach 200 in their first match.
Amogh Desai, who took four wickets for Goa, continued his good work as opening batsman, adding 48 unbeaten runs with Swapnil Asnodkar in 29 overs.
Andhra 154 for 0 (Prasanth 80*, Watekar 57*) trail Tripura 260 (Abbas Ali 103, Atchuta Rao 3-41) by 106 runs
Andhra enjoyed a profitable second day taking the four remaining Tripura wickets for just 32 and then following it up with a 154-run opening stand in Anantapur. At stumps, Prasanth Kumar was 20 short of what can be a second first-class century in just four matches, and Hemal Watekar had reached 57.
The big breakthrough for Andhra came in the first over of the day when Paidikalva Vijaykumar removed the centurion Abbas Ali for his overnight score of 103. Atchuta Rao then ran through the tail.
It was the Prasanth-Watekar show after that. They hit 13 fours and a six between them and stayed together for 289 minutes.
Himachal Pradesh 252 for 2 (P Chopra 90, A Chopra 65, Dogra 56*) trail Services 312 (Desai 61, Chatarjee 54, Anshul Gupta 54, Paliwal 52, Dhawan 3-80) by 60 runs
Services ended the first day with the game in balance, but when they lost their last four wickets for the addition of just 22 to their overnight 290, they handed over the momentum to hosts Himachal Pradesh. Himachal, in turn, ran away with the game through fifties from their top three. Himachal were now just 60 adrift of the Services total with eight wickets in hand, and could think of an outright win.
It was veteran swing bowler Vikramjeet Malik who began Himachal's charge when he dismissed Muzzaffaruddin Khalid and Suraj Yadav with the second and third balls of the day. Malik missed the hat-trick, but took another wicket in that spell to leave Services tottering. Allrounder Rishi Dhawan finished off the innings, and it was over to Chopras.
Aakash and Prashant began slowly, but Prashant picked up the pace dramatically in a 138-run opening stand. Playing only hiss second match, Prashant fell 10 short of what would have been his maiden first-class century, but Aakash and Paras Dogra continued the good work with fifties of their own. Dogra, who scored a century in the first match, was unbeaten on 56 when time was called.