Keenan Stadium all set for a close finish
Jharkhand 174 (Nemat 53, Konwar 6-67) and 56 for 2 need another 157 to beat Assam 179 (Sunny Gupta 4-56, Nadeem 4-65) and 207 (Sinha 55, Tajinder 53*, Nadeem 4-83)
In the match of this round, Jharkhand and Assam promised a tight finish on a turning track. At 56 for 2, Jharkhand needed 157 to win this top-of-the-table clash. Assam began the day effectively at 32 for 2, and the innings went this way and that before setting Jharkhand the highest total of the match.
Amit Sinha and Hokaito Zhimomi began the day with a threatening stand, but offspinner Sunny Gupta kept Assam honest with a double-strike. His captain Shahbaz Nadeem turned the screws further with a run-out and two wickets to reduce Assam to 127 for 7.
Keeping in with the trend of the match, a turnaround was around the corner. Tarjinder Singh added crucial runs with the tail. He put on 33 with Abu Nechim for the eight wicket, 18 with Arup Das for the ninth, and 31 with Arlen Konwar for the last. Konwar scored only three of those 31.
Tarjinder then followed it up with the run-out of Jharkhand opener Manish Vardhan, which J Syed Mohammad topped up with the wicket of Ishank Jaggi. However, the last comeback of the day belonged to Jharkhand as first-innings half-centurion Rameez Nemat and Saurabh Tiwary added an unbeaten 37 for the third wicket to leave the game in the balance.
Services 312 (Desai 61, Chatarjee 54, Anshul Gupta 54, Paliwal 52, Dhawan 3-80) and 46 for 2 (Dhawan 2-25) trail Himachal Pradesh 544 for 6 dec. (Dogra 210, Amit Kumar 91, P Chopra 90, A Chopra 65) by 186 runs
Paras Dogra joined Jiwanjot Singh and Mukul Dagar as the men with two centuries in the first two matches this season to help set up a declaration for Himachal Pradesh. He made it a nice double, his personal best, and went at a strike-rate of 63 to make sure he gave his time enough time to entertain an outright win.
Himachal secured the first-innings lead early enough in the day, and were all intent since then. Dogra hit 25 fours and a six in his effort, and while Amit Singh might have been a little slow in his 91, Sumeet Verma and Rishi Dhawan scored 42 off 40 between them.
Dhawan was not done for the day. Opening the bowling, he got rid of Soomik Chatarjee and Shadab Nazar before stumps. Himahcal were looking to avoid the same fate as the first game when Kerala lost only three wickets on the final day to deny them an outright win.
Goa 288 for 2 (Asnodkar 103, Desai 85, Bisla 74*) trail Jammu & Kashmir 338 (Rassol 171, Desai 4-24) by 50 runs
The home side's openers made big scores in Porvorim, helping Goa close in on Jammu & Kashmir's first-innings score of 338 in a slow-scoring game. Amogh Desai, who was making his first-class debut, and Swapnil Asnodkar, who was banned for two matches last season, put on 178 for the first wicket, to lay the base for Goa.
Desai was dismissed 15 short of his century by Parvez Rassol, who had top scored for J&K with 171, but Asnodkar went on to complete his ninth first-class hundred. He fell soon after, but Manvinder Bisla, star of this year's IPL final and playing his first first-class game in two years, made a relatively brisk unbeaten 74 to keep Goa on track to overhaul J&K's first-innings score. They ended the day only 50 runs behind, with eight wickets in hand.
Tripura 260 (Abbas Ali 103, Atchuta Rao 3-41) and 21 for 0 trail Andhra 436 for 8 dec. (Prasanth 119, Watekar 116, Sumanth 83) by 155 runs
Andhra's openers, Prasanth Kumar and Hemal Watekar, completed their patient centuries to set up the team for a big lead against Tripura in Anantapur. Tripura finally took their first wicket with the score at 227, with Andhra just 33 runs in the arrears, through a run-out by a substitute.
Andhra captain AG Pradeep fell cheaply, and Watekar followed after a 44-run stand with B Sumanth. After his duck in the opening game, Sumanth made amends by taking charge of the innings after the openers were dismissed, scoring briskly to make 83 and stretch Andhra's lead beyond 100. He fell before getting to triple-figures, and his exit sparked a collapse - the last five wickets going down for 39 runs. Still, the first-innings lead was a healthy 176, of which Tripura knocked 21 off before stumps.