Assam gain lead with last-wicket stand
Kerala 264 (Hegde 46, Jagadeesh 40, Konwar 5-53) and 168 for 1 (Jagadeesh 92, Hegde 74) lead Assam 286 (Jadhav 98, Tarjinder 92, Cheruvathur 3-45, Anthaf 3-63) by 146 runs
A 25-run last-wicket partnership between wicketkeeper Rajdeep Das and No. 11 Arlen Konwar helped Assam to edge past Kerala's first-innings score of 264 and gain a crucial lead on the third day in Malappuram. Captain Dheeraj Jadhav and middle-order batsman Tarjinder Singh, who had put on an unbeaten 150-run partnership on the second day, stuck for 12.3 overs on the third, before Jadhav was run out for 98. Four more wickets fell for 50 runs, and Assam were still two runs behind Kerala when the ninth wicket fell for 261. Four more runs were needed by Assam, and Rajdeep Das helped get them.
Kerala began their second innings strongly, with No. 3 VA Jagadeesh scoring an unbeaten 92 in a second-wicket partnership of 168. But with one day to go, if the match ends in a draw, the crucial lead would provide a valuable three points to Assam in a tight contest.
Goa 208 (Shukla 64, Nadeem 5-64) and 16 for 0 trail Jharkhand 360 (Vardhan 73, Deobrat 58, Jaggi 57, Gupta 53, Bandekar 4-76) by 136 runs
Goa, after starting their reply to Jharkhand's 360 slowly on the second day, capitulated to left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem on the third, and were bowled out for 208 to be forced to follow-on. Nadeem has now taken 22 wickets off three games after his spell of 5 for 64. Seamer Shankar Rao started Goa's slide, claiming the wickets of opener Swapnil Asnodkar and Manvinder Bisla, which was followed by two more wickets quickly, to leave Goa struggling at 72 for 5. A stand of 78 between Ravikant Shukla, who scored a half-century, and Rohit Asnodkar repaired the innings briefly.
But Nadeem then broke the stand, dismissing both batsmen quickly. He ran through the lower order, and narrowly prevented Goa from going past the follow-on mark, by two runs. Goa batted again, and were 16 for 0 in the six overs before stumps.
Tripura 285 for 4 (Abbas 108*, Roy 64, Patel 49) trail Services 563 for 4 dec (Yashpal 250*, Gupta 147, Paliwal 104*) by 278 runs
Tripura, after seeing Services pile up 563 in two days, replied strongly on the third day. Thirty-six-year-old Abbas Ali, who has played in the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League before, and represented Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy, scored an unbeaten century to help Tripura to 285 for 4 at stumps.
Their openers put on 101 before fast bowler Suraj Yadav bowled Samrat Singha for 38. His opening partner Subhrajit Roy, after scoring 64, followed soon after. But No. 3 Udit Patel and Abbas added 90 runs for the third wicket to deny Services further inroads. Patel was dismissed, however, one short of his half-century by seamer Yashpal Singh, but Abbas carried on to score a century. This was Abbas' second century this Ranji season: he scored 103 against Andhra in Anantapur ten days ago. Captain and wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra, who scored 5, was the only batsman to be dismissed cheaply.
Andhra 372 (Sumanth 102, Muzumdar 101, Malik 5-74) and 181 for 3 (Muzumdar 89*, Sumanth 73*, Dhawan 3-53) lead Himachal Pradesh 265 (Dogra 122, Vijaykumar 6-80) by 288 runs
After Paras Dogra's century on the second day, Andhra fast bowlers P Vijaykumar and Duvvarapu Shivkumar ran through the middle and lower order of Himachal Pradesh to dismiss them for 265 in the first session in Nadaun. Andhra consolidated on the 107-run first-innings lead with half-centuries from middle-order batsmen B Sumanth and Amol Muzumdar to take them to a strong 181 for three before close of play. Both Muzumdar and Sumanth scored centuries in the first innings, and were nearing centuries at stumps. Muzumdar had become the highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy with his first-innings knock.
The chief damage for Himachal, who lost their last five wickets for 28 runs, was done by Vijaykumar, who claimed 6 for 80 at the end of the innings. Vijaykumar has once had better figures in first-class cricket, against Karnataka in 2008.