Tamil Nadu sight win in Chennai thriller
Maharashtra 233 (Mundhe 61, Balaji 4-28, Rangarajan 4-55) and 75 for 8 need another 118 runs to beat Tamil Nadu 276 (Mahesh 81, Prasanna 56, Rangarajan 53) and 149 (Khurana 4-27, Darekar 4-61)
On a day when 18 wickets went down in Chennai, Tamil Nadu first seemed to be in trouble before their bowlers didn't just bring them roaring back into the game, but put them firmly in control of the match against Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu had taken a hard fought first-innings lead of 43 runs on the second day but looked to have frittered the advantage when their strong batting floundered on the third morning.
Four wickets apiece to left-arm-spinner Akshay Darekar and legspinner Chirag Khurana caused Tamil Nadu to be bowled out for 149. Dinesh Karthik and Baba Aparajith top scored with 35 each, but once they were separated,Tamil Nadu lost their final six wickets for 45 runs.
If Maharashtra were pumped up after their bowling efforts, they soon realised they had a huge challenge on their hands as the tricky pitch made run-scoring difficult. They decided to push up the debutant Satyajeet Bachhav, who batted at No. 10 in the first innings, to the opening spot, but the move didn't work as L Balaji struck in each of his first two overs. The wickets continued to tumble thereafter with the last week's triple-centurion Kedar Jadhav caught-behind for a duck. By stumps, Maharashtra were reeling at 75 for 8, still a long way away from the victory which had looked within grasp a mere two hours before the end of play.
Uttar Pradesh 283 (Kaif 122, Sharath 5-67 and 55 for 3) and 343 for 5 (Parvinder 143*, Bhuvneshwar 91) lead Karnataka 181 (Pandey 54, Verma 52, Bhuvneshwar 5-36) by 445 runs
A big century for Parvinder Singh and a 91 for Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped Uttar Pradesh consolidate their second-day advantage and bury Karnataka's chances in Meerut. Karnataka's new-look bowling, with three debutants, had removed three wickets in a short spell before stumps on Sunday, and began the day well by removing first-innings centurion Mohammad Kaif.
They had little joy after that. Bhuvneshwar had already made big contributions in the match, first through a combative 35 in the first innings, and then with a five-for. He added to that with a 230-run stand with Parvinder Singh for the fifth wicket, which kept the Karnataka attack at bay for much of the day. Parvinder went on to his eighth first-class century and ended the day unbeaten on 143, but Bhuvneshwar was stumped by stand-in wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa nine runs short of his hundred. Still, UP finished the day on 343 for 5, and with a match-settling lead of 445.
Odisha 219 (Mohit Sharma 5-49) and 60 for 3 need another 88 runs to beat Haryana 66 (Mohanty 5-24) and 300 (Khod 74, Yadav 66, Mohanty 4-57, Mangaraj 4-82)
Haryana showed a tenacity that was missing in the first innings by battling to 300, thanks to half-centuries from Abhimanyu Khod and Jayant Yadav. Odisha's hopes of wrapping up a straightforward victory on the third day in Lahli were thwarted by an obdurate 72-run ninth-wicket stand between Yadav and No. 10 Mohit Sharma. The pair's efforts also pushed the target to 148, even giving Haryana an outside chance of a comeback victory. Odisha's most successful bowlers were Basant Mohanty, who took four wickets in the second innings and nine in the match, and Alok Mangaraj, who also snared four. Odisha's batting then wobbled, losing three wickets in the 24.3 overs before stumps. They are still favourites to win, but Haryana at least managed to avoid the ignominy of losing with a day to spare.
Delhi 215 for 3 (Mohit 71, Unmukt 51) trail Baroda 561 (Rayudu 131, Chauhan 113, Panchal 80, Gagandeep 76, Awana 4-104) by 346 runs
Delhi laid the base for a strong reply to Baroda's 561, setting up a fight for the first-innings lead on the final day at Feroz Shah Kotla. Half-centuries by Mohit Sharma, who was playing his second first-class game, and Unmukt Chand led the hosts to 215 for 3 at stumps. They need 347 more to earn three points. Read the full report here.