Bisla helps Goa avoid defeat
Jharkhand 360 (Vardhan 73, Deobrat 58, Jaggi 57, Gupta 53, Bandekar 4-76) drew with Goa 208 (Shukla 64, Nadeem 5-64) and 292 for 8 (Bisla 90, Gupta 6-93)
Goa's batsmen proved equal to the challenge of batting out almost the entire day to salvage a draw against Jharkhand in Jamshedpur. The bulk of the scoring was done by their import, Manvinder Bisla, the Man of the Match in this year's IPL final, who struck a crucial 90. Jharkhand's performer of the day was also a player who hit the headlines in the play-off phase of the IPL this season, Sunny Gupta, who was surprisingly picked by Delhi Daredevils in a knock-out match against Chennai Super Kings. The offspinner Gupta took six of the eight wickets to fall, with left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who tops the Ranji wicket-charts this season, taking the other two. Their efforts weren't enough to quell Goa, though, who had five batsmen besides Bisla making more than 20, and by the final hour Goa were safe. Jharkhand are in second place with 10 points after three games, and Goa have four after two.
Services 563 for 4 dec (Yashpal 250*, Gupta 147, Paliwal 104*) and 7 for 0 drew with Tripura 484 (Abbas 121, Dey 107, Roy 64, Nazar 6-108)
Tripura mounted a brave effort in trying to surmount Services' massive first-innings score of 563, but fell short to concede first-innings points in Agartala. Tripura have never scored 500 before but came mighty close thanks to a battling century from Abhijit Dey, whose previous highest first-class score was 37. He had support from Manisankar Murasingh, with whom he added 79 runs for the seventh wicket and by tea, Tripura still had a chance - 90 runs behind with three wickets in hand. However, quick bowler Shadab Nazar, playing his third first-class game, pretty much killed off Tripura's chances by getting Dey bowled, and then striking off the next ball as well. Tripura wound up on 484, and had to be content with one point, while Services get three to move up to seven points and a share of the third spot.
Andhra 372 (Sumanth 102, Muzumdar 101, Malik 5-74) and 282 for 7 dec (Muzumdar 104, Sumanth 81, Dhawan 5-77) drew with Himachal Pradesh 265 (Dogra 122, Vijaykumar 6-80) and 108 for 4
Amol Muzumdar completed his second century of the match on a dull final day against Himachal Pradesh in Nadaun, where Andhra took three points for the first-innings lead. It was Muzumdar's 25th Ranji hundred, only behind Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Wasim Jaffer among active players. Andhra batted for nearly half the day before declaring, when the target had already been pushed to 390, leaving Himachal the job of batting out around 50 overs. There was some brief excitement as Himachal lost four early wickets before Varun Sharma and Amit Kumar calmly played out the remaining overs. The bright spot for Himachal on the day was medium-pacer Rishi Dhawan picking up his fifth five-for in 18 matches. Andhra and Himachal both have seven points after three matches.
Kerala 264 (Konwar 5-53) and 294 for 5 (Hegde 129, (Jagadeesh 127) drew with Assam 286 (Jadhav 98, Tarjinder 92, Cheruvathur 3-45, Anthaf 3-63) and 201 for 6 (Pallav Das 92*, Sreejith 5-75)
Both of Kerala's overnight batsmen, Abhishek Hegde and VA Jagadeesh, went to complete centuries on the final day of the game where there was little at stake against Assam in Malappuram. Kerala, having conceded the first-innings lead, had to force the pace and they scored at nearly four an over, but the 65 overs their bowlers had was not enough to bowl out Assam on what was still a flat track. Opener Pallav Das hit an unbeaten 92, and left-arm spinner K Sreejith took five though there was no real chance of an outright result. Assam continue to top the table with 16 points after three matches, while Kerala have two points from two games.