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December 9, 2012
Saurashtra 209 (Jadeja 70, Saxena 5-17) and 134 for 4 (Jadeja 67*) lead Bengal 112 for 9 (Tiwary 55, Jadeja ) lead by 231 runs
On a day when Ravindra Jadeja got his first call-up to the Indian Test squad, he extended his purple patch in the Ranji Trophy by troubling Bengal with bat and ball to put Saurashtra in command in Rajkot. He had already top scored with 70 on the first day, and he backed that up with a four-wicket haul to reduce Bengal to 112 for 9. The only Bengal batsman to resist was Manoj Tiwary, who made a battling 55 before being forced to retire hurt due to a muscle pull. Jadeja was not done yet. On a track where pretty much everyone else found it difficult to score, he walked out and slammed an unbeaten 57-ball 67 to increase the lead to 231, with six wickets still in hand. It leaves Bengal needing to score the highest total of the match to win the game.
Gujarat 104 for 1 trail Rajasthan 294 (Kanitkar 100*, Dhurve 6-65) by 100 runs
Rajasthan captain Hrishkesh Kanitkar's 28th Ranji Trophy century was the cornerstone of the first-innings effort of 294 against Gujarat. It was his second ton in two matches and it left him only behind Ajay Sharma and Wasim Jaffer in the list of most hundreds in the tournament. Gujarat's left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurve took six wickets to restrict Rajasthan, before Gujarat's top order provided a solid start to the chase. Smit Patel, who was India's wicketkeeper when they won the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, and Samit Gohel, who was closing in on his third first-class half-century in three matches, put on 45 for the first wicket. Then, Gohel and Bhargav Merai stayed together till stumps, adding 59.
Railways 66 for 3 trail Madhya Pradesh 377 (Rameez 128, Rajan 69, Bangar 4-81) by 311 runs
Madhya Pradesh held the advantage after the second day in Bhubaneshwar, as their bowlers nipped out three early Railways wickets. MP extended their first-innings total to 377 thanks to 22-year-old Rameez Khan's maiden first-class hundred, and Anand Rajan's first half-century of the season. The pair put on 94 for the sixth wicket, lifting MP from a slightly troublesome 210 for 5. Sanjay Bangar was the most successful of the Railways bowlers, taking four wickets, but his side will need him to contribute substantially with the bat as well if they are to get within MP's first-innings total.
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