Saurashtra poised for big win
Rajasthan 136 (Makvana 3-30, Jadeja 3-39) and 147 for 4 (f/o) (Saxena 70, Jadeja 3-51) trail Saurashtra 475 for 7 dec by 192 runs
Six wickets from left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja on day three put Saurashtra on the verge of a big win as Rajasthan, forced to follow on, were left precariously placed at 147 for 4 in their second innings, still 192 runs behind.
Saurashtra, who had declared at 475 for 7, were on top throughout the day, as Jadeja, Kamlesh Makvana and Vishal Joshi picked up three wickets each in the first innings to run through Rajasthan's batting and bundle them out for 136 in 43.1 overs. Robin Bist and Ashok Menaria made 29 and 26 respectively, but none of the other batsmen managed more than 17, and Rajasthan, trailing by 339, were predictably asked to bat again.
They fared better in their second attempt, as opener Vineet Saxena put up stands of 59 and 70 for the first and second wickets with Sourabh Chouhan and Robin Bist. Saxena hit 11 fours and a six during his innings. Rajasthan were stable at 129 for 1, but two wickets in the space of five deliveries helped Saurashtra establish a firm grip on the game.
First, Bist was trapped lbw by Makvana in the 37th over and in the next, Jadeja bowled Saxena out for 70. Rajasthan were dealt another late blow, as Menaria also fell victim to Jadeja, leaving the team in a dire position.
Services 245 for 5 (Yashpal 87, Rangarajan 2-46) trail Tamil Nadu 456 for 7 dec by 211 runs
Yashpal Singh's unbeaten 87 helped Services slowly eat away at Tamil Nadu's first-innings score of 456, as they finished the day at 245 for 5.
Services, who were 17 for 0 at the start of play, were buoyed by a 62-run second-wicket partnership between Soumik Chatterjee and Anshul Gupta, who made 47 and 37 respectively. But Tamil Nadu allrounder Malolan Rangarajan dismissed Anshul and Vishnu Tiwari in quick succession to leave Services struggling at 98 for 3 in the 44th over.
Yashpal and Soumik added 61 for the fourth wicket, hitting 21 fours and one six in total, before Chatterjee eventually departed for 47. Rajat Paliwal was soon dismissed too - caught behind by Dinesh Karthik off Aushik Srinivas- but Sarabjit Singh, coming in at No. 7, contributed 54 along with Yashpal to finish the day solidly.
Railways 335 for 9 (Shukla 113, Rawat 103, Pandey 7-84) trail Madhya Pradesh 510 for 6 dec by 175 runs Scorecard
Madhya Pradesh medium-pacer Ishwar Pandey ended the day with figures of 7 for 84 to almost ascertain a huge first-innings lead against Railways and set up the final day for a possible result.
Railways, propelled by centuries from Shivakant Shukla and Mahesh Rawat, and their 118-run fifth-wicket stand, were comfortable at 249 for 4, but Shukla's dismissal off Pandey in the 73rd over triggered a collapse, as the team lost all but one of their remaining wickets, for just 57 runs.
Shukla's 113 included 16 fours and a six, while Rawat smashed 13 fours and three sixes during his 103.
For the third successive day, no play was possible in the game between Bengal and Baroda in Kolkata, due to a wet outfield.