Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Group B, 5th round, 3rd day January 7, 2015

Maharashtra in sight of win against following on Saurashtra

ESPNcricinfo staff

Saurashtra 273 (Jackson 102, Khurana 5-70) and 53 for 4 (f/o) trail Maharashtra 519 (Bawne 124, Khurana 69, Makvana 5-120) by 193 runs

Maharashtra spinners Chirag Khurana and Akshay Darekar made sure their team's good work with the bat did not go in vain, forcing Saurashtra to follow on, and then tripping them up a second time. Offspin-bowling allrounder Khurana claimed a maiden five-for, while left-armer Darekar chipped in with three, to help keep Saurashtra to 273 in response to Maharashtra's 519. The only resistance came from Sheldon Jackson, who made 102 out of a total of 163 by the time he was dismissed, the sixth man out. Rohit Motwani made Saurashtra bat again, and the slow-bowling pair were destroyers-in-chief once more, picking up three between them as Saurashtra slumped to 53 for 4 in 22 second-innings overs. That meant they go into the final day of the game still 194 runs away from making Maharashtra bat again.

Delhi 278 (Sehwag 147, Mohit 4-46) and 134 for 5 (Gambhir 46, Joginder 3-18) lead Haryana 188 (Rana 80, Narwal 3-43, Sood 3-20) by 224 runs

Only 38 overs were possible on day three in Lahli, due to heavy fog in the morning. Play started only at 1.30, and had to be called off early as well, due to bad light. In those 38 overs, Delhi extended their overnight lead of 97 to 224. They lost half their side in the process, however. Most of their top order got starts - only Virender Sehwag was dismissed in single digits - but none could kick on; Gautam Gambhir with 46 was the top scorer on the day. However, given the helpful bowling conditions, their lead is already in highly tricky territory for Haryana, provided the weather allows play on the final day.

Punjab 274 (Gurkeerat 85, Khera 63, Aniket 4-57) and 85 for 3 (f/o) (Pankaj 2-23) trail Rajasthan 433 by 74 runs

A four-wicket haul from the left-arm pacer Aniket Choudhary left Punjab facing an uphill task going into the final day against Rajasthan in Jaipur. Punjab, being asked to follow-on, were still trailing by 74 runs at stumps, with seven wickets in hand. Beginning the day at 140 for 5, Punjab rallied around half-centuries from Gurkeerat Singh Mann (85) and Gitansh Khera (63) to make 274, but it wasn't enough to prevent the follow on, as Rajasthan collected a healthy 159-run lead. Choudhary took 4 for 57 to wreck Punjab's middle order, while Pankaj Singh chipped in with 3 for 83. Pankaj struck again in Punjab's second innings, dismissing Jiwanjot Singh and Amitoze Singh inside seven overs. Punjab were 85 for 3 when the day ended.

Odisha 137 for 9 (Behera 33, Bandiwar 3-29, Wagh 3-52) trail Vidarbha 240 (Satish 99, Mohanty 3-44) by 103 runs

Vidarbha's seamers Shrikant Wagh and Swapnil Bandiwar took three wickets apiece to leave the team well-placed to collect first-innings points against Odisha in Sambalpur. With a draw the most likely result after the entire first day was washed out due to rain, Vidarbha began the day at 129 for 4, with the overnight half-centurion Ganesh Satish still at the crease. Satish stroked 14 fours to make his way to 99, but was denied a seventh first-class hundred as he was trapped lbw by Basant Mohanty (3 for 44) in the 82nd over. However, handy contributions from Amol Ubarhande (33) and Wagh (29) pushed the total to 240. Odisha never really got going in their reply, and lost wickets at regular intervals just when it seemed as if they were building a promising stand. Wagh picked up 3 for 52, while Bandiwar ended the day with 3 for 29, as Odisha were struggling at 137 for 9 before stumps were called.