Tiwary, Menaria put Bengal, Rajasthan on top
Ashok Menaria cracked his maiden first-class double hundred and Robin Bist made his best score of 167 to boost defending champions Rajasthan to 521 for 8 declared against Railways in Delhi. Menaria and Bist added 398, 38 short of the tournament-record partnership for the third wicket between Orissa's Shiv Sunder Das and Sanjay Raul against Bengal in 2001-02. Menaria made 230 from 408 deliveries with 24 boundaries while Bist's 167 took 482 balls and more than ten hours. After the duo finally departed, Rajasthan waited to get past the 500-run mark before declaring. Seamer Anureet Singh picked up 5 for 153 for Railways who lost V Cheluvaraj cheaply to end on 32 for 1.
Manoj Tiwary's career-best 267 carried Bengal to 496 despite a lower-order collapse against Madhya Pradesh in Kolkata. Starting the day on 318 for 3, Bengal lost Sourav Ganguly early for 47 when he was bowled by TP Sudhindra. Wriddhiman Saha managed 8 while Laxmi Shukla got to 6 before they were dismissed by Ishwar Pandey. Even though his team-mates continued to fall apart, Tiwary carried on unhindered, hammering 30 fours and three sixes in his 394-ball stay. He was the last man to be dismissed, being caught behind by Naman Ojha off Pandey, who finished with 4 for 115. Ojha led a strong reply from MP as he and Jalaj Saxena put on 94 upfront. Saxena was bowled by Shami Ahmed for 46 but Ojha and Mohnish Mishra were undefeated at stumps with MP on 136 for 1.
Piyush Chawla took five wickets for Uttar Pradesh but Orissa posted a healthy 482 in Sambalpur, riding on a big maiden first-class hundred by Biplab Samantray. Samantray and Abhilash Mallick, the overnight pair, stretched their fourth-wicket stand to 212 before Samantray fell leg-before to Chawla for 171 off 279 deliveries. Chawla struck again in his next over, trapping Mallick in front for 99, one short of what would have been his maiden first-class ton as well. Orissa were now 400 for 5 but contributions from Deepak Behera and Lagnajit Samal carried them to 482. UP lost Amir Khan early before Tanmay Srivastava and Mohammad Kaif took them to 54 for 1 at stumps.
Murtuja Vahora brought Baroda back against Haryana in Vadodara, taking five wickets to restrict them to 390 after they had started on 281 for 3. Vahora struck with his first ball of the day, having Harshal Patel caught behind before dismissing Sachin Rana for a duck in the same over. Swapnil Singh then got going with his left-arm spin, picking up two more wickets, including India legspinner Amit Mishra for 16. Mumbai Indians legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal dug in with 38 but Irfan Pathan removed opener Rahul Dewan for 164 after he had added 33 for the day. Vahora came back to finish the innings, ending with 5 for 78. Baroda started poorly, losing Kedar Devdhar for a duck before Aditya Waghmode and Rakesh Solanki carried them to 104 for 1.
Veteran batsman Shitanshu Kotak and young seamer Jaydev Unadkat put Saurashtra in control against Punjab in Mohali. Kotak made an unbeaten 166 - two short of his highest first-class score - to lift Saurashtra from a strong 371 for 8 to an imposing 542. He was assisted by No. 10 Jayesh Odedra who made a patient 53. Manpreet Gony took 6 for 143, his best first-class figures, but Kotak proved difficult to dislodge, not for the first time. India offspinner Harbhajan Singh got the lone wicket of No. 9 Unadkat in his 26 overs. Unadkat came hard at Punjab, ripping through the top order and leaving the hosts struggling at 59 for 3.
Karnataka tightened their control against Mumbai by adding a further 319 runs. Manish Pandey, who had left the ground yesterday due to dehydration and cramps, returned to compile his maiden double-century in the Ranji Trophy while Amit Verma notched up his career-best score and his fourth century in this format. Read the full report here.
A determined innings from Abhinav Mukund and resistance from the lower order helped Tamil Nadu secure a first-innings lead against Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Abhinav was struck on the jaw by a Pradeep Sangwan delivery that kicked off a length and forced him to retire hurt on 39, before he returned to carry Tamil Nadu to 281 for 8 at stumps, with a lead of 69. Read the full report here.