Seamers put Saurashtra in sight of win
Seamers Jaydev Unadkat and Sandip Maniar put Saurashtra on top against Punjab, laying the stage for what could end up being a comprehensive win in Mohali. Staring at a first-innings score of 542, Punjab were in trouble at the start of the day, resuming their innings on 59 for 3. They found themselves in deeper trouble shortly after, slipping to 60 for 5. But Mandeep Singh and Amitoze Singh came to their rescue, adding 121 for the seventh wicket with half-centuries but their efforts weren't enough. Too much damage had been inflicted early in the innings, and the deficit seemed insurmountable. Mandeep remained unbeaten on 85 but Unadkat polished off the tail to finish with 6 for 87.
Punjab were bowled out for 278, conceding a lead of 264 and there was more trouble in the second innings. Maniar was the wrecker-in-chief this time round, nipping out three wickets to reduce Punjab to 44 for 4 after they followed on. To make matters worse, batsman Karan Goel had to retire hurt. With three points virtually in the bag, Saurashtra will be aiming for an outright win tomorrow.
Haryana captain Amit Mishra led by example to give his team a significant first-innings lead at the Moti Bagh Stadium, and his batsmen extended it to 363 with three wickets remaining at stumps. Baroda, having bowled out Haryana for 390 on the second day, were sitting pretty coming into today's play, at 104 for 1. Opener Aditya Waghmode and Rakesh Solanki struck half-centuries and promised to lay the foundation for a lead, but the innings fell apart. Medium-pacer Harshal Patel broke the stand and Baroda slipped to 171 for 7. Mishra helped wrap up the innings, dismissing a well-set Pinal Shah for 35, and ensuring a lead of 176. Haryana began poorly in the second innings and left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh picked up four wickets, but Abhimanyu Khod made 71, supported by Sunny Singh's 44. Mishra himself was unbeaten on 28 at stumps, and may look to eliminate any chances of Baroda pulling off a surprise in the chase.
Centuries from Mohnish Mishra and Naman Ojha put Madhya Pradesh in an excellent position to overhaul Bengal's first-innings score of 496 at the Jadavpur University Complex in Kolkata. MP were well-placed at 136 for 1 at the start of the day, and they consolidated that thanks to a stand of 199 between Ojha and Mishra. Ojha made his fifth first-class century, Mishra reached his fourth. Each hit a six and struck 29 fours between them in a stand that lasted 70 overs. There was a scare for MP when they lost Ojha and captain Devendra Bundela in quick succession, but Mishra and S Abbas Ali added an unbeaten 48 to finish the day on 344 for 3, still 152 adrift.
Delhi put up a better performance with the bat in their second innings but Tamil Nadu were still in with a good chance of pulling off a win at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Starting the day on 281 for 8, a lead of 69, Tamil Nadu lasted another 25 runs. Among the two wickets they lost was Abhinav Mukund, who was caught behind for 99. They finished with a lead of 94. In response, Delhi began well with the openers Unmukt Chand and Shikhar Dhawan adding 68. But they soon slipped to 70 for 3, Yo Mahesh dismissing Chand and captain Mithun Manhas in quick time. Milind Kumar and Yogesh Nagar stepped up, each hitting half-centuries, but were unable to push on. By the close, Delhi were 233 for 5, only 139 ahead though they'll be encouraged by the ongoing 40-run stand between Pawan Negi and Puneet Bisht.
Karnataka are on the verge of picking up three points against Mumbai at the Brabourne Stadium after reducing them to 354 for 8 on day three. Mumbai finished the day 281 runs behind. Read the full report here.
Uttar Pradesh batted determinedly in their pursuit of a first-innings lead against Orissa at the Veer Surendra Sai Stadium in Sambalpur. Opener Tanmay Srivastava led the charge with 115 in a knock that included 14 fours. Former UP captain Mohammad Kaif made 88, and the pair added 191 for the second wicket following the early loss of Amir Khan. However, both fell in quick succession, in consecutive overs, and UP were soon 214 for 3. But Prashant Gupta and Parvinder Singh were unbeaten on 35 and 39 respectively, and took UP to stumps at 287 for 3, 195 behind Orissa.
Railways had the better of day three against Rajasthan at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi but a difficult task awaits them on the final day. Half-centuries from opener Shivakant Shukla and captain Sanjay Bangar, and important contributions from the rest, took them to 274 for 4 in the first innings but they are still 247 behind Rajasthan. Shukla added 83 with Shreyas Khanolkar and 68 with Bangar before being dismissed. Bangar put together 89 with Yere Goud, who was unbeaten on 35. Vivek Yadav grabbed the three wickets that fell today but Goud and Mahesh Rawat were involved in a stand of 28 by the close, of which Rawat made 26. Can Railways overhaul Rajasthan's first-innings score or can Rajasthan bowl them out? There's also the possibility of Railways batting the day out without taking a lead, ensuring the teams share points.