Ojha puts Madhya Pradesh in command
Assam 96 and 67 for 2 (Roy 25*) trail Madhya Pradesh 332 (Ojha 116, Bundela 64, Das 6-61) by 169 runs
A century from wicketkeeper Naman Ojha put Madhya Pradesh in pole position against Assam in Indore. Resuming on 150 for 2 - Assam were bowled out for 96 on the first day - MP's hopes for a big first-innings lead were almost dashed after medium-pacers Krishna Das and Ranjitkumar Mali took six wickets in 27 overs. However, the tail hung on with Ojha to help the hosts gain a formidable lead. Assam lost two wickets in 22 overs of their second innings on Friday, and an innings defeat seems on the cards.
Das, who took two wickets on the first day, completed a five-for: Devendra Bundela was caught behind for 64, and Jatin S Saxena and Brijesh Tomar did not last too long. Soon after Das' strikes, MP captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar was out for 44, lbw to medium-pacer Ranjitkumar Mali. Sunil Dholpure also fell to Mali, and Anand Katti had Shantanu Pitre, who took five in Assam's innings, caught behind. No. 10 Sanjay Pandey, though, played out 71 deliveries for his 23. At the other end, Ojha was picking the runs. His 116 came at a strike-rate of nearly 80, with 15 fours and four sixes.
After a 90-run stand, Mali finally dismissed Pandey: he was the third catch of the innings for wicketkeeper K Saikia. Ojha put on 36 for the final wicket at nearly a run a ball with last man Yogesh Golwalkar, before he became Das' sixth wicket. Das' 6 for 61 from 31.1 overs was his best figures in a first-class innings.
Assam, trailing by 236 on the first innings, lost opener Nishanta Bordoloi and one-drop Deepak Sharma before stumps.