Assam fightback floors Vidarbha
Assam 299 (Purkayastha 51, Acharya 3-50, Yadav 3-58, Hashim 3-79) and 193 (Parida 89, Yadav 4-11, Hashim 3-46) beat Vidarbha 324 for 9 dec (Wagh 110*, Shrivastava 68, Das 5-83) and 97 (Konwar 3-18, Purkayastha 2-1, Katti 2-10, Das 2-25) by 71 runs
Assam's bowlers came back strongly after having conceded a first-innings lead on Monday, skittling out Vidarbha for 97 in their second innings to clinch a 71-run win in Nagpur. Assam, who began the day at 10 for 0 - trailing by 15 runs, kept the contest alive by scoring briskly after Vidarbha had declared their first innings at 324 for 9.
However, a collapse saw them fold for 193, but a similar slump for Vidarbha robbed them of the chance of gaining a win or three points for the first-innings lead. Rashmi Parida led Assam's charge, scoring 89 off 84 balls, with seven fours and a six. No other batsman went past 25. Assam were at a comfortable 187 for 4 when Gaurav Upadhyaya struck in his only over of the day. It sparked a collapse, with Umesh Yadav taking four wickets in four overs to sent them crashing.
But the collapse perhaps worked to Assam's advantage, setting Vidarbha a gettable score. The hosts, though, failed to keep the score ticking after the first wicket fell, and Assam prised out wickets at regular intervals. At 77 for 4, they were still in the hunt, but three wickets fell on that score and the next three fell for two runs.
Assam move into third place in Group B, three points clear of Vidarbha, who have played an extra game. The top two teams move into the semi-finals.
Madhya Pradesh 223 (Dholpure 59, Nadkarni 3-30, Rakesh Kumar 3-53) and 240 for 2 dec (Saxena 100*) drew with Services 140 (Golwalkar 4-30, Pandey 3-40) and 248 for 8 (Jasvir Singh 103*, Pitre 3-53)
Jasvir Singh's unbeaten 103 helped last-placed Services cling on for a draw against Group B leaders Madhya Pradesh in Delhi. Services nearly survived the final day in an earlier fixture against Vidarbha, but this time Jasvir ensured they gained their first point.
Having lost a wicket late on Monday, it was Jasvir who faced the first ball on Tuesday. He stayed until the end, and got vital support from No. 9 Rakesh Kumar, who faced 83 deliveries in a an unbroken stand spanning 28 overs. Resuming on 20 for 2, Services were quickly 24 for 3. Yashpal Singh pushed the score along with a 40-ball 30 before he became Shantanu Pitre's third wicket.
MP chipped away, and at 196 for 8, defeat seemed imminent for Services. Jasvir and Rakesh, though, put on a 52-run stand to deny the visitors.
Haryana 287 (Dewan 52, Singh 50, Bandekar 5-72, Robin D'Souza 3-68) and 263 for 7 dec (Dhruv 74*, Mishra 58*) beat Goa 190 (Ratra 51, Billa 5-72) and 162 (Robin D'Souza 54*, Rana 5-60, Billa 3-49) by 198 runs
Coach Dodda Ganesh was hoping his team would force a draw, but Goa's batsmen barely put up a fight against Haryana in Rohtak. Haryana declared their innings one over into the final day, setting the visitors an unlikely target of 361.
Chasing was improbable, and surviving the day became impossible after Sachin Rana and Jitender Tarsemlal Billa wreaked havoc with the new ball. In the first innings, Goa had been reduced to 0 for 3 thanks to Billa. The only positives from their second innings was that only one wicket fell on no score, and the performance of the tail. Rana and Billa shared the first eight wickets as all of Goa's top eight failed to make it past single figures: half of them made ducks.
Each of the next three nearly outscored the eight before them. Saurabh Bandekar (44), Robin D'Souza (54 not out) and Ryan D'Souza (27) showed the top order how it should be done. The win gave Haryana a four-point lead over Goa in the fight for the second semi-final spot from Group A.
Dodda was disappointed with the lack of application from the batsmen. "It was poor cricket from our boys," he told the Times of India. "They simply did not follow the basics. When our target was to play out the full day, they had no business to play cross-batted shots. And when your eight batsmen are dismissed for zero in a match, there's little chance of a fightback. Except for Saurabh Bandekar and Robin D'Souza no one had stomach for a fight."
Himachal Pradesh 551 for 8 dec (Sangram Singh 210, Thakkar 166, Mukesh Sharma 56) and 181 for 2 (Sangram Singh 91, Gupta 75) drew with Jharkhand 431 (Tiwary 169, Vardhan 66, Mohinderraj Sharma 4-68)
Himachal Pradesh extended their lead at the top in Group A by gaining a first-innings lead in the drawn encounter against Jharkhand in Ranchi. The hosts, thanks to Saurabh Tiwary's unbeaten century, were at 341 for 6 in reply to HP's 551, but their last four wickets fell for 90 runs on the final day.
Tiwary was the first to be dismissed on Tuesday; he added 25 to his overnight 144 before he was caught off Sarandeep Singh. The score was 384 for 7, but Jharkhand's lower order ensured went past the follow-on mark of 402.
With the match almost dead - Jharkhand had batted out 45.3 overs - HP's openers took advantage. Sangram Singh, who hit double-centuries in the previous two innings, missed a hundred by nine runs, and Manish Gupta made 75.
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