Sreesanth sizzles on return
Jharkhand 291 for 8 (Tiwary 125, Sreesanth 4-60) v Kerala
Sreesanth proved more than just his fitness, making a strong return after being sidelined by injury since the IPL. The fast bowler took 4 for 60, but his effort may have come a bit too late for Kerala, who are playing their last league game. Jharkhand chose to bat, and were looking good as openers Subroto Ghosh and Manish Vardhan put on 59. But Sreesanth struck in successive overs, first castling Vardhan and then removing Ishank Jaggi for no score. However, new-man Saurabh Tiwary propped up Jharkhand, adding 116 for the fifth wicket with Keshav Kumar. Tiwary reached his hundred before Sreesanth struck twice again. He removed Tiwary for 125 and bowled Kuldeep Sharma. With two wickets remaining, the first task for the not-out batsmen, Manoj Singh and captain Shankar Rao, will be to edge Jharkhand past 300.
Vidarbha 230 for 4 (Acharya 51, Fazal 46, Tiwary 2-37) v Bengal
Group B leaders Bengal, looking to surge ahead of Madhya Pradesh, who are level on points, found it tough to break the resolute Vidarbha batting line-up in Nagpur. Bengal's captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla decided to field first, but Ranadeb Bose and Ashok Dinda failed to make early inroads, as stand-in MP captain Faiz Fazal and Madhusudan Acharya put on 58 for the first wicket. After Sourav Sarkar dismissed Fazal, Alind Naidu and Acharya added 55 for the second wicket. It was Manoj Tiwary who brought an end to Acharya's 51 off 193 balls. Ravi Jangid played the anchor role with his 43 before he became Tiwary's second wicket. Ranjit Paradkar and Shalabh Shrivastava held firm to take Vidarbha through to the end of the day's play. While it was a superb display from their captain, Vidarbha could face a tough time while bowling against an in-form Bengal as they are missing the services of the experienced Pritam Gandhe and Sandeep Singh.
Madhya Pradesh 210 for 2 (Saxena 125*, Bundela 68*) v Tripura
Jalaj Saxena's century put Madhya Pradesh in the driver's seat against Tripura in Agartala. Saena, who made 125, put on unbroken 162 with Devendra Bundela (68). MP, put in, were off to a bad start, losing Himalaya Sagar with the score on 9. Captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar made a laborious 6 off 59 balls before he was caught-behind by Rajib Dutta off Jayanata Debnath. From then on, it was smooth sailing as Saxena and Bundela got on top of the Tripura attack. While Saxena hit 13 boundaries in his 125, Bundela hit eight fours and a six.
Services 213 for 8 (Chatarjee 107*, Goswami 3-57) v Assam
Soomik Chatarjee's scored an unbeaten 107 in an otherwise lacklustre performance from Services in Delhi. Rashmi Parida, the Assam captain, decided to field, and the Services openers were dismissed cheaply. Batting at No. 3, Chatarjee held fort but was losing partnersh quickly as Dhiraj Goswami tore into the middle order. The biggest partnership Services could manage was 71 for the sixth wicket between Chatarjee and Abhimanyu Singh. Ranjitkumar Mali and Anand Katti, the star from Assam's last match, took two wickets each. "I'm looking to take the team total to at least 250. That's the first target," he told the Indian Express.
Goa 40 for 2 (S Asnodkar 21*, Thakur 2-9) trail Himachal Pradesh 218 (Mannu 56*, Dogra 53, D'Souza 4-54) by 178 runs
Goa would have been pleased with gaining the upper hand against Group A leaders Himachal Pradesh on a day when thirteen wickets fell in Dharamsala. Having put HP in, Saurabh Bandekar and Robin D'Souza gave Goa the perfect start. While Bandekar trapped Manish Gupta leg-before, D'Souza accounted for the top performers from Himachal's last match, Sangram Singh and Bhavin Thakkar. At 9 for 3, it was up to Vinit Indulkar and Paras Dogra to steady the innings. They put on 88 for the fourth wicket, and Dogra brought up his half-century before falling to Bandekar. Indulkar fell soon after, but Ajay Mannu's unbeaten 56 ensured the hosts went past 200. While D'Souza finished with four wickets, Bandekar and Harshad Gadekar picked up three apiece. After Himachal folded for 218, Ashok Thakur's struck twice to remove Sagun Kamat and Aditya Angle before the two Asnodkars, captain Swapnil and Rohit, guided Goa to stumps.
Jammu & Kashmir 248 for 5 (Ian Dev Singh 60*, Ahmed 55, Sunny Singh 2-17) v Haryana
Ian Dev Singh's unbeaten half-century ensured Jammu & Kashmir finished in the advantage after the first day of their clash against Haryana in Rohtak. Opting to bat, Huwaid Ronga and Javed Ahmed ensured a solid start for the visitors with an opening stand of 93. After Jitender Tarsemlal Billa and Sunny Singh removed the openers in quick succession, Manoj Joglekar along with Ian Dev then stitched together a 65-run partnership for the second wicket. Ian Dev stayed firm as wickets fell thereafter, hitting eight boundaries in his 175-ball 60. Sunny Singh's figures of 15-7-17-2 was the highlight for the hosts.