Ranji Trophy Plate League semi-finals, 3rd day December 20, 2008

Himachal Pradesh all set for promotion

Cricinfo staff

Himachal Pradesh 576 for 8 (Sharma 161, Thakkar 111, Mannu 93, Indulkar 80) lead Madhya Pradesh 228 by 348 runs
Scorecard

Himachal Pradesh's move up to the Super League is certain after they piled on a massive 348-run lead on the third day in their semi-final against Madhya Pradesh in Nagpur. Bhavin Thakkar, resuming on 111, fell without scoring on Saturday, but Mukesh Sharma, the other overnight batsman, scored a career-best 161 to put his team totally in command.

Himachal Pradesh, who began the day in the lead, were boosted by a 218-run stand for the fifth wicket between Sharma and Ajay Mannu, who fell seven short of his century. Madhya Pradesh dismissed the duo and Sarandeep Singh quickly, but they were to be further frustrated by the lower-order batsmen. Ashok Thakur and Vikramjeet Malik, who took four wickets apiece in Madhya Pradesh's innings, added an unbroken 51 for the ninth wicket.

Goa 166 for 7 (Ninan 66*, Desai 37, D'Souza 25*, Bose 6-50) trail Bengal 337 by 171 runs
Scorecard

Only 110 minutes of play was possible on the third day at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Play only started an hour after the scheduled lunch break, thanks to the poor visibility, and only 25 overs were possible before bad light intervened.

Goa's overnight pair of Aniket Desai and Ryan Ninan continued the rebuilding job. The two had taken Goa from a precarious 34 for 5 to 95 at stumps on the second day, and played out ten overs by the time Bengal struck. Desai was out for 37, trapped by Ranadeb Bose, who grabbed his sixth wicket of the innings. Twelve runs later, part-time bowler Manoj Tiwary had Shadab Jakati leg-before. Robin D'Souza then scored 25 of 35 balls in an unbroken stand of 30 with Ninan, who held one end up. Ninan, who began on 43, scored only 23 of his 71 runs in the day. Goa, though, will need to complete a remarkable turnaround on the final day to earn promotion to the Super League.