Assam survive in thrilling draw
Jharkhand 261 (Sinha 89, Bahutule 5-53) and 247 (Tiwary 121, Goswami 4-37) drew with Assam 298 (Aziz 85, Jadhav 60, Aaron 3-36) and 99 for 9 (Aziz 46, Qadri 3-6, Gupta 3-40)
Assam hung on to a thrilling draw against Jharkhand in Guwahati. Chasing 211 in the allotted 46 overs, they crawled to 99 for 9. Though they managed to avert defeat, and earned three points due to a first-innings lead, they still find themselves at the bottom of the Group A table. Assam were on the back foot from the outset, losing Dheeraj Jadhav to the first ball of the innings. Parvez Aziz kept them alive with a determined 46, but wickets fell regularly at the other end. Sunny Gupta and Samar Qadri bagged three wickets each, as only three Assam batsmen managed to reach double-figures. The highest partnership was 32, between captain Amol Muzumdar (8) and Aziz. Assam slipped to 98 for 8 and barely managed to survive the final over of the day, losing Kunal Saikia, who had ensured his team stayed afloat with a 74-ball 15, to the last delivery of the match.
Jharkhand had begun the day on 88 for 3, just 51 ahead, but were boosted by a century from captain Saurabh Tiwary, who made 121. However, Dhiraj Goswami took 4 for 37, and Arlen Konwar and Abu Nechim took three each, to cause a collapse; the last six Jharkhand wickets fell for 23. A target of 211 proved formidable in the end, but Assam just managed to save themselves.
Goa 338 (Asnodkar 136, Pankaj 4-96) and 212 for 9 (Asnodkar 47, D'Souza 40, Gajendra 4-46) drew with Rajasthan 225 (Kanwat 60*, Jakati 4-41)
The contest between Goa and Rajasthan in Margao ended in a dull draw on the final day, when only 63 overs were possible. Goa could rest easy after gaining a substantial first-innings lead - they are currently second in the Group A table - and went about their progress in the second innings knowing a draw was an invevitable result. Rajasthan fought well, Gajendra Singh, the left-arm spinner, took 4 for 46 to challenge the Goa batsmen. But a lower-order recovery, which began with the score on 93 for 5, led by Robin D'Souza's unbeaten 40 and supported by important contributions from Shadab Jakati (28) and Saurabh Bandekar (28) took Goa to 212 for 9 at the end. Goa took home three points, Rajasthan, who are placed third, just one.
Vidarbha 222 (Jangid 45, Joshi 38, Mota 4-44) and 217 for 6 dec (Naidu 76, Shrivastava 49) drew with Tripura 151 (Dutta 42, Naidu 3-23, Wakhare 2-14) and 73 for 4 (Mota 36, Wagh 2-37)
Vidarbha took the honours in their drawn game against Tripura in Nagpur. However, Tripura, who conceded a first-innings lead, still top the table with nine points from three matches. Vidarbha began the day on 40 for 2, 111 ahead, and tried to bat themselves into a dominating position. Captain Alind Naidu contributed 76 and was backed up by an unbeaten 66-run seventh-wicket stand between Shalabh Shrivastava (49 not out) and Shrikanth Wagh (37 not out). Vidarbha declared on 217 for 6 and tried to force victory by setting a target of 289. Tripura, however, chose to play it safe, and limped to 73 for 4 in 40 overs. Vidarbha, who gained three points, are now second in the points table.
Madhya Pradesh 308 for 5 dec (Bundela 84, Kanitkar 68) drew with Andhra Pradesh 145 for 6 (Sumanth 51 not out, Ankit Sharma 2-40)
A draw was a foregone conclusion in the game between Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in Vijaywada. But MP did try to gain a first-innings lead after posting 308. They were boosted by half-centuries from Devendra Bundela, captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Abbas Ali. MP were in an excellent position to get the three points after they had reduced AP to 30 for 4 in their reply. But a fighting, unbeaten 209-ball 51 from Botapati Sumanth, who was aided by Manoj Sai (26), Syed Sahabuddin (23) and Shankara Rao (16 not out), saved the day for AP, as they battled 82.5 overs to reach 145 for 6. By surviving the first innings, AP shared points with MP and are ahead of them - at third place - with four points.