Saxena century gives Rajasthan upper hand
Vineet Saxena and Hrishikesh Kanitkar added 161 runs in 56.1 overs to give Rajasthan the first-innings lead against Goa on a rain-reduced second day at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Resuming at 48 for 1, the pair frustrated Goa through most of the day's play before Kanitkar fell for 73 off 185 balls. Saxena completed his seventh first-class ton by stumps and, along with Robin Bist, guided his side into a dominant position.
TP Sudhindra scalped four wickets as Madhya Pradesh bowled Tripura out for 255 before galloping to 225 for 3 by stumps on the second day at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. Sudhindra picked up all the four Tripura wickets to fall in the morning before MP openers Naman Ojha and Jalaj Saxena set about the task of securing the first-innings lead in aggressive fashion. Naman brought up his third first-class ton, an innings that included 14 fours and two sixes, but Saxena fell ten short of the landmark. The pair added 209 in 43.5 overs before exiting in quick succession. Devendra Bundela also fell soon after as Tripura's spirits rose before stumps.
Hyderabad's decision to drop four senior players for Under-22 cricketers paid dividend as the 18-year-old Bavanaka Sandeep scored 130 on his first-class debut to give them a 149-run first-innings lead with 5 wickets in hand against Jharkhand at the HEC International Cricket Stadium Complex in Ranchi. Fast bowler Kuldeep Sharma gave Jharkhand a good start to the day, taking 3 for 50 to reduce Hyderabad to 117 for 4. But Sandeep put together a 109-run partnership with Syed Quadri who made 50, and an unbeaten 129-run stand with wicket-keeper batsman Ibrahim Khaleel (47 off 114) to put Hyderabad firmly in the ascendancy with two days to go.
Rain helped Jammu & Kashmir keep Kerala's lead down to just 11 runs at the Perintalmanna Cricket Stadium in Malappuram, but the hosts are sitting pretty with nine wickets in hand. Opener VA Jagadeesh (98 off 147) and Robert Fernandez (65 off 151) made full use of the 50 overs of play that were possible on the second day after Abid Nabi dismissed Abhishek Hegde early. J&K only managed 173 in their first innings and will hope for more showers to stave of defeat.
A fighting 82 from No. 7 batsman Ranjit Paradkar helped Vidarbha reach 281 for 8 in their first innings against Maharashtra at the Golf Club Ground in Nasik. Vidarbha started the day at 42 for 3, after just 13 overs were bowled on day one, and were tottering at 169 for 6 when Azhar Sheik fell after a patient half-century. Paradkar and Shrikant Wagh then added 96 to rescue their side. It was a team effort by Maharashtra in the field as their four frontline bowlers took two wickets apiece.
Services were locked in an even battle for the first-innings lead against Andhra at the Rural Development Trust Stadium in Anantapur. Resuming at 23 for 1 and chasing Andhra's score of 229, Services were propelled by Sowmyaranjan Swain's compoised 71 off 185 balls. He added 71 with Yashpal Singh before wickets began to tumble. Seamer Doddapaneni Kalyankrishna picked up three wickets while Y Gyaneswara Rao finished with two as Services stumbled to 187 for 7. They need 43 runs to secure the first-innings lead but, given the low-scoring nature of the game so far, an outright result could be on the cards.