Seamers bowl Maharashtra to victory
Maharashtra's new-ball pair of Samad Fallah and Shrikant Mundhe bowled their side to an unlikely 10-wicket win over Vidarbha in Nasik. Vidarbha, who had taken a narrow first-innings lead on the third day, would have hoped to earn three points when they began the final day on 13 for 2. However, Fallah and Mundhe had other ideas as they ran through Vidarbha in the matter of 23 overs to skittle them for 61. Extras contributed the most runs, 20, to the total, and only three batsmen reached double figures. Harshad Khadiwale hammered nine fours and a six in his unbeaten 55 off 37 deliveries as Maharashtra cantered to the target of 77 with all wickets intact.
An unbeaten eighth-wicket stand that lasted for almost 50 overs saved Jammu & Kashmir from what seemed an almost-certain defeat against Kerala in Malappuram. J&K, trailing by 220 runs, needed to bat out the day to avoid an outright loss, which seemed likely when they slumped to 152 for 7. However, medium-pacer Abid Nabi, the J&K captain, and offspinner Sameer Khajuria resisted for three-and-a-half hours to ensure the game ended in a draw. Nabi faced 167 deliveries while Khajuria played out 140 balls. Asif Jeelani had earlier shown the way, taking 196 deliveries for his 46.
Another rearguard effort from the lower order helped Services stave off defeat against Andhra in Anantapur. Chasing 296 for victory after Andhra had sportingly declared on 277 for 4, Services were reeling at 111 for 8 at one stage. Medium-pacer P Vijaykumar had led a strong performance from Andhra's bowlers with his 3 for 36. But wicketkeeper Sarabjit Singh resisted with a resolute unbeaten 42, and the tail stuck around with him long enough to earn their side a draw. Sarabjit and seamer Suraj Yadav played out 46 deliveries before the match ended. A Pradeep had earlier completed his century as Andhra added 102 runs in quick time to enable a declaration. B Sumanth remained unbeaten on 150.
Ishank Jaggi slammed a career-best double century as Jharkhand drew their game against Hyderabad in Ranchi. Trailing by 292 runs after the first innings, Jharkhand were in some trouble at 134 for 4 on the final day. Captain Saurabh Tiwary had been dismissed on his overnight score of 32 before 21-year old Jaggi and wicketkeeper Shiv Gautam rescued Jharkhand with an unbeaten 253-run partnership. Jaggi hit 30 fours and received good support from Gautam who remained unbeaten on a patient 82. Hyderabad used eight bowlers to try and make the breakthroughs but had to be content with first-innings points.
Ajay Ratra, the former India wicketkeeper, hit a personal-best unbeaten 204 as Goa batted out the final day to draw their game against Rajasthan in Jaipur. Coming in at a precarious 28 for 2, Ratra played aggressively, hitting 30 fours and a six, and adding an unbeaten 310 runs for the fourth wicket with Rahul Keni. Keni, who has played for India Under-19, struck 20 fours in his unbeaten 115, his maiden first-class hundred. The game was called off soon after Ratra reached his double hundred. Deepak Chahar, the seamer who had made a memorable debut against Hyderabad, went wicketless.