Ranji Trophy Plate League, 4th round, 3rd day December 3, 2010

Rajan's eight takes MP top

ESPNcricinfo staff

Group A

Madhya Pradesh went top of the Group A table after an innings and 239-run victory over Jharkhand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. MP needed just 37.3 overs to bowl out the visitors for 140 on the third day. Seamer Amit Sharma and Anand Rajan took four wickets each, giving Rajan eight for the match. MP's victory had been set up on the first two days after they bowled Jharkhand out for 131 and then piled on 510. It was always going to be an uphill struggle for Jharkhand from then on, and they surrendered meekly. Their highest scorer in the whole match was wicketkeeper Shiv Gautam who got 32 in the second innings. Jharkhand remain at second-last position in the table.

It was a strong fightback from Hyderabad on the third day at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium as they brought themselves to within 131 runs of Goa's big first innings score and still have five wickets in hand. Captain Ravi Teja set the platform with his 126 and then Syed Quadri got 68 to take the hosts to 351 for 5 at stumps. Having avoided the follow-on, they have all but assured themselves of a draw but still need to do a lot of work to avoided conceding the first-innings lead and with it three points. Reagan Pinto's excellent match continued as he followed up his century in the first-innings with two wickets with his part-time legspin for Goa.

Group B

Services set Vidarbha 353 to win in the fourth innings - a stern ask considering the pitch has been offering the bowlers plenty of assistance and Vidarbha haven't scored more than 300 since their first game of the season. Services had the advantage at the start of the third day at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, having dismissed the hosts for 147 on the second. Openers Pratik Desai, captain Yashpal Singh and Soomik Chatarjee drove home that advantage, getting half-centuries to take Services to 265 for 6. They then declared to give themselves an entire day to bowl Vidarbha out.

A 93-run stand by AP Singh and Parvez Rassol for the sixth wicket helped Jammu & Kashmir avoid a possible innings defeat, but Andhra Pradesh are still in the driver's seat at the Gandhi Memorial Science College Ground in Jammu. The pair came in when J & K were 60 for 5 in their second innings, still 63 behind Andhra. Rassol was the aggressor hitting nine fours and two sixes in his 68 not out, while Singh was unbeaten on 39 at stumps. Captain Syed Sahabuddin and legspinner Sairaj Bahutule had given Andhra five early breakthroughs after Bodapati Sumanth's 136 had helped them to a first innings total of 376. The overnight pair of Sumanth and Sahabuddin, who got 71, took AP from a precarious position of 219 for 6 in the morning to a strong total. J & K are now 30 runs ahead but will need to make their last five wickets last well into tomorrow to stave off a defeat.

Maharashtra's match against Kerala is heading towards a draw after another rain-hit day at the the Nehru Stadium in Kochi. The visitors accelerated their scoring-rate on the third day, scoring 130 runs in 29.5 overs. Sangram Atitkar scored 109 and Maharashtra declared at 347 for 8. Kerala played just one over and were 5 for 0. Maharashtra will be hoping for a whole day's play tomorrow so that they can try to bowl out Kerala and at least pick up three points for a first-innings lead.