Pradeep century keeps Andhra in hunt
A century from AG Pradeep kept Andhra's hopes of a berth in the knockout phase alive, as they declared at 447 for 8 against Kerala at the Rural Development Trust Stadium in Anantapur. With Maharashtra and Services playing each other in the last round of games, a win would guarantee Andhra a semi-final spot, while three points would be enough so long as Services don't pick up points against Maharashtra. Andhra started the second day at 215 for 6, but Pradeep's 132 and seamer Duvvarapu Shivkumar's 93 took them to a strong first innings total. The pair added 217 for the seventh wicket. Andhra reduced Kerala to 42 for 1 by stumps.
Maharashtra hold the edge in their top-of-the-table clash, after a century by seamer Shrikhant Mundhe gave them a first innings total of 386. But Services' bastsmen made a strong comeback, reaching 109 for 1 at the Harbax Singh Stadium in Delhi. After helping rescue Maharashtra's innings with a 125-run seventh wicket stand with centurion Rohit Motwani on the first day, Mundhe pushed on on the second and made sure Maharashtra reached a strong position. Opener Pratik Desai then led Services' reply with an unbeaten 53.
Jammu & Kashmir look destined to stay at the bottom after collapsing to 151 for 9 against Vidarbha at the Gandhi Memorial Science College Ground in Jammu. Seamer Amol Jungade did the early damage for Vidarbha, taking 3 for 35. The hosts were a further 280 behind, after Vidarbha made their highest total since their first match of the season. Having built a solid base on the first day, Vidarbha's lower order produced useful runs on the second, with legspinner Azhar Sheikh scoring 69 and Shalabh Shrivastava getting 91, to take them to 431.
Goa's outside chance of staking a claim for a semi-final berth was fading away as they needed another 113 to make Tripura bat again, with six wickets in hand, in Porvorim. Tripura, who are bottom of the table with no points, managed to cross 300 for the first time in the season, getting to 353, before reducing Goa to 128 for 4. Nishit Shetty became the season's first centurion for Tripura, while wicketkeeper Rajib Datta made 76. Tripura seamer Timir Chanda, who took four wickets in Goa's first innings when they were bowled out for 112, took 3 for 43 on the second day. Nothing short of a win will suffice for Goa as they are four points behind the top two teams.
Even a win for Goa may not make a difference to the standings, as the two top sides in Group A are in relatively strong positions in their matches. Madhya Pradesh put themselves in control against Hyderabad at the Gymkhana Ground in Hyderabad, getting to 354 for 2 on the second day after the first was washed out. Monish Mishra's unbeaten 206 took him to second in the season's run charts with 453 at an average of 113. Mishra hit 25 fours and four sixes in his double-century as Hyderabad tried seven different bowlers on Thursday.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra helped Rajasthan build a solid base against Jharkhand at the Field Club Ground in Udaipur. Chopra was unbeaten on 88 at the end of the second day, with Rajasthan 186 for 3 in response to the visitors' 303. Jharkhand were able to add 49 runs to their overnight total, before seamer Pankaj Singh dismissed Ishank Jaggi for 131 and his new-ball partner Deepak Chahar took the last two wickets to finish with 4 for 86.