Rajasthan fight back against Maharashtra
Baroda 129 for 3 trail Bengal 370 (Das 117, Majumdar 103) by 241 runs
Baroda finished on 129 for 3, after Bengal added only 108 to their overnight score of 262 for 2 on a slow day's cricket at the Moti Bagh Stadium. Bengal had been given a superb start with their openers scoring centuries, but Baroda pulled things back expertly, converting 221 for no loss to 370 all out. Yusuf Pathan, Irfan's brother, was the pick of the bowlers, with 5 for 83 from his 35.1 overs of offspin. When Baroda batted it gave Bengal's spinners a chance to play a role, and they did, with Sourashish Lahiri and Murtaza Lodhgar sharing the three wickets to fall.
Punjab 216 for 4 (Goel 75, Dharmani 52*) trail Hyderabad 379 (Manohar 119, Teja 55) by 163 runs
Punjab replied in measured fashion to Hyderabad's 379, reaching 216 for 4 thanks mainly to a 75 from Karan Goel and an unbeaten 52 from Pankaj Dharmani, the captain. Hyderabad did well to push their score to 379 from an overnight 310, with the last three wickets adding 69 on the second morning. A string of contributions from the top order, with every batsman getting a start and putting at least 20 on the board, meant that Punjab were still in with a strong chance of overhauling Hyderabad's first-innings score and securing a lead.
Rajasthan 105 (Munaf 4-54) and 160 for 3 trail Maharashtra 287 (Venugopala Rao 80, Khadiwale 57) by 22 runs
After being skittled out for 106 in their first innings Rajasthan staged a comeback, bowling Maharashtra out for 287 and then reaching 160 for 3 in their second dig, trailing by 22 runs with two days to go. It's difficult to comeback from being bowled out for just over 100 on the first day, but Rajasthan, through Pankaj Singh, the tall fast bowler, did this to a degree despite an innings of 80 from Venugopal Rao, Maharashtra's new captain. Rajasthan's batsmen were more disciplined in the second innings, pushing the score to 160 for 3.
Andhra 201 for 2 (LNP Reddy 88*, Varma 61) trail Uttar Pradesh 298 (Ravikant 99*, Vijay Kumar 4-75) by 97 runs
Ravikant Shukla ran out of partners and was left stranded on 99 as Uttar Pradesh were knocked over for 298 by Andhra. In response Andhra reached a healthy 201 for 2, with LNP Reddy doing the bulk of the scoring, racking up an unbeaten 88 at the top of the order. ASK Varma, who came in at one-drop, helped himself to 61, adding 124 for the second wicket. Andhra need 98 more to take the first-innings lead. You had to feel for Shukla, who had added 22 runs to his overnight score of 99 before G Shankara Rao picked up the last two Uttar Pradesh wickets to leave Shukla high and dry.
Saurashtra 175 for 7 (Kotak 77, Bhatia 3-9) trail Delhi 244 (Manhas 62, Jobanputra 5-73) by 69 runs
Sitanshu Kotak spared Saurashtra the blushes but they failed to drive home the advantage of bowling Delhi out for 244, slipping to 175 for 7. Kotak, the doughty left-hand batsman, top scored with 77, but there was barely a significant contribution from any of his team-mates. Rajat Bhatia, the medium pacer from Delhi, was the most successful of the bowlers, picking up 3 for 9 from 13 overs - that included seven maidens - at an amazing economy-rate of 0.69. Saurashtra are now in serious danger of handing the initiative they once held straight back to Delhi.
Himachal Pradesh 117 for 4 trail Karnataka 452 for 9 dec (Dravid 121, Naidu 105, Bhatia 6-129)
A stroke-filled century from wicketkeeper-batsman Thilak Naidu, on top of a polished hundred from Rahul Dravid propelled Karnataka to a more-than-healthy 452 for 9 declared against Himachal Pradesh. Naidu consumed only 137 balls for his 105, and hit 16 fours and a six on his way there. Karnataka's four front-line bowlers then combined perfectly, picking up a wicket apiece as Himachal ended the second day on 117 for 4, with Manish Gupta, the opener, top scoring with 42.
Tamil Nadu 206 (Karthik 76, Srinivasan 66, Powar 4-55) and 30 for 1 trail Mumbai 316 (Nayar 105) by 81 runs
After a batting failure on the first day, Tamil Nadu conceded the advantage, and with it the crucial first-innings lead, in their match against Mumbai. For a time it looked as though Mumbai might falter in reply to 206, but Abhishek Nayar cracked 105 at No. 6 to take his team well past Tamil Nadu's score. Mumbai were eventually bowled out for 317, a first-innings lead of 111, but they made the most of a good day, winkling out the wicket of M Vijay, the opening batsman before Tamil Nadu closed on 30 for 1. It was Ramesh Powar, who picked up four wickets in the first innings, who got the breakthrough, having Vijay caught behind.