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November 24, 2007
Uttar Pradesh 352 for 7 (Raina 123, Kaif 66, VRV Singh 5-102) trail Punjab 381 (Kaul 162) by 29 runs
Suresh Raina's quick century - his second in three matches this season - and VRV Singh's five-wicket haul set up an exciting contest for the first-innings lead between Uttar Pradesh and Punjab at Mohali. At stumps, UP trailed by 29 runs and had three wickets in hand.
After taking Punjab's last three wickets for 57 runs and then making a solid start, UP lost three quick wickets to be reduced to 91 for 3. That's when Raina joined Mohammad Kaif and counterattacked immediately. By the time Kaif got out for 66, they had put on 153 in 28.1 overs and brought UP right back into the game. It was Raina, though, who took the fight to Punjab and scored 123 runs in 130 deliveries, 88 of them coming in fours and sixes. After Raina's dismissal, Piyush Chawla (30 off 28 balls)and Praveen Kumar (20 off 14 balls) brought out some big hits and took UP close. In 26 balls, their unbeaten partnership had scored 28.
VRV Singh, although pretty expensive, kept Punjab in the game with 5 for 102. This is his first match this season, as he was recovering from an injury. His last international match was the Chittagong Test.
Karnataka 144 for 6 (Shinde 45, Ramkumar 3-32) trail Tamil Nadu 421 (Badrinath 143, Ramkumar 65) by 277 runs
Tamil Nadu turned the screw on Karnataka, reducing them to 144 for 6 after their batsmen carried on from a good first day to score 421 in the first innings. Karnataka still need 77 runs to avoid the follow-on, which should be critical for Tamil Nadu to look for an outright result.
R Rakmumar, the left-arm spinner, followed his cameo with the bat with three wickets for 32 runs. He is now one short of 100 first-class wickets.
Earlier, S Badrinath scored his 13th first-class century and made sure Tamil Nadu capitalised on a century scored by Ranji debutant Abhinav Mukund. Badrinath, who scored 143, got able support from the lower-order, especially Ramkumar, who scored 65 in 76 balls.
Himachal Pradesh 83 (Bahutule 5-29, Sayyed 2-7) and 41 for 2 (Fallah 2-18) trail Maharashtra 310 (Rao 112, Agharkar 46)
Sairaj Bahutule, who had helped Venugopal Rao resurrect Maharashtra's first innings, took 5 for 29 to dismiss Himachal Pradesh for 83 and put Maharashtra in the box seat in Dharamsala. To make matters worse for Himachal, they lost two wickets for 41 after being asked to follow on.
Himachal had a poor start, losing a wicket in the first over itself. Only Maninder Bisla, their wicketkeeper-batsman, offered some fight, but his unbeaten 23 could do only so much.
Earlier, Rao scored his first century for Maharashtra to take them past 300. After the 151-run seventh-wicket stand with Bahutule yesterday, Rao put on 68 for the eighth wicket with Salil Agharkar, who made 46.
Andhra 179 and 67 for 2 lead Orissa 140 (Watekar 5-40, Gnaneshwara Rao 2-15) by 106 runs
Hemal Watekar, Andhra's opener and an occasional offbreak bowler, took five wickets to bowl Orissa out for 140, which gave Andhra a 39-run first-innings lead. Orissa had made a cautious start and after losing three quick wickets got a partnership going to take them to 83 for 3. From there Watekar reduced them to 100 for 7 and then came back to dismiss Halhadar Das, who top scored with 30.
Andhra had scored 67 for 2 at stumps and looked good to set Orissa a challenging target in the fourth innings.
Mumbai 166 and 154 for 2 (Kukreja 89*) lead Delhi 251 (Gambhir 89, Bhatia 49, Salvi 3-44) by 89 runs
The Mumbai bowlers kept their first-innings deficit to within manageable proportions before Sahil Kukreja gave them a superb start, as Mumbai ended the second day 89 runs in front with eight wickets in hand. Kukreja's unbeaten 89, coming off 119 deliveries, was an uncharacteristically fast innings and brought Mumbai right back into the match.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir missed a century, Rahul Bhatia a half-century, and Delhi a big lead as their last six wickets fell for 82 runs. The first session on the Wankhede track is often the most difficult and that was the case again, as the Delhi batsmen handed back the initiative that they had grabbed on the opening day.
Rajasthan 155 for 6 (Khoda 44, Dhurv 2-35) trail Saurashtra 307 (Shah 71, Dhurv 46*, Pankaj Singh 4-91)
Rajasthan collapsed from 92 for 1 to 149 for 6 as Saurashtra took charge of the match in Jaipur. Saurashtra, resuming at 220 for 5, managed 307, thanks to an unbeaten 46 by the left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv.
For Rajasthan, Gagan Khoda and Nikhil Doru looked good in their 73-run second-wicket stand, but both fell at the same score. Dhurv came back to haunt them as he dismissed Khoda to break the partnership. There was a 48-run stand between Vineet Saxena and Robin Bist, but they too fell within five runs of each other to leave Rajasthan struggling.
Baroda 191 for 2 (Williams 91*, Bilakhia 68) trail Hyderabad 261 (Pai 62, Irfan 4-71, Sumit 3-39) by 70 runs
Irfan Pathan recovered from an ordinary first day as Baroda took the last six Hyderabad wickets for 44 before Connor Williams took charge with an unbeaten 91.
Hyderabad, resuming at 220 for 4, collapsed without a fight against the new ball. Irfan's angle from round the stumps and Sumit Singh's disciplined bowling did the trick for Baroda. In reply, Williams and Azharuddin Bilakhia made the Hyderabad bowlers work hard, as they finished the day at 191 for 2, only 70 adrift. Bilakhia fell just before stumps for 68. (Click here for full report.)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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