Punjab and UP set up a potential classic
Punjab 381 and 238 for 7 (Inder 62, Ricky 76*, Chawla 3-50) lead Uttar Pradesh 375 (Kumar 38*, VRV Singh 7-112) by 244 runs
VRV Singh took two quick wickets early on in the day to secure a six-run first-innings lead for Punjab but they then lost seven wickets to set up a tense final day's play at Mohali. At stumps, Punjab led Uttar Pradesh by 244 runs with three wickets in hand.
Needing 30 at the start of the day to take the first-innings lead, UP lost their last three wickets for 19 runs; Praveen Kumar was left stranded on 38 while VRV Singh finished with a five-for. Kumar then sparked off a top-order collapse, reducing Punjab to 92 for 4, but Ravi Inder, playing his third match, and the veteran Ravneet Ricky added 74 for the fifth wicket. Ricky continued after Inder's dismissal for a career-best 62. Chawla kept UP in the game with three late wickets, including Inder's.
Tamil Nadu 421 and 185 for 6 (Vijay 47, Aiyappa 3-30) lead Karnataka 221 (Amarnath 5-74, Ramkumar 4-65) by 385 runs
By not enforcing the follow-on, despite a 200-run first-innings lead, and by adding 185 more in the second innings, Tamil Nadu have almost batted Karnataka out of the match. The decision to bat again may have to do with Yo Mahesh picking up an ankle injury while bowling; he went off after that, returned to bowl one over and went off again. An overnight declaration, though, is on the cards.
Tamil Nadu's position was strengthened by Palani Amarnath's bowling; his first five-for in first-class cricket ensured the last four Karnataka wickets fell cheaply. Karnataka started the day at 144 for 6, but apart from Sunil Joshi's 33, there wasn't much contribution from the tail. R Ramkumar added one wicket to his overnight tally of three to reach the mark of 100 first-class wickets.
Maharashtra 310 and 22 for 0 beat Himachal Pradesh 83 and 247 (Mannu 89, Mukesh Sharma 56, Fallah 6-49) by 10 wickets
Maharashtra completed a rout at Dharamshala as they bowled Himachal Pradesh out for 247 in the second innings and knocked off the required 22 with ease to take the maximum six points from the match. Samad Fallah, the left-arm opening bowler making his first-class debut, took six wickets to snuff out the resistance led by Ajay Mannu and Mukesh Sharma.
It was a marked improvement from Himachal after their first-innings 83, but once Mannu and Mukesh got out they collapsed from 231 for 5 to 247 all out. While Maharashtra recorded their second outright win in three games, this was the second time Himachal, last season's Plate League champions, conceded a bonus point.
Orissa 140 and 32 for 0 require another 295 to beat Andhra 179 and 287 for 9 dec. (Shankara Rao 91, Pradeep 60, Premjit Das 3-53)
The Andhra batsmen improved on their first-innings performance, thanks to spirited lower-order batting, and set Orissa a challenging 327 to get in a little over a day's play. Orissa had made a cautious start to negotiate the 13 overs before stumps without any casualties.
Resuming at 67 for 2, Andhra stumbled to 137 for 5 before G Shankara Rao, the left-arm spinner, and AG Pradeep, put on 108 for the sixth wicket. Andhra declared as soon as Shankara Rao fell, after hitting a career-best 91. For Orissa, Premjit Das took three wickets for 53 runs.
Delhi 251 and 59 for 0 (Chopra 33*) require another 328 runs to beat Mumbai 166 and 471 for 9 dec. (Kukreja 199, Nayar 93, Sangwan 5-102)
Sahil Kukreja missed a maiden first-class double-century, Abhishek Nayar missed a century, but they put Mumbai in a position to push for an outright result, an unlikely scenario after they fell behind in the first innings. Set 387 to win, the Delhi openers had posted a confident 59 for 0 by stumps.
The day belonged to Kukreja, who carried on from his overnight 89 and scored at a fine pace, even though Mumbai lost two quick wickets in the morning. He received good support from Nayar, whose 93 came off 96 balls. After Kukreja's dismissal Ajit Agarkar scored a quick 60 to set up the declaration, which came 20 overs before stumps. For Delhi, Pradeep Sangwan stuck to the task and ended with five wickets for 102 runs. (Click here for full report.)
Saurashtra 307 and 253 for 3 (Pujara 151*, Vaghela 51, Aslam 3-51) lead Rajasthan 172 (Jobanputra 4-47, Maniar 3-35) by 388 runs
Cheteshwar Pujara batted Rajasthan almost out of the game with an unbeaten 151 after the Saurashtra bowlers had dismissed the remaining four Rajasthan batsmen cheaply to gain a 135-run first-innings lead. Sandeep Jobanputra and Sandip Maniar two wickets each in the morning as Rajasthan could add only 17 to their overnight 155.
Coming in at 29 for 2, Pujara took the attack to the Rajasthan bowlers and hit 23 fours and two sixes in his innings. Opener Kanaiya Vaghela played second foil with a cautious 51. All the three wickets to fall were taken by left-arm spinner Mohammad Aslam.
Hyderabad 261 and 40 for 1 trail Baroda 476 for 9 dec. (Williams 153, Solanki 78, Lalith Mohan 4-132) by 172 runs
Connor Williams continued strongly from his overnight 91 and all other Baroda batsmen contributed as they declared towards the end of the third day with a big first-innings lead of 215. Irfan Pathan struck with the second ball of the Hyderabad innings, but Ravi Teja and Anoop Pai saw them through to stumps without any further loss.
Earlier Williams scored 153 runs - his 14th first-class century - and Azharuddin Bilakhia, Rakesh Solanki and Pinal Shah scored half-centuries to set up the declaration for Baroda. (Click here for full report.)