Chopra and Gambhir lead Delhi's fightback
Delhi 75 and 353 for 3 (Chopra 146*, Gambhir 103, Thakur 3-72) lead Himachal Pradesh 343 by 67 runs
Aakash Chopra and Gautam Gambhir, who scored centuries, put up a much improved show for Delhi and prevented an innings defeat against Himachal Pradesh. Following on after being bowled out for 75 in the first innings, Delhi needed 268 to avoid an innings defeat, and Chopra and Gambhir ensured they did it quite easily.
After Virender Sehwag got out for the addition of one run to his overnight 31, Chopra and Gambhir made Himachal wait another 66.5 overs for the next wicket. They added 230 for the second wicket, with Chopra ending the day on an unbeaten 146, while Gambhir scored 103. This is Chopra's second century of the season to go with the 87 he scored against Mumbai; all three have come in the second innings.
Mumbai 390 for 7 (Powar 102*, Agarkar 95, Khadiwale 3-37) trail Maharashtra 451 by 61 runs
Ramesh Powar and Ajit Agarkar, the bowlers dropped from the Indian side, came to Mumbai's rescue with the bat with a 185-run seventh-wicket partnership after Mumbai were reduced to 197 for 6 in reply to Maharashtra's 451. Maharashtra seemed certain to take the first-innings points, but Powar and Agarkar have brought Mumbai to within 61 of their total, with three wickets in hand.
Agarkar missed his century by five runs, and was dismissed by Salil Agharkar with just 2.1 overs to go to stumps after a partnership which lasted 65 overs. Powar went on to get his hundred just before close of play, and was unbeaten on a 214-ball 102, an innings which included nine fours and three sixes.
Uttar Pradesh 209 and 58 for 0 require another 216 to beat Baroda 331 and 148 (Gupta 5-35, Chawla 4-49)
Praveen Gupta and Piyush Chawla spun Baroda out for 148 in the second innings to bring Uttar Pradesh back into contention at Lucknow. After the UP openers, RP Srivastava and Tanmay Srivastava, saw out 28 overs without the loss of any wickets, they ended the day needing 219 more on the final day.
Baroda started the day 142 ahead with all their wickets in hand and didn't lose a wicket for 22 more overs. But once Satyajit Parab fell with the score at 59, the combination of Gupta and Chawla turned the screw on them, as the rest of the wicket fell for the addition of just 89 runs. Gupta ended up with career-best figures of 5 for 35, his second five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. Chawla took 4 for 49, while Mohammad Kaif chipped in with one.
Punjab 241 and 64 for 1 trail Bengal 513 for 6 dec. (Tiwary 138, Das 103, Shukla 74*) by 208 runs
Arindam Das completed a patient century, Manoj Tiwary scored an aggressive one, and Laxmi Ratan Shukla scored a quickfire 74 to build a massive first-innings lead as Bengal pushed for an outright win against Punjab. At stumps on day three, Punjab had scored 64 for 1, still needing 208 runs to avoid an innings defeat.
Earlier in the day, Das added only 10 his overnight 93, but Tiwary and Shukla continued from where the openers had left. Tiwary scored his second century in three matches, hitting 17 boundaries in his 183-ball 138. Shukla, the Bengal captain, shrugged off his poor batting form (one run in three innings so far) as he hit 11 fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 74 that came off 59 deliveries.
Rajasthan 393 and 0 for 0 lead Karnataka 329 (Goud 110, Shamsher Singh 4-79, Aslam 4-91) by 64 runs
Captain Yere Goud's century, scored in company in No. 11 NC Aiyappa, was not enough to save Karnataka from falling behind Rajasthan in the first innings. Starting the day at 118 for 3 in reply to Rajasthan's 393, Karnataka were soon reduced to 208 for 9, as Shamsher Singh and Mohammad Aslam caused plenty of damage with the ball.
But Goud and Aiyappa created hope for Karnataka in a hopeless situation, adding 121 runs for the last wicket. Goud farmed the strike as Aiyappa contributed only 24 to the partnership. Goud stayed unbeaten on 110, while Shamsher and Aslam took four wickets apiece.
Hyderabad 240 and 143 for 5 (Pai 48*) lead Orissa 298 (Ojha 6-56, Ashwin Yadav 4-75) by 85 runs
Hyderabad took the last seven Orissa wickets for 50 runs, thus keeping the first-innings deficit down to 58, but lost five wickets themselves in scoring 143 runs before stumps. The fall of wickets gave Orissa hopes for an outright win, something they must have lost after their collapse earlier in the day.
Pragyan Ojha took six wickets for Hyderabad, while Ashwin Yadav took four. Orissa would have been disappointed as they had started the day eight runs in the lead with seven wickets in hand. But they pulled it back in the second innings, taking wickets consistently.
Saurashtra 120 for 5 (Pujara 62, Ramkumar 3-22) trail Tamil Nadu 531 for 2 dec. by 411 runs
Because of bad light, only 28 overs' play was possible at the Chepauk, but R Ramkumar struck twice during that period to give Tamil Nadu hopes of at least taking the first-innings lead, as an outright result looks difficult with a significant amount of play lost due to the weather over the last two days.
Ramkumar crucially took the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 62 out of Saurashtra's 120. He has scored three centuries in the previous three matches. Amarnath ended the day with figures of 3 for 31.