Shrikhande's maiden ton sets up likely draw
Maharashtra 401 for 7 (Shrikhande 195, Jadhav 63, Ashwin 3-68, Suresh 3-114) trail Tamil Nadu 648 for 3 dec
Ameya Shrikhande fell five short of a double-century as he took Maharashtra towards a creditable draw against Tamil Nadu in Nasik. Playing only his second first-class match, he frustrated the Tamil Nadu bowlers for 83 overs on day two and converted his overnight half-century in to a maiden hundred. Maharashtra were replying to the visitors' mammoth 648 and Shrikhande's innings which lasted nearly eight hours makes a Tamil Nadu win an unlikely possibility; to do that they have to take three first-innings wickets, set a target and then bowl Maharashtra out, all in one day.
Rohan Bhosale (43) and Kedar Jadhav were involved in century stands with Shrikhande but at the fall of Jadhav's wicket (63), Maharashtra still trailed by 346 runs. When Suresh dismissed Nikhil Paradkar off the next ball, Tamil Nadu may have hoped to soon enforce the follow-on - their double-centurion opener M Vijay called up to the Test side last night - and skip batting again. But Shrikhande pushed on, aided by Ankit Bawne, who batted 106 balls for his 22. He finally fell to offspinner R Ashwin with the score at 389 for 5. Two more wickets fell with five more added to the score but Rohit Motwani and Aditya Dole batted out the few overs before stumps.
Railways 340 for 7 (Goud 109*, Bangar 84, Ali 52) trail Karnataka 365 by 25 runs
The match in Bangalore also headed for a draw as Railways ended day three with a 25-run deficit to Karnataka's first-innings 365. Yere Goud's unbeaten 109, against the side he captained last season, and Raja Ali's half-century at No. 8, revived the innings Sanjay Bangar's dismissal.
Bangar added 31 to his overnight 53 before he was run out by KB Pawan. He had added 75 with Goud, who upped the rate at the end of the stand. Though Mahesh Rawat only added 11 to the 46-run stand, his partnership with Goud ticked over at more than three an over. Goud took a more cautious approach once Rawat was bowled by offspinner Sunil Raju. But Ali looked comfortable in the 109-run stand, hitting six fours and a six in his 128-ball 52. He fell on the last ball of the day which means Railways could still be bowled out with a deficit and thereby concede points on a first-innings lead.
Saurashtra 153 (Jadeja 48, Trivedi 5-44, T Patel 3-32) and 74 for 5 (Parmar 3-6) trail Gujarat by 354 runs
A victory seems evident for Gujarat, who need only five Saurashtra wickets on day four to pull off an innings win over last year's semi-finalists in Rajkot. Offspinner Mohnish Parmar took 3for 6 and Saurashtra stil trail by 354 runs to Gujarat's 581.
Siddharth Trivedi added another wicket to his four on yesterday when he bowled Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored two triple-centuries in a week last month, in the first over of day three. Sandip Maniar's half-century partnerships with Pratik Mehta and Ravindra Jadeja gave Saurashtra a brief respite from the wicket-falling but it took only 10 overs after Maniar's dismissal for the innings to fold.
Considering their appalling start in the first innings, where they were 8 for 4 in 10 overs, Saurashtra's start to the second innings was almost decent. In 9.4 overs they were 52 for 3, with Parmar removing Jadeja and Pujara off consecutive balls. He dismissed captain Jaydev Shah two overs before stumps and ended with figures of 13-9-6-3.
Hyderabad 296 and 56 for 1 (Rushi Raj 33*, Ravi Teja 22*) lead Orissa 269 (SS Das 80, Jayachandra 43, Shinde 3-24, Shoaib 3-50) by 83 runs
Despite useful contributions from lower-order batsmen Pinninti Jayachandra and Rakesh Mohanty, Orissa failed to gain a first-innings lead over Hyderabad in Cuttack. The visitors extended their advantage to 83 runs after bowling out Orissa for 269. Amol Shinde and Shoaib Ahmed picked up three wickets each.
The two combined to trigger the middle-order collapse when Shoaib had Preetamjit Das caught off Shinde in the fourth over of the day. Shiv Sunder Das, the innings' top scorer, was run out two overs later, having added only five to his overnight 75. Halhadar Das was caught behind for 8 before the lower order pitched in.
Uttar Pradesh 345 for 4 (Srivastava 154, Kaif 144) trail Andhra 349 by four runs
Centuries from Tanmay Srivastava and Mohammad Kaif ensured Uttar Pradesh take points from a first-innings lead against Andhra in Meerut. UP ended the day needing five more to gain the lead but with six wickets in hand that should be managed in the first few overs of the final day.
A draw is the most likely result as Andhra's bowlers struggled to take wickets or keep the scoring-rate in check. Srivastava and Kaif added 285 at nearly three runs an over. Srivastava hit 16 boundaries in his 154, while Kaif managed two more in his 144. DP Vijaykumar, who had dismissed Suresh Raina on day two, had to wait for more than 96 overs for his second wicket - he trapped Kaif leg before with the score on 333. Stumps were drawn at Srivatasva's fall five overs later.
Delhi 434 for 8 (Bhatia 99, Chopra 76, Bisht 76, Dhawan 72, Manhas 58) lead Punjab 391 by 43 runs
The Delhi middle-order batsmen helped themselves to half-centuries as their match against Punjab meandered towards a draw at the Roshnara Club Ground in Delhi. Rajat Bhatia fell just short of a hundred as he helped his side overhaul Punjab's 391. His valuable stands with Mithun Manhas and Puneet Bisht ensured Delhi ended the day 43 runs ahead of Punjab.
Aakash Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan had given the hosts a solid start yesterday but their dismissals, along with Virat Kohli and Aditya Jain, early on day three left Delhi in a spot of bother at 172 for 4. Manhas and Bhatia turned their fortunes by adding 73 at more than five and a half an over. After Manhas was trapped leg before for 58 by Siddharth Kaul, the run-rate dropped to three and a half, but Bhatia's 150-run stand with Bisht took Delhi past Punjab.
Rajasthan 204 and 63 for 4 (Kulkarni 2-16) trail Mumbai 307and 305 for 7 dec (Rohit 128, Kukreja 83, Pankaj 4-83) by 346 runs
Rohit Sharma cracked a century in one session to put Mumbai in pole position for chasing 409, Rajasthan tottered at 63 for 4 at stumps on day three. With a cushioning first-innings lead of 103, Mumbai extended it further on the back of Rohit and Sahil Kukreja's 171-run stand and declared at tea. Read the full report here.