Mumbai surge to the top
Mumbai 486 (Jaffer 172, Rahane 104, Muzumdar 61, Parmar 6-143, Makda 3-59) beat Gujarat 203 (Makda 73, Kulkarni 4-70) and 44 (Kulkarni 3-7, Agarkar 3-15, Powar 3-19) by an innings and 239 runs
After a disappointing 2007-08 Ranji Trophy, Mumbai have bounced back strongly this season, starting with back-to-back wins. Rajasthan were beaten by 237 runs at home, and in Surat, hosts Gujarat, riding on the high of an innings win over Saurashtra, were at the receiving end of an innings-and-239-run defeat.
On 77 for 6 in reply to Mumbai's 486, Gujarat lost their overnight batsmen for another 24 runs. However, a 100-run partnership boosted their chances of pushing for a draw. Ashraf Makda made a quick 73, with five fours and four sixes, and Amit Singh held the other end up during his 41. Mumbai eventually wrapped up the innings for 203, and enforced the follow-on after gaining a 283-run lead.
The frustrating stand, though, seemed to have buoyed the Mumbai bowlers. In Gujarat's second innings, they didn't let any of the batsmen, barring Singh, reach double figures. Gujarat were skittled out for an embarrassing 44, with Ajit Agarkar, Dhawal Kulkarni and Ramesh Powar taking three wickets, and one for Usman Malvi. Gujarat's 44 was just one run more than their lowest total in the Ranji Trophy, 43 against Bombay in 1958-59.
Orissa 302 (SS Das 76, Sehgal 64*, Biswal 62, Jobanputra 4-56, Makvana 4-142) and 4 for 0 trail Saurashtra 620 for 4 by 314 runs
In 87.4 overs on the third day in Rajkot, Saurashtra managed to take ten Orissa wickets for 257 runs, and a repeat performance on the final day will earn them the full six points from the match. Medium-pacer Sandeep Jobanputra and offspinner Kamlesh Makvana did the damage, picking up four wickets apiece.
Resuming on 45 for 0, Orissa's openers pushed to 67 before Bikas Pati was caught behind off Jobanputra. All four wickets for Jobanputra were catches to wicketkeeper Sagar Jogiyani, who took five in the innings. Shiv Sunder Das, the Orissa captain, top scored with 76 and there were half-centuries for Subit Biswal and Saurabh Sehgal, but the visitors needed much bigger scores to get close to Saurashtra's 602.
Jobanputra reduced them to 180 for 5 to wreck of hopes of avoiding the follow-on, and Kamlesh Makvana, who bowled 37.4 overs out 101.4 in the innings, then got four wickets to dismiss Orissa for 302. No. 9 Saurabh Sehgal made an unbeaten 64, putting on 61 for the ninth wicket with Preetamjit Das, but he fell short of partners. Orissa safely played out the one over in their second innings before stumps.
Punjab 232 (Sohal 106, Gajendra Singh 4-67) and 41 for 1 beat Rajasthan 133 (Gagandeep 4-37, Gony 4-39) and 169 (Saxena 83, Kakkar 3-30, Charanjit 3-38) by nine wickets
Vineet Saxena battled hard for his 83, but Punjab wrapped up victory within 57 overs on the third day in Mohali. The disappointment for the hosts would losing a wicket in their fourth innings. An innings or ten-wicket win would have given them six points; instead, they have to settle for five.
Beginning the day on 57 for 6, Saxena and Sumit Mathur took their team to 112. Mathur scored 31 off 77 balls, and Pankaj Singh gave Saxena company as they ensured Punjab had to bat again. Saxena's was the penultimate wicket in the innings; he played almost half of the 72.1 overs. Chasing 41, the in-form Sunny Sohal was dismissed early, out to Venugopal Rao as Rajasthan tried six bowlers for 13.3 overs.
Baroda 235 and 239 for 4 (Parab 67, Solanki 60*) lead Uttar Pradesh 286 (Srivastava 79, Kaif 51, Praveen 50, IK Pathan 6-85) lead by 188 runs
It could be an interesting final day's play in Vadodara. Uttar Pradesh had a 51-run first-innings lead, but Baroda ended with 239 for 4 in the second innings, and could make the contest keen by challenging UP to chase a competitive total. Satyajit Parab and Azharuddin Bilakhia shared a 100-run stand, but fell quickly to the spinners. Left-arm spinner Praveen Gupta got his second by removing Pinal Shah for 31, but Rakesh Solanki's unbeaten 60, supported by Shatrunjay Gaekwad's 28, took them to 239.
Hyderabad 334 and 31 for 0 lead Delhi 284 (Bisht 78, Chopra 51, Ashwin 6-52) by 81 runs
Medium-pacer Ashwin Yadav's six-wicket haul helped Hyderabad gain the first-innings lead against reigning champions Delhi, who slipped to 284 all out from 124 for 3. Puneet Bisht's 78 at No. 7 was the best for the visitors, after Mithun Manhas, Aditya Jain and Rajat Bhatia failed. He put on 81 for the eighth wicket with Chetanya Nanda, who scored 20. At 271 for 7, Delhi were 64 short of taking the leading, but Yadav snuffed out any hopes by removing Bisht and Nanda. He finished with 6 for 52 off 28.2 overs. Hyderabad's openers patiently extended the lead to 81 by close.
Andhra 348 and 2 for 0 trail Maharashtra 393 (Khadiwale 103, Bhosale 77, Jadhav 63, Shrikhande 59) by 43 runs
Maharashtra, starting at a comfortable 205 for 1 in Nasik, failed to take a big first-innings lead against Andhra. They were all out for 393, a lead of 45, with legspinner M Suresh taking four wickets to trigger a collapse that saw six wickets fall for 56 runs. Andhra played out one over in their second innings before stumps.
Maharashtra's top four managed half-centuries, but five of the remaining batsmen failed to make it to double figures. Rohan Bhosale added five to his overnight 72 and Ameya Shrikhande scored 59, and had it not been for Kedar Jadhav and Ankit Bawne, they might have just conceded the lead.
Karnataka 267 (Raghu 76, Suresh 4-58, Balaji 3-46, Ashwin 3-63) and 48 for 0 trail Tamil Nadu 531 by 216 runs
Getting wickets was hard work on the slow Chinnaswamy turner but Tamil Nadu did just that to come within one good bowling day of taking six points from their Group B match against Karnataka. Led by the persistence of their left-arm spinner, C Suresh, they inflicted a follow-on on Karnataka, who need 216 more to make Tamil Nadu bat, and all but ensured a minimum of three points. (Read the full report.)