Ramesh Powar ton boosts Mumbai
Baroda 319 for 8 (Solanki 55, Shah 63, Narwal 3-70) trail Delhi 591 (Dhawan 224, Tehlan 55, Nagar 55) by 251 runs
Delhi ended the third day in Vadodara only two wickets away from winning first-innings points against Baroda. The Delhi bowlers reduced the hosts to 319 for 8, still 251 runs away from their massive first-innings total of 591. Baroda's innings had several useful and solid contributions but it lacked what Delhi's had - one batsman going on to make a massive score. Shikar Dhawan smashed 224 for Delhi but Pinal Shah's 63 was Baroda's best, despite six batsmen passing 30. The Baroda innings had a poor start -they were 70 for 3 - and Delhi's bowlers didn't let them recover. Yusuf Pathan tried to rescue his team with a typically belligerent knock, plundering 22 runs off a Sumit Narwal over, but his resistance ended when he was caught behind for a 19-ball 32. Narwal took 3 for 70 while Parvinder Awana took 2 for 64.
Maharashtra 179 and 305 for 7 (Khadiwale 114, Motwani 59) lead Bengal 325 (Jhunjhunwala 95, Tiwary 88, Fallah 4-102) by 159 runs
Maharashtra's batsmen played with determination to wipe out a first-innings deficit of 146, reaching 305 for 7 on the third day against Bengal. However, they will need another fighting performance from their tail, followed by a disciplined effort from the bowlers to prevent defeat on the final day. Maharashtra resumed this morning on 46 for no loss and the opener Harshad Khadiwale stayed firm at one end during his third first-class century. The innings wobbled for a period - Maharashtra went from 99 for 0 to 190 for 5 - but Rohit Motwani provided stability with 59. He remained unbeaten but Maharashtra lost Azhar Ansari for 12 just before stumps. They lead by 159 with three wickets in hand.
Uttar Pradesh 279 (Amir 61, Praveen Gupta 55, Mithun 6-86) and 30 for 1 need another 408 runs to beat Karnataka 405 (Pandey 194, Srivastava 4-75) and 311 for 5 dec (Pawan 78, Uthappa 56, Dravid 51*)
Uttar Pradesh need to survive the final day in Meerut, chasing an improbable 438, and eke out a draw against Karnataka. The day began with UP's tail wagging to extend the first-innings total from 214 for 8 to 279, reducing the first-innings deficit of 126 and, more importantly, avoiding the follow-on. Karnataka's batsmen, however, came out swinging and quickly built on their lead. KP Pawan dropped anchor with a sedate 78 and left the hitting to his partners. Robin Uthappa cracked 56 off 82 balls, Rahul Dravid raced to 51 off 44, and Manish Pandey made 35 off 18 as Karnataka piled on the runs. Even B Akhil contributed 33 for 23 before the declaration came with the score on 311 for 5. Abhmanyu Mithun built on his first-innings success by bowling Tamnay Srivastava for 13 before stumps.
Punjab 259 (Ravi Inder Singh 104, Zaheer 4-60, Agarkar 4-43) and 55 for 1 trail Mumbai 471 for 9 dec (Powar 125*, Kukreja 90, Khanvilkar 87, Nayar 53, Ablish 4-53) by 157 runs
Mumbai began the third day needing 15 runs to take the first-innings lead against Punjab with only three wickets in hand. They got much, much more. OJ Khanvilkar, batting at No. 6, converted his overnight score on 16 to 87, but it was Ramesh Powar who was the star. Powar capitalised on being dropped twice by Rahul Sharma (on 73 and 98) to score an unbeaten 125 at No. 9, an innings that included 17 boundaries and formed a 163-run partnership with Khanvilkar. Khanvilkar fell with the score on 391 but Powar carried on, adding 53 for the ninth wicket with Zaheer Khan. Mumbai eventually declared on 471 for 9, with an overall lead of 212 runs. Zaheer gave Mumbai an added boost before the day ended by dismissing Sunny Sohal for 4.
Tamil Nadu 312 for 8 (Vijay 65, Badrinath 111, Kartik 3-89) trail Railways 327 (Bangar 163*, Mukund 3-5) by 15 runs
There's a tense battle going on for first-innings points at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Tamil Nadu ended the third day on 312, 15 runs behind Railways, but have only two wickets in hand. Their day began poorly, with Murali Kartik trapping M Vijay for no addition to his overnight score of 65, but S Badrinath played a solid, and immensely patient innings. He played out 338 balls for his 111 - adding useful, if not substantial, partnerships with the middle order - and was seventh out with the score on 296. The Railways bowlers had kept chipping away, nipping each partnership before it threatened, and they removed L Balaji too before stumps. C Ganapathy was unbeaten on 17, and R Jesuraj played out two balls before close. On a slow track where shot-making was difficult, Tamil Nadu added only 162 runs in the entire day. That too on a day when Railways were deprived of the services of experienced offspinner Kulamani Parida, who was warned by the umpires for a suspect action.
Orissa 192 (Behera 78) and 10 for 1 need another 370 runs to beat Gujarat 270 (Patel 83, Dhiraj Singh 4-97) and 301 for 6 dec (Niraj Patel 107, Parthiv 76, Thaker 52)
Gujarat's batsmen played aggressively in the second innings to give themselves enough time to force a win against Orissa on the final day. Beginning the day on 4 for 0, with a lead of 82, Gujarat proceeded to amass 301 for 6 before declaring. Niraj Patel scored 107, Parthiv Patel made 76 off 107 balls, while Bhavik Thaker smashed 52 off 48 balls. Niraj Patel scored the bulk of the runs during a 93-run stand with Hem Joshipura and he added another 108 runs with Parthiv. Orissa's bowlers picked up wickets thereafter as the Gujarat batsman played their shots. The hosts ended the third day on a high in Ahmedabad when Mehul Patel trapped Bikas Pati to reduce Orissa to 10 for 1.
Hyderabad 328 (Abhinav 73, Arjun 71, Malik 4-67) and 101 for 3 lead Himachal Pradesh 350 (Dogra 123, Mannu 68) by 79 runs
Paras Dogra's fourth first-class century gave Himachal Pradesh first-innings lead points on the third day against Hyderabad. Replying to Hyderabad's 328, Himachal resumed on 166 for 3 with Dogra on 54 and Ajay Mannu on 68. MP Arjun bowled Mannu for 68 but Dogra carried on, making 123 before he was lbw to Alfred Absolem. Himachal slipped thereafter, from 238 for 3 to 307 for 9, before the last-wicket partnership added 43 runs to earn a first-innings lead of 22. Hyderabad wiped out that deficit, reaching 101 for 3 at stumps, but the game is likely to end in a draw on the final day.