Haryana on top after openers' fifties
Haryana have the edge over table-toppers Uttar Pradesh, despite UP seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar's six-for, at the end of the second day at the Mohan Meakins Cricket Stadium in Ghaziabad. Haryana took the advantage on day one with a Dhruv Singh hat-trick helping bowl UP out for 167. Kumar's six wickets then made sure Haryana collapsed from 212 for 4 to 272 all out, but they still had a 105-run lead and they took a firm grip of the game by reducing UP to 68 for 3 by stumps. Openers Nitin Saini and Rahul Dewan had given Haryana the perfect start, both reaching half-centuries in their 109-run opening stand. But none of Haryana's last seven batsmen got past 20.
Karnataka allrounder Stuart Binny continued to have a productive match in Dharmasala, dismissing three of Himachal Pradesh's top four to help bowl them out for 199 on the second day. Binny's century had ensured Karnataka reach 254 on Wednesday, and he may have to produce some runs again as the visitors threw away some of the advantage by losing four early wickets to finish the second day at 73 for 4. Himachal seamer Mohinderraj Sharma, who took five wickets in Karnataka's first innings, struck twice as Karnataka were tottering at 33 for 4 before Manish Pandey and Amit Verma took them through to stumps. Binny and left-arm seamer Sreenath Aravind, who took 4 for 50, had given Karnataka the advantage, but with the lead now 128 with six wickets in hand, the match could still go either way.
Centuries by Uday Kaul and captain Pankaj Dharmani took Punjab to 550 before they declared against Orissa at the East Coast Railway Sports Association in Bhubaneswar. Orissa had to wait 49 overs before they took their first wicket of the day, as Kaul and Dharmani stitched together a 202-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Orissa survived the eight-over spell Punjab made them face at the end of the day but still have another 375 runs to get just to avoid the follow-on.
Allrounder Sanjay Bangar's century took Railways to 415 before Saurashtra reduced the deficit by 107 for the loss of one wicket on the second day at the Khandheri Cricket Stadium in Rajkot. Saurashtra had the better of the early exchanges reducing Rajasthan to 325 for 9 after they had started the day on 233 for 4. But wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat, who got 67, and left-arm spinner Nileshkumar Chauhan put on 90 runs for the last wicket to give Railways a strong total. Jaidev Unadkat, who is in the squad for India's tour of South Africa, took 4 for 83 for Saurashtra and then opener Sagar Jogiyani scored 58 not out to get Saurashtra back into the match.
Centuries by their captain Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane took Mumbai to a big total against Gujarat at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Valsad. Starting the day on 282 for 2, Mumbai scored at 5.34 runs an over on the second day, taking just 49 overs before declaring on 544 for 3. Rahane got 126, while Jaffer pushed on to 165 not out and Rohit Sharma chipped in with 58 off 75. Jaffer's knock took him to the top of the season's run charts. Mumbai fast bowler Dhawal Kulkarni and part-time seamer Abhishek Nayar chipped in with a wicket each to reduce to Gujarat to 121 for 2 by stumps. Mumbai are top of the Group A table, but have drawn three of their games, and have twice refused to enforce the follow-on in previous games. It will be interesting to see what Jaffer decides if Gujarat don't get past the follow-on mark on Friday.
Delhi held the edge in their contest against Assam at the Roshanara Club Ground. At 332 for 5 overnight, they extended their first-innings total to 472, thanks to a quickfire 76 from left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan, who smashed 14 fours and a six. Centurion Mithun Manhas was the first wicket to fall on the day, out for 124 and Mayank Tehlan followed in the same over for 83, before Sangwan's fireworks. Delhi then got an early wicket as seamer Pawan Suyal had opener Sibsankar Roy caught behind. After a 95-run partnership for the second wicket between Dheeraj Jadhav and Sridharan Sriram, Delhi finished the day positively, with seamer Sumit Narwal bowling Sriram for 44 to leave Assam at 118 for 2, still 354 runs behind Delhi's total.
Sourav Ganguly is still cooling his heels as the first two days of Bengal's match against Tamil Nadu at the India Cement Limited Guru Nanak College Ground in Chennai have been completely washed out.