Joginder takes six as Haryana upset UP
Haryana completed their upset of Group B table-toppers Uttar Pradesh at the Mohan Meakins Cricket Stadium in Ghaziabad, winning by nine wickets in the end. UP started the day in trouble at 68 for 3, still needing 37 to make Haryana bat again. By the time they crossed that mark, their captain Mohammad Kaif had become Chennai Super Kings and Haryana seamer Joginder Sharma's fourth victim. UP opener Tanmay Srivastava battled to get to 60, but when he fell, two more wickets fell quickly and then Joginder came back to take two more wickets and UP were out for 174. Joginder's six scalps took him to the top of the wicket-takers list for the season with 22 in four matches. Haryana made short work of the 71-run target, getting there in 20 overs. The win takes them to within three points of UP, and they have played one fewer game.
The match between Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh in Dharmasala could go down to the wire as the hosts need another 133 to win with five wickets in hand, going in to the last day. Karnataka had a chance to end the low-scoring affair on the third day, having Himachal stuttering at 52 for 5 in their chase of 286. But wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla and captain Paras Dogra put together an unbeaten 101-run partnership to keep Himachal's hopes alive. The target crossed the 250-run mark almost solely due to the efforts of Manish Pandey, who scored 112 of Karnataka's 230 second-innings runs. Himachal seamer Mohinderraj Sharma finished with nine wickets in the match after his figures of 4 for 52 in Karnataka's second innings. Karnataka still hold the edge going into the final day, but will need to break the partnership between Bisla and Dogra early.
Punjab are within touching distance of three points, but will look to convert it to six as they reduced Orissa to 216 for 7 at the East Coast Railway Sports Association in Bhubaneswar. Orissa still need 184 runs to avoid the follow-on and if Punjab take their three remaining first-innings wickets early on Saturday morning, the hosts could be under pressure. It could have been worse for Orissa as they were 87 for 4 at one stage, after Chennai Super Kings and Punjab fast bowler Manpreet Gony and legspinner Sarabjit Ladda had taken two wickets each. Biplab Samantray helped stop a collapse with his 33 and then wicketkeeper Surobjit Sahoo scored 43 to take Orissa past 200. Gony and Ladda finished the day with three wickets apiece.
Mumbai are ten points clear of their nearest rivals at the top of the Group A table after they beat Gujarat by an innings and 167 runs at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Valsad. Gujarat lost eighteen wickets on the third day, first collapsing from their overnight score of 121 for 2 to 162 all out and then getting bowled out for 215 in their second innings. Ajit Agarkar, the former India fast bowler, struck the first blow of the morning, dismissing Niraj Patel for 61. Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel, who will join the India squad for the fourth and fifth ODIs against New Zealand, followed for 33 and the rest of Gujarat's scorecard made sorry reading. Five of their last six bastsmen were out for ducks as Agarkar helped himself to figures of 4 for 35. Gujarat didn't fare much better in their second attempt. There were a couple of starts for Niraj and opener Rikin Chauhan, and Sunny Patel got 58, but Gujarat couldn't take the game to a fourth day. Mumbai left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah, who was only needed to bowl three overs in Gujarat's first innings, took 5 for 58 in their second.
Delhi seamer Pawan Suyal took a hat-trick to give Delhi the edge in their match against Assam at the Roshanara Club Ground. Suyal dismissed Dhiraj Goswami with the delivery before lunch and then came out and got Assam's last two wickets in his first two balls after the break. It was a day of two halves for the visitors. In the first 42 overs of the third day, they lost eight wickets to crash to 239 all out from their overnight score of 118 for 2, allowing Delhi to enforce the follow-on. But in the next 56, they reached 183 for 3 in their second innings to give themselves a chance of saving the game. They are now just 50 runs behind Delhi and with Dheeraj Jadhav, who also got a half-century in their first innings, still at the wicket on 69, will hope to bat till around tea tomorrow.
It was slow going as Saurashtra scored 177 runs in 91 overs against Railways on the third day at the Khandheri Cricket Stadium in Rajkot. They did, however, manage to avoid the follow-on as they reached 284 for 6 by stumps, but Railways will still fancy themselves to take three points from the match, as Saurashtra need another 131 to overhaul their first innings total. Saurashtra wicketkeeper Sagar Jogiyani scored 113 - his second first-class century - and Shitanshu Kotak had a strike rate of 28.40 during his 50. Railways seamer Jai P Yadav, who has played 12 ODIs for India, took 4 for 66.
After two days of rain, the India Cement Limited Guru Nanak College Ground in Chennai finally saw some cricket as Bengal bowled 41 overs on the third day. Tamil Nadu elected to bat and were 126 for 4 at stumps. Opener Abhinav Mukund failed to capitalise on a start and was out to Ashok Dinda, who took three wickets. With neither team likely to pick up points, barring a dramatic last day, Subramaniam Badrinath may take the opportunity to reclaim his position at the top of the run charts. He is batting on 33 and needs another 23 to overtake Mumbai's Wasim Jaffer. Sourav Ganguly is in the Bengal side and will be hoping that he gets a knock on Saturday.