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Abhinav's 154 leads Tamil Nadu's strong reply

File photo: Abhinav Mukund's century contained 26 fours and one six PTI

Abhinav Mukund's second successive first-class ton led Tamil Nadu's strong response to Uttar Pradesh's 524 in Dharamsala. Abhinav, the captain, made 154 off 249 balls, including 26 fours and one six. Dinesh Karthik (73) and B Indrajith (70 not out) lent excellent support to lift the team to 398 for 6. Fast bowler Ankit Rajpoot returned two wickets for Uttar Pradesh. Tamil Nadu were still 126 runs in arrears.

Five-wicket hauls from Ashok Dinda and debutant seamer Amit Kuila bowled Bengal to a 133-run first-innings lead against Punjab in Bilaspur. Punjab, 168 for 4 overnight, were all out for 271. Uday Kaul top-scored for them with 77 off 149 balls, but the second-highest was 46 from No.10 Sandeep Sharma. Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary's 61 in the second innings took the overall lead to 315 at stumps. Seamer Siddarth Kaul was the pick of the bowlers for Punjab, taking 3 for 30.

Opener Akhil Herwadkar's patient 136 not out led Mumbai's reply after Madhya Pradesh had racked up a total of 445 in Raipur. Herwadkar watched his team slump to 56 for 3, before adding 67 for the fourth wicket with Suryakumar Yadav. He then found a stronger ally in captain Aditya Tare with whom he put on 155 in 55.5 overs. The fifth-wicket stand ended when Tare was trapped in front by seamer Ishwar Pandey for 80. Herwadkar and Tushar Deshpande took Mumbai to the close at 290 for 5.

Priyank Panchal's hundred helped Gujarat set Railways an improbable target of 501 in Lahli. Bharghav Merai (70), Parthiv Patel (53), Manpreet Juneja (66), Chirag Ghandhi (60) also contributed to Gujarat's surge on the third day.

Railways, in reply, were reduced to 91 for 4 before Arindam Ghosh and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahesh Rawat (52) put on an unbroken 80-run partnership for the fifth wicket to take the team through to stumps at 171 for 4.