India Green 157 and 98 for 2 (Samarth 46*) require another 376 runs to beat India Red 323 and 307 for 2 dec (Panchal 133*, Karthik 100*)
Priyank Panchal put in a repeat performance of his first-innings in the Duleep Trophy game against India Green, scoring twin centuries to tighten India Red's grip on the match. Dinesh Karthik, meanwhile, bettered his first-innings performance, converting a fifty into a hundred this time around as India Red declared on 307 for 2 to set India Green a massive 474 for the win.
Panchal's twin centuries were the 12th such instance in the Duleep Trophy. Incidentally, Karthik has achieved the feat twice, in 2008-09 and 2010-11.
Before the pair came together, Rahul Singh steadily grew India Red's lead with Panchal, scoring 54. India Red had begun day three on 19 for 1, after bowling out India Green for 157 in reply to 323 on day two. Once Rahul departed, Karthik set to work, scoring at a brisk pace. His 100 came off 124 balls and included nine fours and two sixes. Panchal's 133 came of 213 balls, with 18 fours. Ironically, the only two wickets to fall in the innings went to the part-time offspin of M Vijay - the India Test opener who's making a comeback from a wrist injury for which he required surgery.
Vijay was not as successful with the bat as India Green got on with their daunting chase, out for 13, before Prashant Chopra fell for a duck, both to one of the most effective bowlers of the previous innings - legspinner Karn Sharma. R Samarth and Karun Nair stopped the slide with an unbroken stand of 61, but both of them and the batsmen to follow will still have quite the task on the final day of the game.