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Gambhir, Rana hundreds steer Delhi into lead

Delhi 269 for 4 (Gambhir 136*, Rana 110, Abu Nechim 3-39) lead Assam 258 (Purkayastha 66, Gokul 51, Ishant 5-38) by 11 runs

The big names fired for Delhi, with a five-wicket haul from Ishant Sharma and centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Nitish Rana leaving Assam chasing the game at the Feroz Shah Kotla At stumps, Delhi were 11 runs ahead with six wickets in hand, with Gambhir batting on 136 (245b, 21x4).

Delhi began shakily in reply to Assam's 258, and were 44 for 2 when Rana joined Gambhir at the crease. The two left-handers proceeded to add 207 for the third wicket in 55.2 overs, with Rana the more aggressive partner, scoring 110 off 158 balls, with 18 fours, before being caught behind off Abu Nechim. He struck again 5.2 overs later, bowling Milind Kumar to pick up his third wicket, before Gambhir and Pulkit Narang saw Delhi through to stumps.

Assam were 224 for 7 overnight, and were bowled out 12.4 overs into the second morning. Ishant took two of the last three wickets, including that of the half-centurion Swarupam Purkayastha, to complete his 12th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

Railways 182 and 27 for 3 (Rajpoot 2-6) trail Uttar Pradesh 250 (Nath 75, Anureet 3-42, Avinash 3-86) by 41 runs

Akshdeep Nath's 75 and incisive new-ball spells from Praveen Kumar and Ankit Rajpoot led Uttar Pradesh to a dominant position against Railways in Lucknow. Praveen and Rajpoot ripped through Railways' top order when they began their second innings late in the day, trailing by 68 runs. Two of the top three fell for ducks as Railways slumped to 10 for 3, before Arindam Ghosh and Vidhyadhar Kamath survived the last 7.1 overs of the day to take their side to stumps at 27 for 3, still trailing by 41.

UP began the day 9 for 0 in response to Railways' 182, and lost Himanshu Asnora in the first over of the morning. Shivam Chaudhary and Umang Sharma then added 56 for the second wicket before the left-arm spinner Avinash Yadav struck twice in quick succession to remove Umang and Suresh Raina.

That was when Nath came to the crease. He forged important partnerships of 40 with Chaudhary (44), 41 with Ekalavya Dwivedi, and 70 with Rinku Singh (42) for the fourth, fifth and sixth wickets to move UP into the lead. Nath was eventually seventh out, having faced 160 balls and struck 11 fours. His wicket was part of a late collapse, as Railways took the last five wickets for 24 runs to bowl UP out for 250. Avinash and the seamer Anureet Singh finished with three wickets each.

Meanwhile, for the second day in a row, there was no play possible in the match between Hyderabad and Maharashtra in Hyderabad.