Nadeem stars in Jharkhand's innings win
A wrap of the third day of the first round of Ranji Trophy matches in Group C
Jharkhand 377 (Gautam 80, Nemat 75, Rassol 3-96) beat Jammu & Kashmir 195 (Hardeep 49*, Nadeem 3-50, Rao 3-50) and 151 (Nadeem 6-54) by an innings and 31 runs
Despite missing MS Dhoni and their fast bowler Varun Aaron, Jharkhand beat Jammu & Kashmir by an innings and 31 runs in Jammu and earned the maximum of seven points from the game. Jharkhand began the day on 354 for 8, leading by 159 runs. They extended that to 182 before they were dismissed for 377.
J&K were hurt early in their second innings by Jaskaran Singh, who had dismissed both openers with only five runs scored. Then it was over to the Jharkhand captain Shahbaz Nadeem, a left-arm spinner who came into prominence after his consistent performances for Delhi Daredevils this season. Nadeem claimed six wickets, working his way through the middle and lower order, to finish with 9 for 104 in the match. Parvez Rassol was the top scorer for J&K with 31, and they were dismissed for 151 in the 49th over. Jharkhand only collected nine points all season last year, but are already just two short of that tally after one game this season.
Tripura 145 (Nechim 4-61) and 168 for 6 (Ratra 47*, Nechim 2-37) trail Assam 450 (Jadhav 243, Chanda 5-74) by 137 runs
Assam have an innings win in their sights having taken six second-innings wickets after asking Tripura to follow on. They will also have their eyes on the weather which has been causing disruptions in eastern venues across the country.
Assam got a full day today though and took full advantage by quickly wrapping up Tripura's first innings today morning. Tripura, who ended the day yesterday at 72 for 3, lasted just 21.1 overs to be bowled out for 145, 305 runs in deficit.
After being asked to follow on, Tripura lost three early wickets, two of them to Abu Nechim and after a brief resistance which saw them move to 70 for 3, they lost three more. Assam were on track to finish the match early as they required four wickets in more than 25 overs remaining in the day. But Ajay Ratra and Manisankara Murasingh constructed an unbeaten fighting partnership taking the match to the fourth day.
Kerala 229 (Samson 127*, Malik 3-47) and 28 for 3 (Mohinderraj 2-1) trail Himachal Pradesh 536 for 6 dec (Dogra 121, Dhawan 102, Amit 101) by 279 runs
Two more batsmen fired centuries after Paras Dogra's second-day effort to lift Himachal Pradesh to a massive first-innings lead against Kerala and the bowlers wrested the advantage after picking up three Kerala wickets before the end of day. Kerala, 279 runs behind, have their work cut out for the last day. They need to grind out a draw but have only seven wickets in hand.
Himachal started the day on 250 for 4, only 54 runs ahead of Kerala but Amit Kumar scored his second first-class hundred and shared a 132-run stand with Aatish Bhalaik that helped Himchal zoom ahead. Both batsmen were out in quick succession but then Rishi Dhawan took center stage and scored his first first-class century to take the lead beyond 300. Senior batsman Aakash Chopra praised Dhawan's performance. "Rishi Dhawan scores his maiden century to go with three wickets in the first innings...expecting more good things from him!!" he tweeted.
Himachal declared with only eight overs remaining in the day and Mohinderraj Sharma struck twice in two overs to put a big win in sight.
Andhra 87 for 6 (Watekar 30*, Yadav 2-21) trail Services 297 (Paliwal 72, Nazar 56*, Shivkumar 3-53) by 210 runs
Services will look to remove the remaining four Assam wickets quickly in the fourth morning to ensure the three points for first-innings lead as rain is expected to make another appearance on Monday.
In the 54 overs of play that was possible today, Services' lower order stretched their overnight score of 256 for 8 by another 41 runs and the bowlers and fielders struck regularly to reduce Assam to 87 for 6. Assam had resisted Services' charge for the first half of their innings but four middle-order batsmen fell for 14 runs, two of them to medium pacer Suraj Yadav to end the day in a tricky spot.