Vidarbha's Fazal, Ramaswamy in record opening stand
The pair add 252 to keep Bengal at bay; Chhattisgarh shoot Himachal out for 175 while Services dig in against Goa
Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal (142) and Sanjay Ramaswamy (117*) put on the highest opening stand in the team's history, powering the side to 285 for 1 at stumps against Bengal in Kalyani. Sent in to bat, Fazal and Ramaswamy put on 259 for the opening wicket before Ashok Dinda had Fazal lbw in the 73rd over. Before that, Fazal brought up his 14th first-class hundred, his third in as many games, in a 232-ball effort that included 22 fours. Ramaswamy, meanwhile, continued his impressive sequence of scores - he has thus far made 161, 7, 55 and 42 this season - and completed his third first-class century which included 14 fours. Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary employed six bowlers on what was a long day for his team.
Chhattisgarh's bowlers restricted Himachal Pradesh to 175 after electing to bowl first in Dharamsala. In reply, Chhattisgarh were steady on 91 for 1, with opener Rishabh Tiwari (46*) and Ashutosh Singh (40*) raising an unbroken 79-run stand after the early loss of Siddharth Chandrakar. In the morning, Himachal lost early wickets slumping to 25 for 2, 60 for 3 and then 92 for 6. Seamers Pankaj Rao (3-52) and Shahnawaz Hussain (2-60) did the bulk of the damage. There were handy contributions from Nikhil Gangta (26), Rishi Dhawan (35) and Pankaj Jaiswal (25), but those were ultimately not enough to push Himachal past 200. Left-arm spinner Sumit Ruikar cleaned up the lower order with a three-wicket haul.
Debutant seamer Heramb Parab's three-wicket spell meant Goa kept Services down to 228 for 8 at the Palam ground in Delhi. After being put into bat, Services lost opener Vikash Mohan in the third ball off the match as Parab had him caught behind by Keenan Vaz. At the other end, Felix Alemao bowled Ravi Chauhan for a duck and Services were reeling on 1 for 2. Services slipped to 18 for 3 after offspinner Amogh Desai had Shamsher Yadav edging behind. Captain Nakul Verma (64) then restored calm with a 77-run stand in the company of Navneet Singh (27).
However, the Parab-Vaz combine struck again to remove the latter. Parab was then on a hat-trick after he trapped G Rahul Singh in front with his next delivery. With Verma also being dismissed, Services turned to Vikas Yadav (61*) and Nitin Tanwar (43). Yadav first put on 67 runs with Tanwar for the seventh wicket before adding 38 runs with Diwesh Pathania. Alemao finished with two wickets.