Balaji and Karthik set up crushing win for Tamil Nadu

A round-up of the third day's play of the third-round matches of the Ranji Trophy Super League 2008-09

Cricinfo staff
Tamil Nadu 507 (Dinesh Karthik 213, Badrinath 123, Gupta 4-123) beat Uttar Pradesh 150 (Balaji 4-38, Amarnath 4-53) and 119 (Balaji 5-42, Ganapathy 4-21) by an innings and 238 runs
L Balaji celebrated his return to first-class cricket with a five-wicket haul to help Tamil Nadu sink Uttar Pradesh by an innings and 238 runs in Ghaziabad. The captain, Dinesh Karthik, made his highest first-class score (213) to push Tamil Nadu past 500 before Balaji and C Ganapathy combined to bundle out UP for 119.
Resuming on 356 for 4, Karthik strengthened Tamil Nadu's position by adding 66 for the sixth wicket with R Ashwin. Karthik was eventually dismissed by Praveen Gupta, the left-arm spinner, who was the most effective bowler for UP with figures of 4 for 123. Faced with a daunting deficit of 357, UP began cautiously as their openers added 36 in 17 overs. Ganapathy broke through for Tamil Nadu, sending back Shivakant Shukla and that's when the slide began for the home side. Only four players managed double figures and the resistance was feeble as Balaji and Ganapathy pegged away at the wickets, finishing the formalities in just 43 overs and a day to spare. Balaji finished with 5 for 42 while Ganapathy was equally threatening with 4 for 21.
The win has pushed Tamil Nadu to the top of the Group B points table with 12 points.
Mumbai 330 and 149 for 0 (Jaffer 71*, Kukreja 77*) lead Delhi 295 (Manhas 98, Bhatia 81) by 184 runs
After gaining a first-innings lead of 35, Mumbai took further control over Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla with their openers, Wasim Jaffer and Sahil Kukreja, ending the day unbroken on 149. Mumbai extended their overall lead to 184 and with a draw likely, Mumbai should profit from their first-innings points unless something dramatic happens on the final day.
Resuming on 176 for 4, Delhi looked to their overnight pair of Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia to push them past the visitors' 330. The score progressed to 225 but Mumbai clawed back, picking up five wickets for 33 runs. Manhas fell two short of his hundred and Bhatia fell for 81 and the chief wicket-takers were the spin duo of Sairaj Bahutule and Ramesh Powar. The last-wicket pair of Chetanya Nanda and Parvinder Awana resisted for just over 15 overs but the innings eventually ended at 295. Kukreja and Jaffer batted out 37 overs and scored 70s, rounding off a good day for the visitors.
Hyderabad 225 (Qadri 57, Parmar 4-44) and 45 for 3 (Trivedi 3-16) trail Gujarat 520 for 9 decl by 250 runs
Hyderabad were staring at defeat on the third day after being asked to follow-on against Gujarat in Ahmedabad. The star for the home team was Siddarth Trivedi, the right-arm seamer, who took four wickets to restrict Hyderabad to 225 and later took all three wickets to fall in the second innings. Hyderabad ended the day at 45 for 3, needing a further 250 to make Gujarat bat again.
The top order failed to contribute substantially contributions and wickets fell at regular intervals. They were 132 for 3 in the 48th over and soon lost four wickets for 18 runs and never recovered from that position. Syed Qadri offered some resistance with a half-century but the rest collapsed to Trivedi and Mohnish Parmar, who shared seven wickets between them. Trivedi finished with 4 for 44 while Parmar took three wickets for the same number of runs. Hyderabad fell 295 short of Gujarat's 520 and their situation worsened when they stumbled to Trivedi again. Arjun Yadav and T Suman were unbeaten at stumps with their team needing to bat out the entire day tomorrow to save the match.
Orissa 281 and 109 for 3 (Das 57*) lead Rajasthan 270 (Khoda 127, Dhiraj 7-83) by 120 runs
A seven-wicket haul by Dhiraj Singh helped Orissa snatch a vital first-innings lead of 11 against Rajasthan in Sambalpur. Dhiraj, the left-arm spinner, ran through the middle order to bowl out Rajasthan for 270. The visitors ended the second day at a strong 172 for 2 and looked set to obtain a lead but Dhiraj spoilt their plans.
Gagan Khoda helped push the overnight score to 228 and reached his 19th first-class century but the slide began after he was dismissed. Dhiraj took the next five wickets to fall and in the end finished with 7 for 83. Shiv Sundar Das scored an unbeaten 57 to extent Orissa's advantage to 120 with seven second-innings wickets in hand.
Baroda 460 for 8 (Bilakhia 157, Williams 137) lead Railways 224 by 236 runs
It was another luckless day for Railways as Baroda, led by centuries by Azharuddin Bilakhia (157) and Connor Williams (137), stretched the lead to 236 at the Karnail Singh Stadium. The pair added a mammoth 278 for the second wicket, more than what 11 Railways players could manage, before Karan Sharma ended Williams' resistance. Murali Kartik took two quick wickets and Baroda suddenly lost three wickets against the run of play. However, the home side failed to make further inroads as Baroda frustrated them with two partnerships with 50 and 43 respectively. Shatrunjay Gaekwad scored a patient 47 while Irfan Pathan chipped in with 40 off 52 balls to push the score past 400. With a day left, and Railways yet to dismiss the opposition, a draw looms.
Saurashtra 405 for 4 (Pujara 189, Kotak 102) trail Punjab 482 by 77 runs
Cheteshwar Pujara is on a roll. After scoring two triple-centuries in the lead-up to the Ranji season, he scored a blazing 189 off 182 balls today and with the dour Shithanshu Kotak for company, took Saurashtra close to Punjab's 482 in Rajkot. Kotak, who scored 102 off 287 balls, played second fiddle in a mammoth stand of 258 for the third wicket. Punjab began the day on a good note, dismissing Bhushan Chauhan for 45 but had to wait nearly 60 overs for their next breakthrough. Pujara smashed 31 fours in his knock and looked set for a double-century before edging Charanjeet Singh to Pankaj Dharmani. Manpreet Gony later accounted for Kotak and he was the last wicket to fall as Saurashtra trailed by 77.
Karnataka 277 for 7 (Uthappa 133) v Andhra
Seventeen wickets fell on a dramatic third day in Mysore, but there was no change in overall match situation, with Karnataka retaining a firm grip. Andhra fought back after falling 148 runs short in the first innings through medium-pacer P Vijaykumar's six-wicket haul. But their top order's failings, on a pitch with a hint of variable bounce, put Karnataka back in charge. . Read the full report.