Bisht and Kohli lead Delhi's fightback
A round-up of the third day's play of the fourth round of the Ranji Trophy Super League matches
Gujarat 329 and 119 for 1 lead Bengal 326 (Shukla 93, Gavaskar 74, Majmudar 5-65) by 122 runs
Bengal fell agonisingly short of obtaining a first-innings lead against Gujarat at Kolkata, after they were bowled out for 326. The partnership between Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Rohan Gavaskar took Bengal closer, before A Singh bowled Gavaskar for 74, ending their 138-run stand. Shukla looked set to score a century but gradually ran out of partners as seamer Hitesh Majmudar mopped up the lower order to record his third five-wicket haul. Shukla fell for 93, when his side were five behind Gujarat's first-innings score of 329. Parthiv Patel had a good day behind the stumps, taking five catches. Gujarat got off to a solid start in their second innings with Azharuddin Bilakhia leading the way with an unbeaten 63.
Karnataka 446 and 32 for 1 lead Delhi 308 (Bisht 156, Kohli 90, Akhil 5-58) by 170 runs
A rearguard action by Puneet Bisht and Virat Kohli lifted Delhi out of dire straits against Karnataka at the Feroz Shah Kotla, as Delhi were dismissed for a more respectable 308. Bisht's career-best 156 and Kohli's 90 stood out in a string of single digit scores, as the pair contributed to nearly 80% of the team total. It was a courageous innings by Kohli, who lost his father the night before, putting the tragedy behind him for the team's cause. Bisht piloted the innings after Kohli was dismissed at 211, adding 59 with Chetanya Nanda, who provided good support. B Akhil was the most effective of the Karnataka bowlers, finishing with figures of 5 for 58. Karnataka in their second innings took their score to 32 but lost Barrington Rowland off what was the last ball of the day.
Maharashtra 308 for 5 (Kanitkar 131, Jadhav 72) trail Punjab 550 by 242 runs
The Kolhapur run-fest continued with Hrishikesh Kanitkar scoring 131 to take Maharashtra to 308 for 5 but Punjab took crucial wickets late on the third day and were in a strong position to claim the first-innings lead. Although the possibility of an outright result is remote, Maharashtra still need 242 runs with five wickets in hand to draw level in the first innings. They began the day on 50 for 1 and Kanitkar found solid support in Dheeraj Jadhav who scored 72. However, Jadhav and Nikhil Paradkar fell in quick time and Maharashtra were 176 for 3 before Sridharan Sriram added 105 with Kanitkar for the fourth wicket.
Baroda 262 for 3 (Solanki 104* Martin, 78) trail Andhra 342 by 82 runs
Rakesh Solanki's unbeaten 104 put Baroda within 82 runs of securing the first-innings lead against Andhra on a turgid third day at the Moti Bagh Stadium. Solanki batted the whole day, faced 260 balls for his century, and steered Bardoa to 262 for 3. He received support from Jacob Martin who ground out 78 off 222 balls. With just one-day remaining the likelihood of an outright victory for any team is faint, but the first-innings points are well within Baroda's sights.
Mumbai 115 and 108 for 3 trail Hyderabad 354 (Vinay 103, Khaleel 68, Powar 7-89) by 131 runs
Hyderabad strengthened their grip over the contest at Uppal, extending their score to 354 and nailing three Mumbai wickets before the end of the day. D Vinay Kumar, on 64 overnight, completed his fifth first-class century and extended his partnership with Ibrahim Khaleel, the wicketkeeper. The duo added 126 with Khaleel managing a patient 68. Offspinner Ramesh Powar, who sent down a marathon 41.2 overs, ended with 7 for 89. Mumbai lost three wickets, all to medium-pacer Alfred Absolem, before stumps were drawn.
Saurashtra 325 for 4 (Pujara 145*, Kotak 84) trail Tamil Nadu 500 by 231 runs
Cheteshwar Pujara led an inspired Saurashtra riposte to Tamil Nadu's first-innings 500, ending the day on a healthy 325 for 4 at Rajkot. Pujara cracked 23 fours on his way to his second first-class hundred and shared an excellent 216-run partnership with Shitanshu Kotak, who chipped in with 84. Tamil Nadu struck back with two late wickets, including R Naresh removing captain Jaydev Shah, and set up an interesting battle for first-innings points.