Declaration by Kerala sets up exciting final day
A round-up of the third day's play of the fourth-round matches of the Ranji Trophy Plate League, 2007-08
Tripura 185 and 25 for 0 need another 245 runs to beat Kerala 179 and 275 for 7 dec. (Gomez 108, Sebastian 64)
A 172-run opening stand between Raiphi Gomez and Antony Sebastian set up Kerala's bold declaration towards the end of the day to set up an exciting final day's play, as Tripura need 245 more with all ten wickets in hand. Gomez, with an average of 11.22 and a highest of 23 going into the match, went on to score 108. Sebastian scored his second half-century and missed his personal best of 68 by four. Sreekumar Nair scored a quick 53 as Kerala looked to declare.
Tripura made a steady start as they saw off nine overs without any mishap.
Haryana 404 beat Jammu & Kashmir 174 (Mishra 4-12) and 107 (Vashisht 5-22, Billa 3-26) by an innings and 123 runs
Haryana took 15 Jammu and Kashmir wickets on the third day to inflict an innings defeat on J&K. Resuming their first innings at 92 for 5, in reply to Haryana's 174, J&K could add only 82 and were asked to follow-on. Irshad Hassan scored 44 of those runs and ended up with 51. Amit Mishra took three wickets today to end up with a four-wicket haul in the first innings.
An even more abject cave-in followed in the second innings as the 30 extras were the highest contributors in the total of 107. Gaurav Vashisht took five wickets and Jitender Billa took his second three-wicket haul of the match to hasten what always seemed an inevitable rout.
Vidarbha 208 (Amit Singh 4-57) and 31 for 0 need another 195 runs to beat Gujarat 312 and 121 (Niraj Patel 71, Naidu 4-18, Sandeep Singh 3-40)
In a remarkable day's play, Vidarbha lost their last six wickets for 6 runs, then skittled Gujarat out for 121 and made a steady start in pursuit of 226 runs to win the match outright. Resuming the day at 189 for 4, Vidarbha reached 202 without any further loss, but the next six fell within eight overs, the last four scoring ducks.
Niraj Patel scored 71 out of Gujarat's 121 as they folded up in 54.1 overs. Alind Naidu bowled 13.1 overs for 18 runs and took four wickets to bring Vidarbha back into the match. Sandeep Singh took three wickets. At stumps, Vidarbha had scored 31 runs without any loss, setting up an exciting last day's play.
Jharkhand 405 for 4 (Vardhan 179, Tiwary 74, Vidyarthi 72*) lead Goa 336 (Angle 45) by 69 runs
Manish Vardhan, the Jharkhand captain, carried on from his overnight 113 to ensure Jharkhand went past Goa's 336 and by stumps, Jharkhand had attained a first-innings lead of 69, which might not prove enough to force an outright result on the last day. Vardhan scored 179, while Saurav Tiwary and Arun Vidyarthi scored half-centuries. Vidyarthi ended the day at 72 not out. The scoring was surprisingly slow as only 188 runs were added during the 90 overs, even though they lost only three wickets.
Madhya Pradesh 221 (Karan Sharma 3-9, Harvinder Singh 3-54) and 6 for 0 trail Railways 464 by 237 runs
A good start by Madhya Pradesh came apart in the middle and they were asked to follow on by Railways after being bowled out for 221. MP had made 100 runs for the loss of one wicket when Sanjay Bangar and Madan Yadav struck twice in two balls. After that MP never really recovered, as Harvinder Singh and Karan Sharma took three wickets each to bowl them out with a day and eight overs left to force a result. Naman Ojha top-scored for MP with 44.
Services 406 and 83 for 1 lead Assam 259 (Extras 59, Rakesh Kumar 5-82) by 230 runs
Services attained a comfortable 147-run first-innings lead over Assam, but could not enforce a follow-on that could have allowed them go for an outright win. Assam, resuming the day at 92 for 3, never really got going, as the highest contribution in their innings came from Services, by the way of 59 extras. Rakesh Sharma, the left-arm medium-pace bowler, took a five-for on debut, and Arun Sharma and Ashish Mohanty took two wickets each.