Defending champions Karnataka hold the advantage going into the final day of their clash against Assam in Guwhati, as a century from the opener R Samarth
lifted the visitors to 394. Karnataka, who had conceded the innings lead, then capped the day off by removing Sibsankar Roy in Assam's chase of 388.
Starting from an overnight score of 77 for 0, Karnataka were propelled by Samarth's third first-class ton, and his 81-run stand for the third wicket with Shishir Bhavane. Samarth eventually made 131 off 199 balls, with 12 fours. No other batsman managed a fifty, but handy knocks from Karun Nair (34), CM Gautam (44) and Shreyas Gopal (41) took Karnataka close to the 400-run mark, after which they declared.
J Syed Mohammad, who wrecked Karnataka's first innings with seven scalps, could only manage 2 for 43 in the second. Assam were 30 for 1 when stumps were called.
The Odisha batting line-up crumbled to 274 all out despite an unbeaten 148 from vice-captain Govinda Podder
and were asked to follow-on by Vidarbha in Nagpur.
Odisha resumed on Saturday morning at 79 for 2 with Podder holding firm. He struck 20 fours and a six in an innings that lasted nearly six hours. But the other end became a revolving door. Five wickets fell in seven overs as Odisha slipped from 158 for 3 to 177 for 8. There were three ducks and only five other batsmen managed double-figures as offspinner Akshay Wakhare
and left-arm seamer Ravikumar Thakur
shared seven wickets between them.
Vidarbha may have been contemplating a quick finish, but Podder took charge during a 97-run ninth wicket stand with Basant Mohanty. Odisha needed to get 318 to avoid the follow-on and as well as Mohanty played for his 14 off 69 balls and 132 minutes, it was not possible.
The openers Girija Rout and Natraj Behera then negotiated the eight overs left to stumps in the second innings. Odisha need another 179 runs to make Vidarbha bat again.
A second first-class century from Sumit Narwal
, batting at No. 9, has put Delhi in charge of their Ranji Trophy opener against Rajasthan in Jaipur. The hosts have lost Pranay Sharma for a duck in the second innings and finished at 20 for 1 at stumps. They need another 316 runs on the final day tomorrow.
Things had not seemed as bleak for Rajasthan at the start of the day, with debutant medim-pacer Nathu Singh
taking two wickets in successive overs, including captain Gautam Gambhir for 93. Delhi were 205 for 3 at the time and Singh continued to chip away to leave them at 291 for 7. Then Narwal walked in and started whacking the bowling around. His 106 came off 94 balls, including 10 fours and five sixes. Delhi declared for 437, once Narwal got to his landmark, and Singh finished with 7 for 87.