Four wickets from Goa medium-pacer Rituraj Singh trumped Ricky Bhui's 71 to seal an exciting 34-run win against Andhra early on the third day in Dhanbad. Chasing 233, Bhui took Andhra till he was eighth out at 179. They were eventually bowled out for 198.
Resuming on 99 for 3, Andhra's overnight pair saw out the first 10.1 overs of the day before Shadab Jakati struck in consecutive overs to bowl Dwaraka Ravi Teja for 49 and have AG Pradeep caught behind for 1. From 127 for 5, Andhra pushed towards their target via a stand of 39 between Bhui and Bhargav Bhatt.
But Rituraj wiped out the lower order, striking off consecutive deliveries to remove Bhatt and KV Sasikanth. At 168 for 7, Bhui was Andhra's only hope. Once he was caught behind off Amulaya Pandrekar, Rituraj took the last two wickets to finish with 4 for 24. Bhui's third half-century in as many matches could not get Andhra any points, while Goa took six. Jakati finished with 11 wickets in the match, having taken a career-best 8 for 53 in the first innings.
Nakul Verma's second successive century helped Services set Chhattisgarh a target of 281 in Mumbai. Services, who were stuttering at 19 for 3, drove ahead courtesy Verma's stands of 106 with Shamsher Yadav and 175 with Rahul Singh (99), which helped them declare on 340 for 7, with Verma unbeaten on 156. Chhattisgarh batted out the last three overs of the day to finish on 6 without loss, with Sahil Gupta and Abhimanyu Chauhan at the crease.
Hyderabad were six wickets from their third successive win as Jammu & Kashmir stumbled to 42 for 4 chasing 396 in Vadodara. J&K, resuming on 156 for 7, were bowled out for 169, with seamer Ravi Kiran taking 4 for 32. Tanmay Agarwal then struck his second century of the match, scoring 103, his 128-run stand with Akshath Reddy laying the foundation for he innings.
S Badrinath, the captain, then added 116 with Agarwal to set up Hyderabad's declaration on 244 for 1. Ravi Kiran struck early again to dismiss Ahmed Bandy with J&K on 20. Off the next over, CV Milind sent back Shubham Khajuria. Pranav Gupta and Ian Dev Singh fell soon after to leave them reeling by the end of the day. Ram Dayal and Aditya Singh will resume batting on Friday.
Kerala, who conceded a first-innings lead, were 66 short of victory against Tripura in Cuttack, ending the third day 117 without loss. Mohammed Azharuddeen made a 98-ball 80, and had solid company from Bhavin Thakkar (37 not out).
Iqbal Abdulla, the left-arm spinner, picked up three wickets to rip through Tripura's middle order as they stumbled to 111 for 5 in their second innings. Akshay Chandran then completed the demolition as Tripura were bowled out for 162, with Smit Patel top-scoring with 54. Their second innings lasted just 70.1 overs. Four other batsmen got into double figures, with the highest score among them being 25 by Bishal Ghose.
Himachal Pradesh were asked to follow on by Haryana in Valsad after they were all out for 233 in their first innings. They ended the day 142 for 1 in their second innings, trailing Haryana by 27 runs.
Sanjay Pahal took his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket as HP managed to add only 132 runs for their last seven wickets. Overnight batsman Sumeet Verma top-scored with 66 and stitched a 69-run partnership with Amit Kumar (37) for the seventh wicket - the team's only significant one. The last four wickets fell for 19 runs.
Still trailing by 169 runs, HP's openers RI Thakur and Prashant Chopra added 140 for the first wicket. Debutant Thakur was dismissed for 45 by Pahal in the day's last over as Chopra finished not out on 89 with new batsman Robin Bist (2) for company.