Elite Championship Seventh Round
Karnataka 211 for 6 (Rowland 111*) trail Assam 275 by 64 runs
Barrington Rowland, who is having a crackling time with the bat, stood tall amid the ruins as the match at Bangalore was finely poised at the end of the second day. The Assam tail waged under the guidance of D Goswami (31*) and eked out 76 crucial runs in the morning session. Then Assam took control when they reduced Karnataka to 62 for 4 which brought Thilak Naidu, the wicketkeeper, to the middle. Naidu's 44 contained seven fours and the partnership with Rowland was worth 122. Rowland spent 317 minutes at the crease and had 16 fours to his credit. After compiling three hundreds and one fifty this season, including two mammoth scores of over 150, he has been one of the most consistent openers in the league phase.
Rajasthan 122 for 2 (Saxena 50*) trail Hyderabad 389 (Faiz 65*, Mathur 5-124)
After Ambati Rayudu had set the tone yesterday, Faiz Ahmed's 65 ensured that Hyderabad, the hosts, get within a shade of 400. Ahmed added 106 runs with the lower order and hit seven fours in his 106-ball innings. Sumeet Mathur, the medium-pacer, was the pick of the Rajasthan bowlers with a five-wicket haul. In reply, the Rajasthan openers set up a solid foundation with a 65-run opening partnership. Vineet Saxena remained unbeaten on 50 when play was called off.
Baroda 73 for 5 trail Railways 353 (TP Singh 114, Goud 54 ) by 280 runs
At Vadodara, Railways tightened their grip over a semi-final spot, as Baroda crumbled - not for the first time this season - in the face of a fine spell by Harvinder Singh, the former Indian medium-pacer. Satyajit Parab's defiant 30 provided the only vestige of resistance. Railways were propped up by a valuable century by Tejinder Pal Singh and a extra-patient 239-ball 54 by Yere Goud. Kulamani Parida and Harvinder Singh chipped in with plucky 30's and took them past the 350 mark. With Kerala having gained the first-innings lead against UP, Baroda may well be on their way to the Plate division.
Mumbai 180 for 8 (Morris 64*) v Punjab
Only 47 minutes of play was possible at Mohali as bad light played spoilsport all day. Robin Morris completed a useful half-century and Punjab managed two wickets. Punjab's chances of entering the last-four received a jolt with this delay as an outright win may be far-fetched.
Uttar Pradesh 214 and 48 for 0 lead Kerala 247 (Somasundar 66) by 15 runs
At Palakkad, Uttar Pradesh conceded a slender first-innings lead and saw their semi-final chances gradually diminish. Nikhil Chopra, the offspinner, accounted for four wickets but the trio of Sujit Somasundar, Suresh Kumar (44) and Ajay Kudva (37), the only three batsmen to pass 20, nudged Kerala ahead. Ashish Zaidi and Rajneesh Mishra, the medium-pacers, contributed three wickets each but conceding 34 extras cost UP dear. Kerala enhanced their chances of avoiding relegation, while only an outright victory will suffice if UP are to have any hope.
Bengal 275 for 4 (Das 117*, Gandhi 90) lead Gujarat 179 by 96 runs
Arindam Das's unbeaten century and a fine innings from Devang Gandhi helped Bengal gain the distinct edge at Ahmedabad. They were reduced to 92 for 3, when these two got together and they went on to realise 145 runs for the fourth wicket. Das's patient innings included 14 fours and a six. Gandhi, who went on India's last tour to Australia, fell at the end of the day just 10 short of a century.
Andhra 186 for 3 (Venugopal Rao 60*) v Delhi
Andhra put up a solid batting performance, after opting to bat, in the final league match at Vishakapatnam. After being demolished for miniscule scores in the previous game against Punjab - 30 and 84 - all their batsmen got off to starts. The highlight was the unbeaten 88-run stand between Venugopal Rao and MSK Prasad (45*), and they trudged along at just over two and over. The match began one day late, due to the late arrival of a few Delhi players.
Plate Championship Fifth Round
Madhya Pradesh 387 for 8 (Bundela 89, Patwardhan 62) v Jammu & Kashmir
The MP batsmen ground the J&K attack and finished in a strong position after two days at Jammu. Devinder Bundela and Nikhil Patwardhan notched up half-centuries and the total was boosted by some lower-order resistance by Harvinder Sodhi and Sanjay Pandey. Sameer Khajuria's offspin yielded 4 for 93 for J&K.
Haryana 80 for 0 trail Vidarbha 226 by 146 runs
After restricting Vidarbha to 226, Haryana inched closer to a last-four berth when the openers put on 80 and took them safely to stumps at Rohtak. Amit Mishra, the legspinner, was the wrecker in chief for Haryana with a four-wicket haul and Joginder Sharma's medium pace yielded 3 for 54. The winner of this tie will gain a place in the semi-finals.
Services 242 for 6 (Thomson 53) Orissa
Play was curtailed on the second day also at Delhi and Services crawled along to a modest score. Charles Thomson top-scored with a sedate half-century and got good support from most of the other batsmen. Four others passed 30 and AK Mohanty remained unbeaten on 36 when stumps were drawn.
Himachal Pradesh 111 for 4 trail Maharashtra 564 (Jadhav 207, Khadkikar 75, Satbhai 54, Bhatia 5-1790 by 453 runs
At Ichalkaranji, Maharashtra piled on the misery on the HP bowlers as Deeraj Jadhav slammed his second double century of the season. Jadhav, who was 151 overnight, anchored the innings with his 368-ball effort. He fell with the score on 468 for 7, but Kashinath Khadkikar and Satyajit Satbhai, the wicketkeeper, joined in the run-glut by adding 94 at a fast clip, thereby virtually shutting HP out of the contest.
Goa 290 for 3 (Kolambkar 109*, Phadke 108* trail Saurashtra 220 by 70 runs
Goa stamped their authority on the Saurashtra bowling at Margao with Vivek Kolambkar and Mandar Phadke helping themselves to centuries. They added 171 for the fourth wicket and remained undefeated at stumps. Both smashed 13 fours each and Phadke summoned the strength to clear the ropes twice. With both teams out of the semi-final race, the Goan batsmen may just have some more fun tomorrow.