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Rao, Aaron take Jharkhand towards win

A round-up of the third day's play of Group A's third round matches from the Ranji Trophy

Jharkhand 231 and 74 for 3 (Thakkar 29*) trail Haryana 309 and 123 (Rana 84, Rao 4-35, Aaron 3-20) by 128 runs
Jharkhand were 128 runs away from victory with seven wickets in hand at the end of the third day after their pacers Shankar Rao and Varun Aaron skittled Haryana for a mere 123 in the second innings. Only Sachin Rana resisted with 84, as they set Jharkhand a modest target of 202 runs with a day left.
Trailing by 78 in the first innings, Rao and Aaron tilted the momentum Jharkhand's way when Rao took the first four wickets - two in the second over and two more off consecutive deliveries in the sixth over. And when Aaron trapped Avi Barot lbw for 1, Haryana were reeling at 16 for 5.
However, Rana and Harshal Patel steadied the innings briefly with a 34-run stand for the sixth wicket, taking the score to 50. Patel fell for 11 and No. 8 Jayant Yadav gave company to Rana to cross the 100-run mark by putting 52 runs together, out of which Yadav scored only seven. Once he was dismissed, Joginder Sharma and Mohit Sharma also fell soon to Aaron, and Rana's was the last wicket to fall after he had struck eight fours and three sixes during his stay of more than three hours. Rao finished with 4 for 35 and Aaron's figures read 3 for 20.
Jharkhand were also given early jolts when their openers were sent back within the first nine overs at the score of 12. Saurabh Tiwary was the next wicket to fall for seven when he was bowled by Patel, but Bhavin Thakkar and Ishank Jaggi avoided any more troubles by staying unbeaten on 29 and 27 respectively, with their 38-run partnership.
Vidarbha 199 for 3 (Fazal 124, Badani 32*) trail Odisha 453 for 6 dec (Behera 131, Sahoo 114*) by 254 runs
Faiz Fazal notched his sixth first-class hundred to almost take Vidarbha to 200 on the third day in reply to Odisha's mammoth 453 for 6. Fazal was unbeaten on 124 and Vidarbha were still 254 behind with seven wickets in hand.
Vidarbha had lost two wickets early at the end of the second day for the score of 14. Fazal and captain Shalab Shrivastava took them to safety, and beyond 100, by stitching a 100-run stand on the third morning. Shrivastava was on a patient 27 off 124 but was run-out which brought veteran Hemang Badani on the pitch. Fazal and Badani ensured there were no more stutters for their side as they put together an unbroken 85-run partnership.
Fazal did the bulk of the scoring for Vidarbha, scoring more than half the team total, and Badani stayed unbeaten on 32 which included four fours. They have seven wickets in hand but will face a stiff target of going past 453 for the extra points on first-innings lead as the match heads for a draw.
Gujarat 373 for 6 (Merai 121*, Parthiv 83) lead Karnataka 306 (Satish 75*, Dhurv 4-83) by 67 runs

A maiden first-class hundred from Bhargav Merai and useful contributions from Akshar Patel and Rakesh Dhurv ensured that Gujarat first established and then consolidated their first-innings lead over Karnataka at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. At the end of the day, Gujarat were 373 for 6 with a lead of 67.
For full report click here.
Mumbai 324 and 198 for 2 (Tare 115*) lead Delhi 324 (Manhas 113, Gambhir 64, Zaheer 5-88) by 198 runs
Zaheer Khan single-handedly helped Mumbai avoid conceding first-innings lead and Aditya Tare and Siddhesh Lad's quick, unbroken 133-run partnership setup an exciting last day's play against arch rivals Delhi at the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
For full report click here.