Tripura-Rajasthan game on knife's edge

A round-up of the third day's play of the second-round matches of the Ranji Trophy Plate League 2009-10

Cricinfo staff

Group A

Tripura 179 and 114 for 8 (Chowdhury 23*, Dutta 6*, Khatri 3-37) need another 16 runs to beat Rajasthan 102 and 206 (Saxena 70, Bist 47*, Chowdhury 5-35)
The game between Tripura and Rajasthan in Agartala hangs on a knife's edge at stumps on the third day. In their chase of 130, and a second successive win, Tripura faltered badly, finishing the day at 114 for 8 with any of the three results possible. They struggled from the outset, as seamer Madhur Khatri, who bagged a six-for in the first innings, rattled the top order with two quick wickets. Persistent strikes by the other bowlers reduced Tripura to 51 for 6, but a lower-order recovery has tilted the balance slightly in their favour. Tushar Saha (14) and captain Rajib Dutta (18) added a valuable 27 for the seventh wicket, followed by Dutta's 19-run association with Debabrata Chowdhury (23 not out), who holds the key to Tripura's fortunes tomorrow. Chowdhury is currently involved in an unbeaten stand of 17 with Rana Dutta, who has supported him well with six runs.
Rajasthan began the day on 97 for 5, but a 91-run partnership between Vineet Saxena (70) and Robin Bist (47 not out) gave them an opportunity to test the opposition in the chase. But the last five wickets fell for just 23, as Chowdhury bagged five wickets to hand his team the advantage. He would have hoped his batsmen would seal the game comfortably, but as it turns out, it is he who could decide his team's fate tomorrow.
Vidarbha 160 for 7 (Shrivastava 46, Naidu 45, Nadeem 3-27) trail Jharkhand 292 (Rajiv 87, Vardhan 63) by 132 runs
Jharkhand gained the upper hand against Vidarbha in Ranchi, but with the first day's play lost to rain, a result is highly unlikely. Jharkhand were boosted by Rajiv Kumar's 87 but were reined in by a collective bowling display to eventually end up with 292. Each Vidarbha bowler managed to bat at least a wicket, but the response from their batsmen was unsatisfactory. Alind Naidu (45) and Shalabh Shrivastava (46) received little support from the others, as Vidarbha limped to 160 for 7 at stumps. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem bowled 17 overs, taking 3 for 27.
The contest between Goa and Assam in Margao is yet to witness any play, for the first three days were washed out due to persistent rain.

Group B

Madhya Pradesh 172 for 1 (Ojha 87*, Kanitkar 63*) v Kerala
Rain ruined any chances of play on the third day between Madhya Pradesh and Kerala in Indore.
Jammu and Kashmir 43 for 2 (Mane 16*, Bisla 8*) trail Haryana 225 (Sunny 105, Dutta 3-39, Ali 3-49) by 182 runs
Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana ended the third day in Srinagar on even terms. Haryana captain Sunny Singh was the lone star in his team's innings, holding one end together in his 105. A cursory glance at the scorecard indicates a serious lack of support from the others, except a patient 24 from Bhupinder Lingwal, with whom Sunny added 63 for the sixth wicket. Raman Dutta and Sameer Ali bagged three wickets each to limit Haryana to 225. However, J&K lost their openers cheaply in their response and reached 43 for 2 at stumps.