Ruturaj Gaikwad's dazzling form continued, as the Maharashtra captain hit his third consecutive hundred in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22, comfortably sitting atop the run charts of the domestic one-day competition. Unlike in the first two games, however, this time Maharashtra ended up on the losing side, as Kerala's lower-middle order rallied for a stunning win over the team. ESPNcricinfo brings you all the major highlights from the third day of the 2021-22 Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Gaikwad's century, Tripathi's 99
Gaikwad hit 124 off 129, following scores of 136 and 154* in the first two games, but apart from Rahul Tripathi's 99 off 108, no other Maharashtra batter made more than 20. Those two innings powered the team to a sizeable 291 for 8, with pacer MD Nidheesh taking 5 for 49. Maharashtra had the match seemingly sewn up, with Kerala 35 for 4 in the 11th over, but Sanju Samson - batting at No.6 - and Jalaj Saxena dug them out of that hole with a 72-run stand in just 11.1 overs. Although both fell in quick succession to leave Kerala at 120 for 6, Vishnu Vinod then got together with Sijomon Joseph for a stunning, unbeaten 174-run stand in just 141 balls. Vinod hit a century off just 82 balls while Joseph was unbeaten on 70 off 71, as victory was achieved with 1.1 overs remaining.
Karnataka romp past Mumbai, star players shine for Punjab
In a heavyweight clash, Karnataka defeated Mumbai by seven wickets with 4.3 overs to spare, the defending champions only mustering 208 for 9. Yashasvi Jaiswal (61 off 91) and Armaan Jaffer (43 off 66) had put on 95 for the opening wicket at a steady pace, but Mumbai couldn't build on that. Legspinner Praveen Dubey, drafted in for this game, took 4 for 29, ripping out the middle order. His wickets included Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube. In reply, Karnataka's openers bettered their Mumbai counterparts, R Samarth staying unbeaten with 96 off 129 and Rohan Kadam making 44 off 79; both able to pace their innings given the below-par target.
Punjab demolished Assam by ten wickets, with the bowlers skittling Assam for just 125, and the openers rattling off the runs in 15.2 overs. Arshdeep Singh led the attack, taking 4 for 30 in 6.5 overs, while Mayank Markande wasn't too far behind with 3 for 27 in 7 overs. Abhishek Sharma had a fine all-round day, picking up 2 for 14 in five overs and then coming out to belt 56 not out off 38. His opening partner, Prabhsimran Singh, stole the batting show, however, with an unbeaten 73 off 55, including three sixes and nine fours.
Mankad's all-round show
Prerak Mankad helped Saurashtra ease past Hyderabad, turning up with both bat and ball. He took 4 for 54 as Hyderabad were bowled out for 221, all his four wickets being among the top six batters. His victims included top-scorer Ravi Teja for 63 and the in-form Tilak Varma for 20. Mankad then came out to bat at No. 4 and contributed 49 off 50 balls in a sturdy chase where victory was achieved in only 39 overs, shaped around opener Harvik Desai's unbeaten 101 and Sheldon Jackson's 65.
In a thrilling game, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) lost to Andhra by two wickets. J&K had been reduced to 99 for 9, but Ram Dayal shepherded the last-wicket stand with Umar Nazir Mir, as 109 runs were added in 93 balls. Mir contributed 27 off 44 before falling in the 49th over, leaving Dayal unconquered on 116 off 100 balls, having done remarkable heavylifting in the final stand. Andhra didn't have one batter going through, though Ricky Bhui's 56 steadied the top half of the innings. Auqib Nabi took 3 for 25 in ten overs, while the other bowlers also chipped in, but Andhra scampered home in 49 overs.