After starring with the bat yesterday, Vineet Jain shone with the ball on the final day to help Tripura close out a tense 54-run victory over Services in Delhi. Services' batsmen put up a much-improved show in the second innings in a determined pursuit of 316.
The innings revolved around Jasvir Singh's patient 67 after Ashish Mohanty had made the most of a reprieve - being bowled off a no ball - to score 52. Jasvir also got support from No. 9 Shuvra Karmakar, who made a quick 43, as Services looked to clinch their first win since their ten-wicket victory
over Tripura two years ago. With the match in its final session, and Services on 249 for 7, it could have still swung either team's way.
Medium-pacer Vineet secured five points for Tripura by removing both Jasvir and Karmakar in the space of five runs before knocking over Hari Prasad's middle stump.
Kerala grabbed three points for their first-innings lead after playing out a high-scoring draw against Goa in Palakkad. With Kerala still batting on the morning of the fourth day, an outright result was always out of the question but there was still plenty of drama.
Preambhastn Prem's 138 steered Kerala towards the first-innings lead and at 426 for 4, with only 35 more needed, the three points seemed in the bag. But they had to endure some nervy moments before getting them as left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati struck thrice to reduce Kerala to 458 for 8. The match then meandered to a stalemate; Kerala's tail-enders took the score to 486 and Goa replied with 69 for 3 before play was called off.
Shafiq Khan's century came too late for Jammu and Kashmir since Jharkhand had already gained a first-innings lead in a match that eventually meandered to a draw in Jamshedpur. Twelve wickets fell on day one as Jharkhand bowled J&K out for 225 and their openers with 23 on the board. Half-centuries by Manoj Joglekar (77) and debutant Aditya Pratap and a quick lower-order 37 by Vijay Sharma by boosted J&K's total after medium-pacer Kuldeep Sharma had reduced them to 52 for 5.
In reply, Jharkhand's first-class debutant Ishank Jaggi scored a half-century and, along with Saurabh Tiwary, helped his side to 301. Shafiq's 143 anchored J&K's second innings though he was assisted by Joglekar, who scored a second half-century, Samiullah Beigh, with a useful 40, and Sharma, with 30.
Their total at the end of day three - 309 for 7 - was not enough to set a target their bowlers could defend so J&K batted on and were finally dismissed for 366 on the final day giving Jharkhand 50 overs to chase 291. The hosts chose to play for a draw and Subroto Ghosh and Jaggi helped themselves to half-centuries on the way to three points.