Captain Manoj Tiwary led from the front with an unbeaten century to guide Bengal to 295 for five in reply to Saurashtra's first innings score of 423 in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match in Rajkot on Friday.
Tiwary scored a delightful unbeaten 116 and together with Dibyendu Chakrabarty (80) added 127 runs for the third wicket to take Bengal near the 300-run mark.
At stumps day three, Bengal still trail Saurashtra by 128 runs but with a set Tiwary and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (3) at the crease, the visitors are well in course of pocketing three points by virtue of first innings lead on the fourth and final day on Saturday.
On Friday, medium pacer Saurya Sanandiya was the pick of Saurashtra bowlers with figures of three for 41 runs.
Resuming at 33 for one, Sreevats Goswami (49) and Chakrabarty added 72 more runs to their overnight five-run stand before Goswami feel just one runs short of his second first class half century.
The Bengal wicket-keeper's 131-ball stay at the crease came to an end when he was caught by Sanandiya off Shitanshu Kotak (53 for 1). He struck eight boundaries during his innings.
But then came a determined Tiwary who took the onus on his own shoulders to guide the Bengal innings.
In Chakrabarty, Tiwary got a perfect partner as the duo went about their business with consummate ease before the former sneaked one to Sagar Jogiyani behind the stumps off Sanandiya.
Saurashtra 1st innings: 423 all out in 164 overs (Kamlesh Makvana 108, Rahul Dave 72; Ashok Dinda 105-3, Saurasish Lahiri 64-3).
Bengal 1st innings (Overnight 33 for 1): 295 for five in 104 overs (Manoj Tiwary 116 not out, Dibyendu Chakrabarty 80; Saurya Sanandiya 41 for 3).
Punjab consolidate lead against Haryana
Centurion in the first-innings, Mandeep Singh struck a valuable half-century to put Punjab in command after Sachin Rana's fourth first-class ton helped Haryana avoid a follow-on on the third day of their Super League Ranji Trophy group B match at the Bansi Lal Stadium, in Rihtak on Friday.
Punjab, who were comfortably placed at 144 for three at stumps, consolidated their overall lead to 289 after bowling out the hosts for 270. Rana was unbeaten on 73 off 125 balls while Uday Kaul was batting 31.
Earlier, the visitors, who had scored 415 in their first innings, had to be content with Rana who fought gamely during his 226-minute stay at the crease.
Resuming at a precarious 153 for seven, Rana, in the company of Dhruv Singh (30), added a crucial half-century partnership after Haryana lost other overnight batsman Amit Mishra cheaply.
Rana hit 15 boundaries during his 165-ball 102, while Dhruv found the fence twice.
For Punjab, Manpreet Gony was the wrecker-in-chief picking up four wickets, while Jaskaran chipped in three wickets.
After Rana's gritty hundred, it was the turn of Mandeep to steal the limelight. The 19-year-old right-hander, on a high after notching up his maiden first-class century in the first innings, hit seven boundaries during his 162-minute stay at the wicket.
TN reply strongly to Mumbai's 238
After bundling out defending champions Mumbai for a mere 238, Tamil Nadu reached 149 for 4 at close on the third day of their four-day sixth Elite A league match in Ranji Trophy cricket in Chennai on Friday.
At stumps, K Vasudevadas (21) and R Satish (16) were at the crease.
Earlier, resuming on 180 for four, Mumbai lost captain Wasim Jaffer almost immediately. Jaffer could add only one run to his overnight score as he departed for 67 (153 b, 5x4, 1x6) after being adjudged leg before wicket to Laxmipathy Balaji.
Balaji continued to cripple Mumbai and in the same over he went on to dismiss Iqbal Abdulla (0).
The other overnight batman Prashant Naik, who resumed on 8, however, held his ground and along with Ramesh Powar (21) added 38 runs before the latter was also dismissed.
Thereafter, wickets kept falling at the other end even as Naik remained unbeaten on 33.
Balaji (4 for 32) and Suresh Kumar (4 for 44) chipped in with four wickets each.
Replying to Mumbai's modest 238, Tamil Nadu could not get off to an ideal start, losing both the openers -- Abhinav Mukund (13) and Srikkanth Anirudha (20) as well as Dinesh Karthik (19). However, Subramaniam Badrinath (51), completed his half-century to consolidate the hosts' innings.
Mumbai's medium pacer Iqbal Abdulla finished the day with figures of 36 for 2.
Karnataka in control against Baroda
Karnataka's middle-order batsmen chipped in with valuable runs as the hosts managed to pile up 302 for four at the end of the third day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match, in Mysore on Friday.
Karnataka lost KB Pawan (18) early on the day after resuming on 41 for one in their second innings, however, thereafter all the other batsmen -- Ganesh Satish (76), Manish Pandey (42), Amit Verma (77 not out) and Stuart Binny (60 not out) contributed to the total to give their team a healthy lead of 390 with six wickets remaining.
For Baroda, Sankalp Vohra, Bhargav Bhatt and Ketan Panchal took one wicket each.
Earlier, overnight batsman Satish in the able company of Manish Pandey, frustrated the visiting team bowlers as he not only completed his half-century but also put up a 73-run stand with the latter.
Even after Pandey's dismissal, Satish carried on with Amit Verma before falling for a well-made 76 from 151 balls, which included 12 fours.
Verma, 77 runs (204 b, 10x4) and Binny, 60 (131 b, 4x4) then went on to share an unbeaten 135-run stand together.
On Thursday, after having restricted Karnataka to 257 in their first innings, Baroda hoped for a fitting reply but got bundled out for paltry 169 in their first essay.
Karnataka 1st innings: 257 all out in 88.1 overs
Baroda 1st innings: 169 all out in 69.4 overs
Karnataka 2nd innings: 302 for four in 107 overs (Ganesh Satish 76, Amit Verma batting 77, Stuart Binny batting 60).
Orissa shoot out Himachal for 163
Skipper Paras Dogra's unbeaten half century could not rescue Himachal Pradesh from being shot out for a paltry 163 by Orissa in their first innings on a rain-curtailed third day of the Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match in Cuttack on Friday.
Batting at number four after Orissa captain Debasis Mohanty had inserted Himachal Pradesh in, Dogra top-scored with unbeaten 53 before his side was skittled out for 163.
The first day's play was washed out while only 37 overs were possible on Thursday. On Friday also, play was possible only after tea at Barabati Stadium here. With rain playing spoilsport, the match is heading for a draw.
Orissa's fast bowling duo of Basant Mohanty and A K Sahoo wrecked havoc as the hosts had restricted the visitors to 85 for six in their first innings on Thursday.
Dogra, who came in at 45 for three on Thursday, and Rishi Dhawan (43) played sensibly to take his team's total past 150-mark.
Dogra, who hit six fours in his 152-ball innings, shared a valuable 72-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Dhawan to raise hopes of a revival.
Dhawan was lot more aggressive in his approach, hitting eight fours in his 66 balls stay at the crease.
After the departure of Dhawan, Himachal's first innings folded up for 163 in 64.4 overs with Mohinderraj Sharma being the last man to depart.
For Orissa, pacers Basanth Mohanty, Debasis Mohanty and Alok Chandra Sahoo shared the spoils with eight wickets among them. Basanth returned with figures of four for 43 while
Debasis took 2 for 48. Sahoo chipped in with 2 for 32.
Himachal Pradesh 1st innings: 163 all out (Paras Dogra 53 not out, Rishi Dhawan 43; Basanth Mohanty 43 for 4).
Anureet keeps Railways hopes alive
An irresponsible pull-shot from skipper Shikhar Dhawan led to a top-order collapse as Delhi were reeling at 48 for four at stumps on the third day, chasing a modest target 136 against Railways, in a sixth round Ranji Trophy encounter being played at the Roshanara ground in New Delhi.
If the first couple of sessions belonged to Delhi seamer Sumit Narwal who returned with career-best figures of seven for 43 to dismiss Railways for 166, it was Railways' new-ball bowler Anureet Singh who kept his team's chances alive with an incisive spell in the last session to remove Shikhar (14), Mayank Tehlan (6) and Unmukt Chand (22). Aditya Jain (2) was dismissed by veteran Jai Prakash Yadav.
However it was Narwal who got into the act straightaway dismissing openers Faiz Fazal and Shreyas Khanolkar in his first two overs.
In his first spell of seven overs, Narwal pitched the ball in the right areas got a fair bit of movement as he got four wickets to rock the top-order before skipper Sanjay Bangar (67, 169 balls, 7x4) and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahesh Rawat (50, 97 balls, 7x4) added 90 runs for the fifth wicket.
Just when it looked Railways will set a stiff target, Rawat was out fishing at an away going delivery snapped up by Puneet Bisht behind the stumps.
Bangar who was lucky to survive being dropped as many three times was finally out as a Narwal delivery held its line to disturb his off-stump. In fact Narwal got the first seven wickets when JP was smartly caught by Shikhar Dhawan in the slips.
With a modest target to chase in conditions where the ball was doing a fair bit, one expected Shikhar to play a matured knock but he only skied a pull shot off Anureet's bowling to be taken by Harshad Rawle. Aditya, who is likely to be dropped in the next game was found plumb in-front to an incoming delivery from JP.
Mayank Tehlan, another candidate who will sit out when Mithun Manhas and Virat Kohli make a comeback in the next match fished at an away going delivery from Anureet as Murali Kartik took a simple catch in the first slip.
Hero of Delhi's first essay, Unmukt played a few delightful cover drives before a nervous poke at the fag end of the day saw him taken by Rawat behind the stumps.
Gujarat in control against Assam
Gujarat were in complete command after posting a first innings total of 387 thanks to a superb century by Sunny Patel in the Ranji Trophy Super League match
Patel scored a brilliant 108 as Assam bowlers toiled hard on the third day of the match after rains played spoilsport at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Guwahati.
For the hosts, medium pacer Abu Nachem Ahmed and spinner Arlan Konwar took three wickets each.
In reply, Assam, aiming at a first innings lead, was left tottering at 108 for three at stumps.