India discard R P Singh (6/48) produced a superb seam bowling performance to reduce Orissa to 232 for nine in their first innings and put Uttar Pradesh in the drivers' seat on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match in Lucknow, on Friday.
In reply to UP's first innings 403 all out, opener Natraj Behera (113) waged a lone battle for Orissa with a fighting century but his side is certain to follow on as they were trailing by 171 runs with only one first innings wicket in hand.
Former India pacer Debasis Mohanty, who came out at number nine, was the highest scorer for Orissa after Behera and was batting on 30 in company of Dhiraj Singh (15) when stumps were drawn at Dr Akhilesh Das Stadium.
UP would now look to quickly end the Orissa first innings on Saturday and press for a win by forcing a follow-on. But they are certain to gain three points at least by virtue of first innings lead.
After UP were bowled out for 403, Orissa were immediately in trouble early in the morning as they were reduced to 15 for three inside the first hour. R P Singh claimed the wickets of opener Shiv Sunder Das (1) and Govind Podder (1) while Niranjan Behera fell for a duck to Shalabh Srivastava.
Then Natraj Behera was involved in a 70-run stand with Biplab Samantray (20) for the fifth wicket before a 45-run partnership with Alok Chandra Sahoo (29) for the seventh wicket to take Orissa score past 200.
Natraj Behera was finally out towards the close of day after facing 244 balls from which he hit 17 fours.
Srivastava, Sudeep Tyagi and Praveen Gupta took a wicket each for UP while Piyush Chawla went wicketless in his 22 overs.
Yuvraj hits fifty but Punjab still trail by 10 runs
Yuvraj Singh's unbeaten 52 helped Punjab score 173 for two in their second innings but the visitors are still trailing by 10 runs after the end of the third day's play in their Ranji trophy Super League Group B match against Karnataka in Mohali on Friday.
Earlier Karnataka started the day with 346 for six wickets on board but were bundled out for 426 runs in their first innings in reply to Punjab's total of 243.
The architects of Karnataka's big first innings score were Robin Uthappa, who scored a scintillating 149, MK Pandey (49) and CM Gautam (60).
For hosts, the main wicket taker was M S Gony with three for 92 runs followed NTS Sidhu and Rajwinder Singh who scalped two wickets each.
Keeping in mind Karnataka's first innings lead, Punjab started their second innings on a cautious note with openers adding 84 runs.
But S Kanwar was soon removed by S Aravind. He scored 39 runs with seven hits to fence and a towering six.
R Inder Singh chipped in with a useful knock of 52 runs before felling prey to A Mithun with the teams score reading 111.
Yuvraj was unbeaten on 52 (78 balls) with eight hits to the fence.
Giving him company was V Bhalla playing at an individual score of 22 off 86 balls.
With the match heading for draw Karnataka hold the strong position due to the first innings lead.
Kartik's spin leaves Assam in a spell
Left-arm spinner Murali Kartik grabbed five wickets to help Railways reduce Assam to 160 for nine and give his side a chance for victory in an absorbing Group A Ranji Trophy Super League match, on the penultimate day in New Delhi.
Kartik (5/66) ran through the opposition top order and Assam were 67 for five at one stage before captain Amol Muzumdar played a defiant unbeaten knock of 73 that came off 222 balls.
Left-arm spinner Prakash Bhagat, who made his first class debut, was giving Muzumdar company on one when stumps were drawn for the day at the Karnail Singh Stadium.
Kartik first ran out Assam opener Pravez Aziz (7) with the scoreboard reading 11 for one in the fifth over and then scalped two more wickets -- that of other opener Dheeraj Jadhav (6) and one-down Sridharan Sriram (8).
At 31 for three, Assam were in trouble and though Muzumdar was holding one end together his colleagues failed to put up a fight.
Jai Prakash Yadav then removed Deepak Sharma for six before Kartik came back again to dismiss Tarjinder Singh (8) as half of the Assam side were back at the pavilion for 67.
From there, Assam never recovered as they could not form any substantive partnership, the biggest being the 33 for the sixth wicket between Muzumdar and Kunal Saikia (25).
Assam have now taken an overall 165-run lead with just one second innings wicket in hand.
Railways would fancy for a win by quickly breaking the last wicket pair of Assam on Saturday. If Railways fail to do so and the match ends in a draw, Assam will run away with three points on the basis of their five-run first innings lead.
Earlier in the morning, Railways resumed their first innings at 164 for eight but their last two wickets fell quickly as they were all out for 182 to fall short of Assam's first innings total of 187.
Kulamani Parida (4) was out in the third over of the morning to Dhiraj Goswami, who completed his five-wicket haul, before Ranjit Kumar Mali ended the resistance of tailender Jai Prakash Yadav (37).
Delhi sitting pretty against TN
Shikhar Dhawan struck an unbeaten 76 as Delhi scored 122 for two in their second innings at close against Tamil Nadu on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match in Chennai.
Having already secured three vital points by virtue of their first innings lead of 110 runs after dismissing Tamil Nadu for 208 all out, Delhi were in the driver's seat when stumps were drawn.
Dhawan, who anchored the Delhi innings, was batting on 76 (113b, 172m, 10X4) along with Manoj Chauhan who is yet to open his account.
The visitors have taken an overall lead of 232 and would be eyeing an outright win on Saturday.
Delhi opener Chetan Sharma (22) was in his elements in their second essay but was bowled to a low delivery from off spinner Ashwin. He added 46 runs with his opening partner Dhawan in 14.1 overs.
Yogesh Nahar, sent ahead of Virat Kohli, was shaping well in company of Dhawan but made his exit offering an edge to S Badrinath in leg slip while trying to defend an Ashwin delivery. He made 23 with three hits to the fence and added 59 runs in 26.3 overs for the second wicket.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu (overnight 122 for 5) could only add 86 before being bowled out. Badrinath (104; 6x4 2x6) saved the side from landing in a much worse situation scoring 59 runs before being bowled by pacer Pawan Suyal, who claimed three wickets by conceding 37 runs.
Badrinath and other overnight batsman C Ganapathy were coasting to a sizeable stand but the latter was ran out by a direct hit from Manoj Chauhan from the mid-on region.
Chauhan also dismissed R Ashwin (3) caught at square leg by Dhawan. Prabhu (3) was adjudged leg before wicket off leg spinner Vikas Mishra and Aushik Srinivas (4) edged to wicketkeeper Puneet Bisht off Suyal. Mishra was the chief wicket-taker ending with an analysis of four for 50 in 38 overs.
Saurashtra take lead against Gujarat
Saurashtra bowlers produced a fine display to bowl out Gujarat for 191 and clinch a vital 71-run first innings lead on the penultimate day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match in Surat.
At stumps, Saurashtra were 20 for two in their second essay with Bhushan Chauhan unbeaten on 22 and Shitanshu Kotak on one.
Chirag Pathak (35) and Sandip Maniar (0) were the two Saurashtra batsmen to fall in the second innings. Off-break bowler Mohnish Parmar scalped both the victims giving away 11 runs.
Earlier in the day, Gujarat batsmen fumbled against the strong Saurashtra bowling attack led by Jaidev Undakat and Ravindra Jadeja, both scalping three wickets apiece, costing 46 and 49 runs respectively.
Left-arm orthodox bowler Rakesh Dhruv picked up two crucial wickets of skipper Parthiv Patel (10) and Niraj Patel (18), while Maniar and Kotak also managed to bag one wicket each.
Opener Priyank Panchal was the highest scorer for Gujarat with 40 followed by Prathmesh Parmar (36) and Bhavik Thaker (30).
At stumps, Saurashtra were leading by 131 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Seven-star Bhatt gives big win for Baroda
Bhargav Bhatt produced a sensational show of spin bowling with figures of seven for 127 as Baroda crushed Haryana by an innings and 33 runs with a day to spare in the Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match in Rohtak on Friday.
Bhatt denied Haryana any chance of forcing their opponents to bat for the second time by claiming the top and middle order as the home side were all out for 310 after following on, on the third and penultimate day of the match.
In the process, 20-year-old Bhatt registered the best first class performance of his career with match figures of 10 for 152 runs.
Haryana, who had conceded a huge 343 run lead to their opponents, made a spirited start to their second essay with their opening pair making 68 runs before Bhatt triggered a mini collapse, removing three batsmen -- Rahul Dewan (34), Sunny Singh (3) and Nitin Saini (37) to reduce the hosts to 77 for three.
Hemang Badani (79) then involved himself in two substantive partnerships to take the fight to Baroda.
Badani first shared 86 runs for the fourth wicket with Manav Sharma (28) and then stitched 76 runs with Joginder Sharma (47) for the sixth wicket before falling to Munaf Patel.
Haryana were 259 for seven at that stage and the writing was on the wall.
Badani's 79 came from 162 balls from which he hit 10 fours and two sixes.
The last wicket pair of Ashish Hooda (29) and Sanjay Budhwar (19 not out) delayed the inevitable by sharing 48 runs in 8.4 overs before the former departed to hand an innings victory to Baroda and six points from the match.
Jharkhand face uphill task against Hyderabad
Jharkhand conceded a huge 292 runs first innings lead against Hyderabad and have an uphill task at hand to save the match after closing at 102 for two in their second innings on the third day of their Ranji Trophy Plate League Group A match in Ranchi on Friday.
Sensible unbeaten knocks by Saurabh Tiwari (32) and Ishant Jaggi (33) saved the day for the hosts after pacer Lalith Mohan struck early, dismissing openers Siddhartha Sinha (22) and Rameez Nemat.
Resuming at 349 for five, Hyderabad rode on overnight batsman Ibrahim Khaleel's 141 to post 492 in their first innings.
Bavanaka Sandeep (144) could add only 14 runs to his overnight score before he was bowled by Rahul Shukla, but Khaleel batted well in his 342-ball innings during which he struck 12 boundaries and a six.
Samar Quadri (3 for 99) was the most successful bowler for the home team while Kuldeep Sharma (3 for 65) failed to add a single wicket to his kitty on Friday.
Jharkhand 1st innings: 200 all out
2nd innings: 102 for no loss (Saurabh Tiwari 32 not out, Ishant Jaggi 33 not out)
Hyderabad 1st innings: 492 all out (Bavanaka Sandeep 144, Ibrahim Khaleel 144, Samar Quadri 3 for 99).