Defending champions Mumbai placed themselves in a strong position for a victory over Odisha after reducing the visiting side to 115 for two after following on day three of their Group A Ranji Trophy match in Mumbai on Monday.
Despite opener Natraj Behera's valiant 130, Odisha could not avoid the follow on as they folded up for 256 soon after lunch, in reply to Mumbai's huge first innings total of 501/9 declared.
Batting for the second time in the day, Odisha batsmen applied themselves and the new opening pair of Govind Podder and Girjia Rout looked tentative but stitched an 83-run stand for the first wicket.
But the visitors lost both the openers in a short span of time.
Podder, who was dropped on 14 by wicket-keeper Aditya Tare, made 42 (6x4) before he caught behind off Pravin Tambe. Rout was stumped, also off the bowling of Tambe after scoring 43 (6x4, 1x6).
Natraj (20) and one-down batter Niranjan Behera (9) were at the crease at the draw of stumps, with their team still 130 runs behind Mumbai's first innings total with eight second innings wickets intact.
The 42-year old leg-spinner Tambe, playing his debut match, was wicketless in the first innings but scalped two wickets in Odisha's second innings so far.
Resuming their first innings at 79 for 3, Odisha lost four wickets in the first session.
In the morning session, Natraj slammed his second ton of the season, the previous being against Delhi in the last game.
Odisha's innings was wrapped up in 63.5 overs and Natraj batted till 60.5 overs. His 255 minutes at the crease yielded 24 fours and two sixes.
Despite losing wickets at the other end, Natraj, who resumed batting at his overnight score of 45, was resilient and tried to attack to the opposition. He extracted 20 runs off left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar's over by hitting two fours and two sixes.
Natraj, who was on 63 when Odisha lost their seventh wicket, forged a 77-stand with Basant Mohanty to consolidate the innings.
With Odisha at 227 for 8 when Natraj departed, Mohanty later chipped in with a useful 29, with five fours and a six, before being dismissed by Dabholkar to signal the end of Odisha's first innings.
Captain Biplab Samantray (39), who shared a 50-run partnership with Natraj, made his intent clear when he hit Shardul Thakur for four consecutive boundaries. He, however, perished while attacking the bowler in his next over.
Samantray made a quick 33-ball 39 which was laced with four boundaries.
Javed Khan was the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai in Odisha's first innings with four wickets for 53 runs, while Shardul Thakur grabbed three wickets for 54 runs.
Dabholkar picked up two wickets and Kshemal Waingankar bagged one.
Mumbai: 501 for 9 decl
Odisha: 256 all out (Natraj Behera 130; Javed Khan 4/53) and 115 for 2 (Govind Podder 42; Girjia Rout 43; Pravin Tambe 2/52).
Karnataka snif victory against Punjab
Hubli: A rare century by skipper R Vinay Kumar followed by purposeful bowling led by Abhimanyu Mithun had Karnataka on the verge of victory over Punjab in their Group A Ranji Trophy match.
Mithun captured three for 26 from 11 overs, as Punjab in pursuit of 331 for avoiding an innings defeat, slumped to 156 for five in their second innings at stumps on the third day at KSCA Stadium.
Right-hander Gurkeerat Singh Mann was the only Punjab batsman who could negotiate the Karnataka bowlers, smashing the top score so far of 56 not out.
Vinay, who cracked his first first-class hundred, was undefeated on 105, as the hosts reached 505 for nine in their first innings before declaring their innings. The host captain struck 10 fours and a six from 183 balls in close to four hours batting.
Pacer Manpreet Gony was the most successful Punjab bowler with three for 98 from 31 overs.
Punjab's second innings started badly as they lost three wickets when the score was just 35 on the board, the chief wrecker was Mithun bagging prized wickets of Mandeep Singh (12) and Uday Kaul (3).
Mithun once again struck in 27th over when Punjab's mainstay batsman Jiwanjot Singh was trapped leg before wicket after he laboured for 32 runs in 62 balls with six hits to the fence.
Half an hour away from close of day, Taruwar Kohli laboured hard for his 30 runs after spending nearly two-and-a-half hours, facing 98 balls and nailing six boundaries. He was cleaned up by centurion Vinay, who finished with a figures of one for 25 off ten overs.
Earlier in the day, Vinay cracked his first century of his career in any form of the game. He knit a 67-run partnership for ninth wicket with KP Appanna, who made a quickfire 45 off 46 balls with eight boundaries to his name.
Punjab: 174 & 156/5 in 51 overs (Gurkeerat Singh 56; A Mithun 3/26).
Karnataka: 505/9d (R Vinay Kumar 105; MS Gony 3/98)
Delhi crush Vidarbha by an innings & 156 runs
New Delhi: Hosts Delhi extracted maximum benefit from conducive conditions as they thrashed Vidarbha by an innings and 156 runs in a Ranji Trophy group league encounter to get seven points which kept their hopes of making the knockout stages alive.
Declaring on their overnight score of 448 for nine, Delhi pacers Ashish Nehra (3/66), Sumit Narwal (3/52) and Parvinder Awana (3/29) bowled well in tandem as they shot out Vidarbha for 204 in their second innings.
Nehra was adjudged man-of-the-match by match referee Sanjay Patil for his all-round performance with match-figures of 9/82 and an attacking 57 that had four sixes.
In-form opener Faiz Fazal (90) played a counter-attacking innings but that wasn't enough for the visitors to erase a huge deficit of 360 runs.
The match started 50 minutes late due to foggy conditions and Nehra again got a breakthrough in his very first over as he trapped opener Akshay Kolhar leg before with a delivery that came into the batsman.
Ravi Jangid (4) poked at an away going delivery from Nehra after which Parvinder Awana took three quick wickets to reduce Vidarbha to 40 for five.
Awana bowled fast and straight as he got Shalabh Srivastava to offer a catch to Rajat Bhatia at short-leg and then took a fine return catch to get rid of Rashmi Ranjan Parida (1).
At the stroke of lunch, he cleaned up burly Ranjit Paradkar (0).
However Fazal, in company of wicketkeeper Urvesh Patel (34), added 106 runs for the sixth wicket to delay the inevitable. Since Gautam Gambhir had employed an attacking field, Shalabh got a lot of gaps in front of the square as he hit 16 boundaries in his 164-ball knock.
Finally, Narwal broke the deadlock as he got Urvesh to edge one to Unmukt Chand in the slip cordon at the stroke of tea.
Delhi marched closer towards victory when Nehra got rid of Jungade to take his ninth victim of the match while wily Narwal got one to move away dismissing Fazal who nicked it to Rahul Yadav behind the stumps.
At 151 for eight, it was Shrikant Wagh (44) who threw his bat around to take the score past 200 run mark before part-time spinner Mithun Manhas closed the match as Virender Sehwag took a smart catch diving to his right in the first slip.
Sharma stated that the team would like to play their final two matches at the Roshanara although there is a possibility that the match will be shifted at the Kotla.
Vidarbha 88 & 204 in 63.1 overs (Faiz Fazal 90, Ashish Nehra 3/66, Sumit Narwal 3/52, Parvinder Awana 3/29)
Delhi 448/9 decl.
Merai century takes Gujarat to 314/4 against Haryana
Ahmedabad: Bhargav Merai struck a fine century to take Gujarat to a respectable 314 for four in reply to Haryana's massive 573 for six declared in the first innings as the Ranji Trophy Group A match between the two teams headed for a draw.
Merai was batting on 115 off 216 deliveries, hitting 15 fours and two sixes in the process, at the draw of stumps at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera.
Gujarat, who resumed the day on 27 for one, were struggling at 96 for three at one stage before Merai played the rescue act with a solid batting performance.
Y Venugopal Rao was giving Merai company on 64 and the duo has so far put on 147 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket stand.
The home side trail by 259 runs with six first innings wickets remaining.
With just one day left, the match is set to end in a draw but it will be interesting to see tomorrow whether Gujarat can go past the massive 573 scored by Haryana or not.
Both sides would look to take the first innings lead to get more points from the match now that it's improbable to get an outright result.
For Haryana, leg-spinner Amit Mishra grabbed two wickets while Ashish Hooda took one.
Haryana: 573 for 6 decl
Gujarat: 314 for 4 from 97 overs (Bhargav Merai 115 batting; Amit Mishra 2/88).
Dinda bowls Bengal to an emphatic win over UP
Kolkata: Pacer Ashok Dinda returned to his elements with a magnificent seven for 82, and a match haul of 10, to set up Bengal's emphatic eight-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh with more than a day to spare in their Group B Ranji Trophy league.
A day after Bengal skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla turned it for Bengal with his belligerent century, Dinda, who had taken two wickets to leave UP tottering at 50 for three in their overnight score, exploited the Eden green top to the fullest enroute to his 7/82, his first five-for this season.
Dinda was brilliantly supported by Sourav Sarkar (3/33) as the former India pacer bowled an unchanged spell of 12.4 overs in a brilliant display of seam bowling to skittle out the Group B leaders for 140, giving the hosts a paltry 69 to chase.
Bengal had the bonus point in sight as they promoted Abhimanyu Easwaran to open the innings with Gitimoy Basu as regular opener Arindam Das was down with a sore back.
With no positive intent from the UP overnight duo of Mulul Dagar and Prashant Gupta, Bengal skipper Shukla persisted with the Dinda-Sarkar attack.
Sarkar did not disappoint his captain as he gave the first breakthrough of the morning castling Dagar in the ninth over of the day to leave UP reeling at 67 for four.
Dinda made his presence felt when Chatterjee took a stunning flying catch at second slip to dismiss Gupta, the other overnight batsman with an addition of two runs to the total.
On a roll, Dinda took Ekalavya Dwivedi in his next over when the wicketkeeper-batsman top edged while trying to pull but only to be caught by the bowler.
Dinda scalped his fifth deceiving Parvinder Singh with a classical out swinger and in the next ball he trapped UP skipper Piyush Chawla lbw, which brought in the tailenders.
The Bengal's bowling duo continued for 34th over before Shukla made the first change by bringing in veteran Shib Shankar Paul in place of Sarkar, even as Dinda continued unrelenting at the other end.
Ali Murtaza (41 not out) counter attacked Bengal with Paul bowling.
Sarkar was brought back again and the seamer yet again gave the breakthrough ending the 35-run partnership between Murtaza and Ahmed, trapping the latter on the back foot.
With his newly-wedded wife cheering from the VIP box, Dinda dismissed RP Singh to cap a match haul of 10 for 157, and was adjudged the man-of-the-match.
Skipper Shukla, who was the man behind Bengal's turnaround with an aggressive 117 in the first innings, said his team would have to keep up the same intensity when they face Tamil Nadu at the Chepauk.
Uttar Pradesh: 212 & 140 (Ali Murtaza 43 not out; Ashok Dinda 7/82, Sourav Sarkar 3/33).
Bengal: 284 & 70 for two.
Baroda annihilate Services by innings and 147 runs
Vadodara: Pacer Munaf Patel's six-wicket haul helped Baroda humiliate Services in an emphatic innings and 147 runs win after the visiting side was sent packing for just 31 in its second essay on day three in their Ranji Trophy Group B encounter.
Responding to Baroda's first innings total of 369 after being bowled out for 191 in their own first essay, Services were demolished by the pace combination of Munaf and Gagandeep Singh, who took four in this innings.
Baroda, who pocketed the bonus point as well to take a total of seven from this match, now have 14 points overall from two wins and three losses.
Services, in contrast, are bottom of the heap after two losses and four draws.
Overnight 2/1, Services produced a shocking batting performance as half of their line-up departed without disturbing the scorecard.
Vishnu Tiwari was the lone batsman to touch the double-digit mark with his 14. In fact, the innings extras of 7 were the next big contributors to the Services' embarrassing scoreline.
Munaf was the star of the show for Baroda with a match haul of 10 wickets. His figures this innings read an enviable 6 for 13 from 10 overs, four of them maiden.
Services: 191 and 31 in 20 overs (Munaf Patel 6/13, Gagandeep Singh 4/11).
HP concedes first innings lead to Andhra
Visakhapatnam: Nikhil Gangta (115) cracked a fine century but still could not save Himachal Pradesh from conceding a 112-run first innings lead to Andhra Pradesh on the third day of their Group C Ranji Trophy match at Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
Gangta blasted 13 boundaries and six sixes in his 251-ball innings and added 152 runs for the ninth wicket with Vikramjeet Malik (83) to help Himachal post 305 in their first innings. Malik had eight hits to the fence and five sixes in his 108-ball innings.
For Andhra, DP Vijay kumar (4/90) and GVS Prasad (3/77) shared seven wickets between them, while D Shivkumar (1/42) scalped one.
Andhra, who had scored 417 runs in their first innings, were 39 for one in their second essay with DB Prasanth and MUB Sriram on 15 and 10 respectively at the draw of stumps.
The only wicket to fall for Andhra was KS Bharat (9), who was trapped in front of wicket by Rahul Dhawan in the 8th over.
Resuming their first innings at 24/3, Himachal Pradesh lost Jarnail Singh (22) in the 19th over when he was adjudged lbw off Vijay Kumar's bowling. Prasad then got rid off V Bhatia (18) in the 34th over.
Prasad again came back later to dismiss skipper Rahul Dhawan (19) and Bipul Sharma (25). A Bhalaik too was ran out by RK Bhui as HP slipped to 152 for eight in 54.2 overs.
Gangta and Malik then steadied the ship and took HP across the 300-mark.
Andhra: 417 & 39/1 (DB Prasanth 15; R Dhawan 1/15)
HP: 305 all out in 80.4 overs (N Gangta 115; DP Vijaykumar 4/90).
Kerala-Maharashtra game evenly poised
Kannur: Kerala were ahead by 143 runs with six wickets remaining in their second essay against Maharashtra by the end of third day's play, leaving the Ranji Trophy Group C match here evenly poised.
At stumps, Kerala were 306 for four with skipper Sachin Baby (54 batting) and Robert Fernandez (29 batting) at the crease.
Maharashtra had scored 314 in their first innings, thereby taking a 163-run lead over the hosts who were bowled out for 151 in their first innings.
Opener Nikhilesh Surendran top-scored for Kerala in their second essay with a fine 159-ball 83, while Sanju Samson made an equally impressive 66 off 136 balls at the Conor Vayal Stadium.
Off-spinner Chirag Khurana was the most successful bowler for Maharashtra, returning with figures of 2/81.
Kerala 151 and 306 for 4 in 100 overs (Nikhilesh Surendran 83, Sanju Samson 66, Sachin Baby 54 batting; Chirag Khurana 2/81).
Maharashtra: 314 all out in 109.2 overs (Harshad Khadiwale 97, Akshay Darekar 52; V Manoharan 4/60).
Image: Ashok Dinda
Photograph: Pal Pillai/Getty Images