Suresh Raina hit a blistering unbeaten double-hundred to help Uttar Pradesh reach a commanding position in the Ranji Trophy Super League match against Punjab in Mohali on Saturday.
Raina, who resumed from his overnight score of 15, batted with ease to produce a scintillating knock of 204 and also shared a 241-run stand with overnight partner Parvinder Singh (138) for the fourth wicket.
Responding to hosts' 350 all out, UP scored a mammoth 596 for five before declaring their innings and then took two wickets in Punjab's second innings to raise visions of an innings victory.
If Raina served a reminder to the selectors that he shouldn't be kept out of the scheme of things as far as longer version is concerned, Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh's first Ranji match in recent times turned out to be a damp squib as he gave away 92 runs in his 28 wicketless overs.
The hosts are still trailing by 220 runs and need to bat through the day to save the match. The UP batsmen plundered Punjab bowling to notch up 375 runs in less than three sessions.
Later Piyush Chawla also bolstered UP total smashing a quickfire 73 off 67 balls with 10 fours and a six.
Punjab needed a good start in their essay but Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Ravi Inder Singh (0) and Chawla dismissed nightwatchman Sandeep Sharma (0) to cap an already successful day for UP.
Brief Scores: Punjab 350 & 26/2. UP 596/5 decl (Suresh Raina 204 no. Parvinder Singh 138, Piyush Chawla 73 no).
Mumbai in sight of an outright victory against Railways
New Delhi: The formidable Mumbai side look firm favourites to win their opening Ranji Trophy Elite group encounter as hosts Railways still require 106 runs to make visitors bat again.
Replying to Mumbai's challenging first innings score of 483, Railways were shot out for a none-too-impressive 256 on a slow Karnail Singh track --- 78 runs short of avoiding follow-on. Railways were 121 for two in their second essay with former UP opener Shivakant Shukla fighting it out with a gutsy unbeaten 64.
The day started with Railways precariously placed at 66 for three. Railways skipper Sanjay Bangar in his 18th first-class season used his vast repertoire of experience holding one end up with a typically dogged 89. However he did chance his arm hitting 11 boundaries and three sixes in his 174 ball knock. However he distinctly lacked support from the other end.
Bangar was finally the eighth Railway batsman to be dismissed being caught by Rohit Sharma off left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan's bowling.
For Mumbai, old warhorse Ramesh Powar (3/76) and young Chavan (3/34) bowled well to grab the lion's share of the spoils.
Save Bangar, only Murali Karthik hit a few blows at the rear to take the score past 250-run mark. Karthik hit 48 off only 42 deliveries with the help of six boundaries and a six.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 483. Railways 256 (S Bangar 89, M Karthik 48, R Powar 3/76, A Chavan 3/34) & 121/2 (SS Shukla 64 batting).
Patel, Panchal make Bengal bowlers toil
Kolkata: Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel brought his experience to maximum utility against a listless Bengal attack as visitors reached a commanding 315 for two at stumps on the penultimate day of their Elite Group Ranji Trophy match at the Eden Gardens.
Patel who is locked in a direct fight for the reserve wicketkeeper's slot with Bengal's Wriddhiman Saha did his cause no harm as he hit a patient 143.
He also inspired his opening partner Priyank Panchal who hit a solid 139 in a 284 opening stand that helped them reach 145 runs shy within Bengal's first innings score of 560.
With eight wickets in hand, Gujarat look firm favourites to get the first innings lead on an unresponsive Eden track which has made the Bengal bowling look even more pedestrian.
Resuming at 10 for no loss, Gujarat openers' job was made easy by Bengal's experienced new ball duo of Ranadeb Bose and Ashok Dinda who couldn't trouble the batsmen at all.
Parthiv lived up to his reputation with a chanceless century under pressure and he also ensured that he along with Panchal put the hosts under a bit of pressure at the close of play. This was his 15th in first-class cricket.
Brief Scores: Bengal 1st Innings: 560/6 decl; Gujarat 315-2 (P Patel 143, P Panchal 139; Saxena 1-97, Lahiri 1-74).
Karnataka eye innings win over Rajasthan
Udaipur: After a splendid batting effort, Karnataka rode on some fine bowling performance to consolidate its position against defending champions Rajasthan at the end of the third day's play in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match.
After piling up an imposing 623 for six declared in their first innings, Karnataka bowlers stuck to their task and bundled out Rajasthan for 255, which brought smiles into the face of visiting skipper R Vinay Kumar who had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on on the home team.
Karnataka now find themselves 10 wickets away from an innings victory as, following-on, Rajasthan were 51 for no loss in their second innings, still trailing the visitors by 317 runs with a full day's play left.
At stumps, openers Vaibhav Deshpande (27) and Vineet Saxena (21) were holding the fort for Rajasthan.
Earlier, resuming their first innings at the overnight score of 49 for two, majority of Rajasthan's top-order batsmen frittered away good starts to be eventually bowled out in 77.1 overs.
Young left-arm orthodox bowler, K P Appanna emerged as wrecker-in-chief for Karnataka with figures of four for 35. He was ably supported by skipper Vinay Kumar (2/53) and his new ball partner Abhimanyu Mithun (3/66).
Ashok Maneria top-scored for Rajasthan with a fighting 57 that came off 81 balls during which he hit nine boundaries.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 1st innings: 623 for six decl; Rajasthan: 255 and 51-0 (Vaibhav Deshpande 27, Vineet Saxena 21).
Behera ton helps Orissa reach 246/4 vs Saurashtra
Cuttack: Nataraj Behera cracked an unbeaten century as hosts Orissa reached 246 for four in the first innings of their Ranji Trophy match against Saurashtra at Barabati stadium.
Orissa still require 100 more runs to avoid a follow-on. Behera displayed steady batting to grab 112 runs and was still at crease at close of play on the third day.
Behera's 112 included 15 hits to the fence and also a six. he batted for 462 minutes.
Opener Bikash Pati scored an useful 43 with the help of seven boundaries. He faced 80 balls during his 127 minute stay before being bowled by left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat.
Adding stability to the team's batting, Biplab Samantray scored 41 runs, while Abhilash Mallick remained unbeaten on 35.
For Saurashtra, Unadkat scalped two wickets giving away 52 runs, while Sandeep Manyar captured one wicket for 31 runs and Haladhar Das had been run out.
Brief scores: Saurashtra first innings: 545 all out (Ravindra Jadeja 314, Bhushan Chauhan 83, Pratik Mehta 39, Basant Mohanty 4/86).
Orissa 1st innings: 246/4 (Nataraj Behera 112 not out, Bikash Pati 43; Jaydev Unadkat 2/52).
Third day's play also called-off
Chennai: The third day's play of the Super League Group B Ranji Trophy match between hosts Tamil Nadu and last year's runner-up Baroda was called off without a ball being bowled following rains.
With the last two days play also washed out, the teams are likely to share a point each in this game. Even if the play happen tomorrow on the final day, there would not be any outcome.
The umpires held inspections five times a day before calling off play.