File photo – Nitin Saini scored his maiden double-hundred © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Andhra added 53 to their overnight score of 173 for 6 with the help of Ricky Bhui’s half-century. He stretched his score from 47 to 62 as Andhra were wrapped up for 226 after Vinod Kumar dismissed the two overnight batsmen.
Paidikalva Vijaykumar, who shone with a six-for in the first innings, jolted Kerala again by dismissing Vishnu Vinod and Sanju Samson cheaply. However, opener Thakkar scored a brisk 56 and Prem, at No. 3, strengthened Kerala with 89, his sixth straight 50-plus score, to lead them past 200. Vijaykumar struck also removed Mohammed Azharuddeen for 36 as Kerala ended the day on 229 for 5.
Hyderabad bowlers turned things around in Valsad by taking the last six Chhattisgarh wickets for a healthy first-innings lead of 163 runs which came in handy when Hyderabad were reduced to 115 for 9 in the third innings of the match.
Chhattisgarh looked set to give Hyderabad a fight by resuming on 124 for 1. However, Chama Milind struck twice in the first over of the day to dismiss Abhimanyu Chauhan for 55 and Amandeep Khare for a duck. Milind also removed overnight batsman Sumit Ruikar 11 overs later to reduce them to 132 for 4. There was a brief resistance from Ashutosh Singh and captain Mohammad Kaif but both fell in consecutive overs and legspinner Akash Bhandari bagged the last three wickets to limit Chhattisgarh to 188.
Chhattisgarh fought back when medium-oacers Pankaj Rao and Abhishek Tamrakar took four wickets each. The duo bowled economical spells to dismiss the top six batsmen before Bhandari, at No. 8, resisted with an unbeaten 29 to stretch the innings to setup an exciting last day, with a competitive lead of 278.
An unbeaten and maiden double-century from opener Nitin Saini kept Haryana on track to take a first-innings lead against Goa in Ghaziabad. Haryana ended the third day on 392 for 3 in reply to Goa’s 413.
Haryana were 110 for no loss overnight but Shubham Rohilla could score only nine runs on the day before handing a return catch to Amulaya Pandrekar for 41. Saiani crusied to his century but Mohit Hooda also gave a return catch, to Shadab Jakati, for 27 before Saini and Chaitanya Bishnoi combined for a massive stand of 227 for the third wicket.
Bishnoi scored 90, his seventh first-class fifty, with 11 fours while Saini clubbed 20 fours during his 12th hundred in the format. Bishnoi was dismissed just before stumps and Saini was unbeaten on 211 as Haryana were only 21 away from Goa’s score.
Services put themselves in the driver’s seat in Surat by bowling Himachal Pradesh out for 296, for a first-innings lead of 105, and then ending the third day on 197 for 4 after a strong opening stand.
Himachal were 182 for 4 overnight and even though some of their lower-order batsmen got starts, nobody crossed 50 on the third day. Robin Bist scored 49, Sumeet Verma was unbeaten on 40 and captain Bipul Sharma scored 47 but Sachidanand Pandey and Anshul Gupta spoiled Himachal’s plans by taking three wickets each to restrict them under 300.
Gupta then scored 60 and Nakul Verma 42 in their opening stand of 91 before both were dismissed by left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar. Services lost two more wickets and Rahul Singh (32*) and Vikas Hathwala (2*) saw them through till stumps.
Jammu & Kashmir finished the third day 216 ahead, after taking a narrow first-innings lead against Tripura at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
Tripura had begun the day on 193 for 6, 122 behind J&K’s 315. Opener and overnight batsman Bishal Ghosh was dismissed in the eighth over of the day, for 95. Tripura were still 96 behind when he was dismissed, but allrounder Gurinder Singh batted with the tail to bring them close. He batted with a strike-rate of 75.67 in an unbeaten 84 with 12 fours and a six, as the last three wickets added 78 runs, but could not manage to push the score further than 297.
In the second innings, J&K lost their openers within the space of three balls with the score on 44, before Ian Dev Singh (67*) put on 63 for the third wicket with Pranav Gupta (26) and an unbroken 91 with Parvez Rasool (60*) to take them to 198 for 3 at stumps.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo