Vidarbha and Kerala further strangled their hold on Andhra and Delhi respectively with a strong showing on Day 3, slotting themselves in prime position to win the match. While Hyderabad and Gujarat seem set for a draw, Punjab, thanks to Sanvir Singh’s 3-fer, edged near to a win over Rajasthan.
Tanmay Agarwal’s 96 keeps Hyderabad alive
Brief scores: Hyderabad 233 and 239/6 (Tanmay Agarwal 96 and Roosh Kalaria 2/38) lead Gujarat 313 by 159 runs
Resuming the Day on 295/9, the final wicket partnership for Gujarat added 18 more runs, ensuring they took a 80-run first-innings lead in the process. In reply, Hyderabad’s openers put up a strong showing, adding 80 runs for the first wicket, thanks to skipper Tanmay Agarwal’s 96. Roosh Kalaria and Axar Patel chipped in with two wickets each for Gujarat, the Hyderabad batsmen did enough to steer them to safety, taking the lead to 159. Although the visitors have an outside chance of winning, the contest looks to be heading for a stalemate.
Jalaj Saxena piles misery on hopeless Delhi
Brief scores: Delhi 142 and 142/1 (Anuj Rawat 87 and Sachin Baby 1 / 3 ) trail Kerala 525/9 by 241 runs
Resuming Day 3 on 24/2, things went awry for Delhi, who lost their next 8 wickets for just 118 runs. Jalaj Saxena was the wrecker in chief for the hosts, scalping 6 wickets in the first innings. Thanks to them having a 383-run lead, Kerala decided to enforce the follow on, but Delhi came up with an extremely strong response in the second innings, ending the Day on 142/1, thanks to fifties from Anuj Rawat and Kunal Chandela.
Punjab edge closer to victory on Day 3
Brief scores: Rajasthan 257 and 157/8 (Mahipal Lomror 43 and Sanvir Singh 3/28) lead Punjab 358 by 56 runs
Resuming the Day on 290/6, Punjab added just 68 more runs to their overnight tally and were restricted by an early-morning Khaleel Ahmed burst. Still 101 runs behind Punjab, Rajasthan, after a brisk start - racing off to 103-3 with Menaria and Lomror well settled - suffered a collapse late on Day 3 to find themselves reeling at 157/8 at the end of the day, leading the visitors by just 56 runs. A victory for Punjab on Day 4 looks like all but a formality.
Ganesh Satish masterclass downs Andhra
Brief scores: Andhra Pradesh 211 and 100/2 (CR Gnaneshwar 42* and Lalit M Yadav 1/12) trail Vidarbha 441 by 130 runs.
Thanks to Ganesh Satish’s 237, Vidarbha, who started Day 3 on 268/4, stretched their first-innings lead to a massive 230, ensuring they batted Andhra completely out of the game. One of the shining lights for the hosts, however, was the performance of pacer Cheepurapalli Stephen, who took just the second 5-wicket haul of his FC career. Andhra eventually ended the Day on 100/2, trailing the visitors by 130 runs, but were dealt a body blow with the dismissal of their skipper Hanuma Vihari.