Andhra crushed Kerala by seven wickets to clinch their fourth win of the season, while Rajasthan coasted home to a nine-wicket win against Hyderabad. Elsewhere, Gujarat need another 105 runs to beat Vidarbha with six wickets in hand, while the Delhi-Bengal clash looks destined for a draw.
Clinical Andhra go top of table
A clinical performance from the hosts handed the fifth loss of the season in seven games to Kerala at the CSR Sharma College Ground in Ongole. Beginning the day with a 93-run lead, Andhra’s bowlers — led by eventual Man-of-the-Match Shoaib Khan’s three-fer — bowled the visitors out in little more than a session. Five batsmen got to double-digits, but none converted as Kerala managed 27 runs less than their first-innings total of 162 the second time out. Yarra Prithviraj picked up three for 26 while KV Sasikanth returned with figures of two for 47. Andhra’s top-order then chased down the target of 43 inside 16 overs, though they lost three wickets in the process.
Narender Singh, Mahipal Lomror guides Rajasthan home
A low-scoring affair, where none of the four innings managed to go past the 200-run mark and fortunes swung several times, eventually came down to a clinical batting display from Rajasthan’s top-order. Despite Akshath Reddy — who was on 43 overnight — going onto complete his fifty, Hyderabad could only 55 more runs to their overnight score of 101 for six, setting up a 193 for Rajasthan to chase. Losing Yash Kothari early — with the score only at 19 — created a few jitters, but Narender and Lomror showed resolve and class to take the game away from the hosts. The wicket-keeper batsman, who won the Man-of-the-Match award for his unbeaten century, hit 14 fours, while Lomror smashed eight fours and a six in his 71.
Bengal inch closer to first-innings lead in rain-hit affair
On a day mostly ruined by inclement weather conditions, the only bit of play — in the final session — saw Delhi add 25 runs to their overnight score of 192 for six, losing one more wicket in the process. The visitors reached 217 for seven at stumps on day three — still trailing Bengal’s first-innings total by 101 runs.
Aditya Thakare between Gujarat and fourth win
When skipper Faiz Fasal was dismissed off the second ball of the day — and another one followed soon after leaving them at 104 for six — it seemed that the end was nigh for Vidarbha. Walking in at No.8, however, Aditya Sarwate joined forces with wicket-keeper Akshay Wadkar and counter-attack. The duo shared an 83-run stand, of which 53 came off Sarwate’s bat, while Wadkar carried on, hitting 15 fours in his patient 87, and carried the team’s total to 247. With a 179-run target before them, Gujarat’s openers came out blazing before Thakare reduced them to 32 for three and later to 65 for four all by himself. However, the medium-pacer will need support from around him if they are to stave off what looks like a fourth win on the way for Gujarat.