Ishant Sharma got a wicket in his first spell and won nine overs as Jharkhand, riding on centuries of Nazim Siddiqui and Kumar Suraj, put Delhi on the brink of elimination in their Group H Ranji Trophy match.
Jharkhand finished the third and penultimate day at 288 for five from 76 overs and, with an aggregate lead of 315, is almost certain to three runs. They would probably beat another hour on the final day to negate any remote chance of Delhi chasing the target in just five hours.
If Delhi finishes with a single point, they will only survive in theory as even a seven-point (bonus) game against Chattisgarh will not allow them to overtake Tamil Nadu.
In the morning, Jonty Sidhu (79) was the fifth victim of left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem when he tried to give him the charge as Delhi were down to 224 points, giving Jharkhand a big 27-point lead.
They came back strong in the first session, reducing Jharkhand to 67 for four as Navdeep Saini (13-2-45-1) and Ishant (9-2-29-1) threw good opening spells in tandem.
However, once right-handed fly-half Siddiqui (110, 177 balls, 13×4) and southpaw Suraj (129 with 160 balls, 17×4, 3×6) took charge, Delhi was slowly and surely knocked out of the game in the second session. when left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra (0/74 in 21 overs) looked flat against Nadeem.
Siddiqui played cover drives well while Suraj was stern at the box office with his cuts and draws.
Ishant played two more short spells but never looked in rhythm and, in fact, on his last spell lost some temper as Suraj treated him dismissively.
Once Delhi became wicketless at the tea, the shoulders started to sag and with Ishant not playing the old ball much, Jharkhand batters found other Delhi bowlers easy to negotiate as the two off the hook Lalit Yadav and Nitish Rana looked faded.
Tamil Nadu at the top
Tamil Nadu reduced Chattisgarh to 257-for-eight at stumps after declaring their first innings at 470-for-nine.
Chattisgarh still needs 64 runs to avoid the call with just two wickets in hand. For Chattisgarh, their skipper Harpreet Bhatia played a lone hand with an unbeaten 145 but got little support from the other side. Left arm spinner Ravi Srinivasan Sai Kishore (4/48) was the most successful bowler.
An outright win on the final day will take Tamil Nadu to nine points and top of the table heading into the final game against Jharkhand, while Chattisgarh need to save the game and stay ahead with seven points, having won the opener.
MPs win big
Right-arm middle pacemaker Anubhav Agarwal earned a five-wicket run to help Madhya Pradesh beat Meghalaya by one inning and 301 runs in their Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match on Saturday.
The first MP shot Meghalaya for a paltry 61 in their first try and then racked up a staggering 499/6 declared, courtesy of ages by in-form batsman Shubham Sharma and debutant Akshat Raghuwanshi in their first innings.
MP bowlers led by Agarwal (5/38) then wreaked havoc as they put their opponents together for a paltry 137 on their second down to register a convincing win.
The team coached by Chandrakant Pandit had beaten Gujarat in their opening match in emphatic fashion.
Meghalaya started on their overnight score of 16/0 on day three and had to beat two days to salvage a draw, but none of their line-up, except skipper Punit Bisht (38; 7×4), took showed resistance as the MP bowlers continued to strike. at regular intervals at Saurashtra Cricket Association C Stadium.
Agarwal was the deadliest and his wickets included openers Wallam Kynshi (12), Kishan Lyngdoh (6), slugger Chirag Khurana (26), Larry Sangma (4) and D Ravi Teja (10).
Meghalaya’s innings never started and they were teetering at 62/5 at one point. Skipper Bisht, with his 38 to 64 balls, only delayed the inevitable. But once fit, orthodox left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya (3/18) fired him, it was only a matter of time.
Kartikeya and pacer Gaurav Yadav (2/39), who claimed a fife on the first down, then ripped the tail off to complete MP’s pure dominance.
Karnataka thumbs up for victory
Karnataka downed Jammu & Kashmir to 190 for 4 in the second set after setting them a mammoth goal of 508 points in the third day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group C game here on Saturday.
Skipper Ian Dev Singh Chauhan (65 batting) and Abdul Samad (21 batting) were at the crease, with J&K needing an additional 318 runs for an unlikely win.
Prasidh Krishna, who had taken six wickets in the opening innings of J&K, got the first breakthrough for Karnataka with the scalp of Qamran Iqbal (4).
Shreyas Gopal picked up two wickets – Jatin Wadhwan (15) and Shubham Singh Pundir (9) to cut the opposition 57-3 before Fazil Rashid (65) and Ian Singh hit back with a 79-run stand for the fourth wicket .
After Rashid’s exit, captain J&K and the highly rated Abdul Samad achieved 63 points and ensured there were no more setbacks for the team.
Earlier, resuming at 128 for 2, Karnataka went on the offensive and added 170 runs from 29 overs with Karun Nair adding 71 (not out) to his brilliant 175 in the opening innings and KV Siddharth hitting 72.
In the other match of the group, Railways secured the crucial first set lead by responding with 525 for 9 to the stumps against Pondicherry, who had scored 342.
Arindam Ghosh, who scored a tonne in the opener last week, continued his strong run, scoring 100 while Mohammed Saif was terribly short of a tonne, being sent off for 99.
Ghosh and Saif added 146 runs on 276 balls and took the game away from Pondicherry, whose bowlers had checked the Railways batters on Friday.
Stumps Day 3: Karnataka 302 all out in 103.1 overs 298 for 3 declared in 71 overs (KV Siddharth 72, Karun Nair 71 not out, R Samarth 62, Abid Mushtaq 3 for 65) vs Jammu and Kashmir 93 all out in 29.5 overs ( Prasidh Krishna 6 for 35) and 190 for four in 59 overs (Fazil Rashid 65 (140b, 8×4, 2×6), Ian Dev Singh Chauhan 65 at bat (114b, 8×4, 2×6), Shreyas Gopal three for 90).
Pondicherry 342 against Railways 525 for nine in 151.4 overs (Vivek Singh 92, Shivam Chaudhary 51, Arindam Ghosh 100 (193b, 12×4, 2×6), Mohammad Saif 99 (190b, 7×4, 3×6) , Upendra Yadav 60 (82b, 9×4, 1×6), Yuvraj Singh 46, Sagar Udeshi three for 144, Pavan Deshpande two for 74).
Jharkhand 251 and 288/5 (Nazim Siddqui 110, Kumar Suraj 129 at bat, Ishant Sharma 1/29, Navdeep Saini 1/45); Delhi 224 (Jonty Sidhu 79, Shahbaz Nadeem 5/58).
Tamil Nadu 470/9 decl. Chattisgarh 257/8 (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 145 batting, R Sai Kishore 4/48).
Meghalaya 61 all out and 137 all out (Punit Bisht 38, Chirag Khurana 26; Anubhav Agarwal 5/38, Kumar Kartikeya 3/18) lost to Madhya Pradesh 499/6 declared (Shubham Sharma 111, Akshat Raghuwanshi 100, Akash Kumar 2/ 77, Aryan Bora 2/124) by one inning and 301 points.
Gujarat 388 and 128/5 (Karan Patel 28 not out, Umang Rohitkumar 25 not out; Basil Thampi 2/29) against Kerala 439 (Rohan Kunnummal 129, Vishnu Vinod 113; Siddharth Desai 5/132, Arzan Nagwaswalla 3/102). Gujarat led by 77 runs.