Pune: On a day in which there were ten centuries scored, Kedar Jadhav stood tall over all else with the first triple-century of the Ranji Trophy season. Starting the second day’s play at 102, Jadhav proceeded to drub Uttar Pradesh's attack into the ground as he surged to 327 off 312 balls, thereby becoming the first Maharashtra batsman to score a triple in 64 years, and third overall.
His monumental effort included 54 fours and two sixes – 228 runs in boundaries alone – and a 314-run stand for the fifth wicket with Rohit Motwani took Maharashtra to 738 for 5. And they weren’t done batting.
Jadhav lost Ankit Bawne (78) in the morning to bring to an end a double-century partnership, but there was no respite for Uttar Pradesh. He reached his triple-century off 258 balls and was finally stumped off Piyush Chawla. Maharashtra, last season's quarter-finalists, had not declared at stumps at the Sahara Stadium with skipper Motwani on a career-best 146.
Centuries to Dinesh Karthik and Baba Aparajith put Tamil Nadu in firm control over Karnataka while in Vadodara the home team were eying a first-innings lead.
Brief scores: Maharashtra 738 for 5 in 177 overs (Deeraj Jadhav 327, Rohit Motwani 146*, Ankit Bawne 78) v Uttar Pradesh
There was another run-glut in Chennai in the battle of the southern rivals, as Tamil Nadu went past their previous best against Karnataka. Baba Aparajith converted his solid start into a maiden first-class century, but it was Dinesh Karthik's 17th first-class century that really shoved Karnataka further into the distance.
All six of Tamil Nadu’s batsmen got to fifty, with Ramaswamy Prasanna's unbeaten 74 piling on the pain in a stand of 200 with Karthik. The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper came out at the fall of S Badrinath for 72, a decision that was referred when short leg claimed a sharp catch off Sunil Raju, and was into his groove almost immediately. He remained busy at the crease during his 182-ball 154, with his cutting and driving inside-out being the hallmark. Ramaswamy was more understated but made himself felt with pushes and cuts.
Karthik crossed 150 in a flurry of boundaries to bring the declaration about 40 minutes before stumps, and in ten overs Robin Uthappa and KB Pawan put 26 on the board.
Brief scores: Karnataka 26 for 0 in ten overs trail Tamil Nadu 538 for 4 in 168 overs (Dinesh Karthik 154*, Baba Aparajith 112, Ramaswamy Prasanna 74*, S Badrinath 72) by 508 runs.
At the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara, former India batsman Hemang Badani’s century was looking to be in vain as hosts Baroda closed in on a first-innings lead with eight wickets in hand.
Badani was left stranded on a near-six-hour 11 – his first century since 2006 – as Vidarbha were bowled out for 264, and by stumps Baroda were strongly placed at 192 for 2.
Badani, formerly of Tamil Nadu, put on 99 with the final two wickets to get Vidarbha’s total to something near respectability but his team's bowlers were kept at bay. Kedar Devdhar (29) and Aditya Waghmore (62) put on 60 for the opening wicket before Waghmore and Abhimanyu Chauhan (58*) and Rakesh Solanki (39*) ate into the deficit.
Brief scores: Baroda 192 for 2 in 75 overs (Aditya Waghmore 62, Abhimanyu Chauhan 58*) trail Vidharba 264 in 101 overs (Hemang Badani 111*) by 72 runs