Jammu: Jharkhand became the first team this Ranji Trophy season to take all seven points with an innings-and-31-run win over Jammu & Kashmir on Sunday. Shahbaz Nadeem, the Jharkhand captain, spun out six wickets on day three to finish with 9 for 104 in the match.
The visitors resumed the third day with a 159-run lead and could only add 23 to that. Needing to score 182 to avoid an innings defeat, J&K never came near. Jaskaran Singh removed the openers inside five overs and when Shankar Rao got Arshad Bhatt the scorecard read 9 for 3 in 34 deliveries. The next four batsmen all crossed 21 but none made more than Parvez Rassol’s 31. Nadeem began with Rassol’s wicket and went on to grab five more as J&K collapsed for 151, giving Jharkhand seven points.
Jharkhand 377 in 120.5 overs beat Jammu & Kashmir 195 and 151 in 48.5 overs (Shahbaz Nadeem 6/54) by an innings and 31 runs
In Guwahati, Assam were looking at seven points as well with Tripura still 137 runs away from making the home team bat again. Tripura captain Ajay Ratra, in his first match, ensured the game would go into the final day with a 75-run stand for the seventh wicket with Manisankar Murasingh, but the visitors will need a miracle to prevent Assam from winning outright.
In the morning, Dheeraj Jadhav enforced the follow-on after his bowlers handed him a 305-run lead. Abu Nechim was the pick with 4 for 61 and was backed by three wickets each from Arup Das and Arlen Konwar as Tripura managed 145. The same trio then quickly made inroads into Tripura’s second innings, and from 23 for 3 it was only a matter of when Assam would take seven points. Udit Patel (39) offered some resistance before Ratra and Murasingh stopped Assam from celebrating before the close of play.
Tripura 145 in 48.2 overs (Subhrajit Roy 35; Abu Nechim 4/61) and 168 for 6 in 66 overs (Ajay Ratra 47*, Manisankar Murasingh 41*) trail Assam 450 by 137 runs
At Nadaun, Aakash Chopra was poised to begin his stint with Himachal Pradesh with a big win as the home side reduced Kerala to 28 for 3 after batting the opposition out of the game.
Amit Kumar and Rishi Dhawan followed Paras Dogra with centuries to set up the base for an outright win, and HP stretched their lead to 307 before Chopra declared at 536 for 6 The 22-year-old Kumar, in his fourth match, collected his second century (101 off 186 balls) while Dhawan, touted by his captain as an allrounder to watch out for, hit 102 off 107 balls for a maiden century in any format. The debutant wicketkeeper Aatish Bhalaik weighed in with 46.
Vikramjeet Malik and Mohinderraj Sharma then rocked Kerala before stumps.
Kerala 229 and 28 for 3 in eight overs trail Himachal Pradesh 536 for 6 in 158 overs (Amit Kumar 101, Rishi Dhawan 102*) by 279 runs
Persistent rain reduced the match between Andhra and Services at Anantapur to a one-innings contest. At stumps, Services had reduced Andhra to 87 for 6 with Amol Muzumdar dismissed for 6 to put themselves in pole position for first-innings points.
Wet conditions delayed the start of play, and when it resumed Services went from 265 for 8 to 297 all out with Shabad Nazar converting an overnight 30 into an unbeaten 56. The only interest remaining in the match was whether Andhra could take the first-innings lead points. Chasing 298, the home team lost their captain AG Pradeep for a 47-ball 11 to Nazar and then failed to gather momentum. Services will be eyeing first-innings lead points, weather permitting, on the final day.
Andhra 87 for 6 in 43 overs trailServices 297 in 119 overs (Shabad Nazar 56*, Ibrahim Khaleel 43) by 210 runs