Jamshedpur: The intensity continued in the fantastic Group C marquee match at the Keenan Stadium, where Assam roared back against Jharkhand by claiming a five-run first-innings lead on Saturday.
Jharkhand were cruising at 142 for 4, but offspinner Arlen Konwar inspired a dramatic collapse with 6 for 67 as the home team was bowled out for 174, giving Assam the slenderest of leads. Konwar’s spell included the wickets of Ishank Jaggi, Saurabh Tiwary, Shiv Gautam and Sunny Gupta and was almost single-handedly responsible for a dramatic collapse of 6 for 32.
To ensure the visitors did not run away with the match, Jharkhand nipped out two wickets before stumps including Assam captain Dheeraj Jadhav. Twenty-two wickets have fallen in two days at the Keenan Stadium and chasing a total of 150 will be difficult in these conditions, so Shahbaz Nadeem will be hoping he and his bowlers can make early inroads on day three. Assam lead by just 32 runs with eight wickets in hand.
A 138-run opening stand put Himachal Pradesh on the way towards a first-innings lead, Parvez Rassol missed a double-century in Goa and Andhra were 154 for 0 against Tripura.
Brief scores: Assam 179 and 27 for 2 in 11.5 overs trail Jharkhand 174 in 76.1 overs (Arlen Konwar 6/67) by 32 runs
Himachal Pradesh made a rousing reply to Services’ 312 and were just 60 runs away from claiming the first-innings lead when play ended at Nadaun. The home team began the day by taking the final four Services wickets for 22 runs and by stumps were in the very strong position of 252 for 2.
Prashant Chopra has missed out on a hundred, but his 90 and his 138-run opening stand with Aakash Chopra (65) gave Himachal a superb start. Paras Dogra’s unbeaten 56 ensured the momentum was not wasted, and three points are within Himachal’s grasp.
Brief scores: Himachal Pradesh 252 for 2 in 80 overs (Prashant Chopra 90, Aakash Chopra 65, Paras Dogra 56*) trail Services 312 by 60 runs
At Porvorim, Parvez Rassol fell 29 runs short of becoming only the fourth double-century in Jammu & Kashmir’s history. Starting the day on 90, the 23-year-old Rassol lifted his team to 338 with a career-best 171. Providing excellent assistance was Samiullah Beigh, the captain, with an unbeaten 57 from No. 9. The two put on 146 for the eighth wicket.
Responding to J&K’s total, Goa reached 48 for 0 at stumps. In case Beigh’s team fails to enforce the follow-on, this match will almost certainly be decided on the first-innings lead.
Brief scores: Goa 48 for 0 in 29 overs trail Jammu & Kashmir 338 in 151.3 overs (Parvez Rassol 171, Samiullah Beigh 57*) by 290 runs
In Anantapur, Andhra were marching towards three points having kept Tripura to 260 and then shaved off 154 of those runs without losing a wicket. The wicket of overnight centurion Syed Abbas Ali without a run added gave Andhra the boost they needed, and from 228 for 6 the visitors were kept to 260.
Then came a resounding reply from the Andhra openers, Prasanth Kumar (80*) and Hemal Watekar (57*) who took the score to 154 for 0 in 63 overs.
Brief scores: Andhra 154 for 0 in 63 overs (Prasanth Kumar 80*, Hemal Watekar 57*) trail Tripura 260 by 106 runs