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    Ranji Trophy, Group B: Baroda take overall lead to 296; pacers ensure first innings lead for UP

    Baroda took an upper hand by extending their overall lead to 296 as they reached 207 for six in their second innings at the end of day three.

    Rajkot: Baroda on Tuesday took an upper hand by extending their overall lead to 296 as they reached 207 for six in their second innings at the end of day three in their Ranji Trophy Group B match against Saurashtra.

    Despite Saurashtra medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat taking four wickets in Baroda's second innings, the visitors, who had a crucial 89-run first innings lead, ended the day in a comfortable position. Pinal Shah (31) and Utkarsh Patel (31) were the unbeaten batsmen at the crease at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium at Khandheri here.

    Baroda lost opener Dhiren Mistry (10) and one-down batsman Kedar Devdhar (21) early and it looked as if Saurashtra would bounce back. But first innings centurion -- Saurabh Wakaskar (69 runs, 98b, 5X4,1X6) and Aditya Waghmode (28) -- added 74 runs for the third wicket to take the match away from the home team.

    Unadkat was the most successful bowler taking four for 30, while Vishal Joshi claimed two for 46. Earlier, resuming at 215 for six, Baroda spinners Utkarsh Patel and Murtua Vahora picked up wickets at regular intervals to wrap up Saurashtra for 311.

    Patel, who had grabbed three wickets yesterday, today removed overnight batsman Arpit Vasavada (29) and Vishal Joshi (0) in quick succession, while Vahora clean bowled Makawana (30). Dharmendra Jadeja (44) and Unadkat (15 not out) frustrated Baroda's bowlers by adding 53 runs for the last wicket and helped Saurashtra cross 300-run mark.

    Utkarsh Patel was wrecker-in-chief, taking five for 70, while Vahora picked up three for 55.

    Brief Scores: Baroda 400 & 207 for 6 (Saurabh Wakaskar 69; Jaydev Unadkat 4/30, Vishal Joshi 2/46). Saurashtra: 311 (Sheldon Jackson 74, Bhushan Chauhan 49, Utkarsh Patel 5/70).

    In Kanpur, Pacers Ankit Rajpoot (5/37) and Imtiaz Ahmed (4/39) wrecked havoc with the new ball to bundle out Madhya Pradesh for 115 and ensure a vital 135 runs first innings lead for Uttar Pradesh on the third and penultimate day of a Group B Ranji Trophy match.

    Resuming their innings at four for no loss, MP batsmen found the duo of Rajpoot and Ahmed tough to handle as wickets fell like nine pins before the visitors were bowled out in 47.1 overs. Anand Bais top-scored for MP with a 45-ball 28 followed by Mohnish Mishra (22).

    Apart from Rajpoot and Ahmed, leg-spinner Amit Mishra (1/25) picked up the other wicket for UP. At stumps, UP were 78 for three in their second innings, thereby extending their overall lead to 213 runs. Skipper Suresh Raina was batting on 41 and giving him company was Mohammad Kaif on four.

    For MP, fast bowler Puneet Datey scalped two wickets for 34 runs while Ishwar Pandey (1/22) was the other beneficiary.

    Brief Scores: UP: 250 & 78 for three in 24 overs (Suresh Raina 41 batting; Puneet Datey 2/34). MP: 115 all out in 47.1 overs (Anand Bais 28; Ankit Rajpoot 5/37, Imtiaz Ahmed 4/39).

    In Chennai, Rajasthan top and middle order batted splendidly as the visitors are all set to take first innings lead against Tamil Nadu in their Ranji Trophy Group B match.

    Openers Siddarth Saraf (63) and Vineet Saxena (83) provided the base and then Ashok Menaria (62) and Hrishikesh Kanitkar (38 batting) capitalised to bring the visitors to 307 for four wickets at draw of stumps.

    Rajasthan now need just 11 runs to surpass Tamil Nadu first innings total of 318. Saraf and Saxena added 163 runs before the former made exit. Eight overs later, Saxena also walked back and Rajasthan also suffered another blow when a dependable Robin Bist was clean bowled by Rahil Shah for 3.

    However, Kanitkar, who is unbeaten on 38 and Menaria made sure that the good work done by the top order batsmen does not go waste. But minutes before the close of play, Menaria was adjudged leg before the wicket to Vijay Shankar.

    Menaria made a superb 62 off 69 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. At close, Rajesh Bishnoi (20) was giving company to Kanitkar.