Paceman Sandeep Sharma claimed three wickets in four balls as Punjab took a 37-run first innings lead against Vidarbha and then consolidated it by ending the day three of their Ranji Trophy Group B match at 211 for six.
Vidarbha started the day at 149 for six but they failed to overhaul the Punjab total of 195 and could add only nine runs to their overnight total.
The 21-year-old Sharma (5/51) polished off the Vidarbha tail in a jiffy, scalping all four remaining Vidarbha batsmen
to claim a five-for as he dismissed Rakesh Dhruv (7) in the fourth over of the day.
He then removed Shrikant Wagh (4), Ravikumar Thakur (0) and Swapnil Bandiwar (0) in a space of four balls as Vidarbha innings folded for 158.
Punjab now have overall lead of 248 runs with opener Jiwanjot Singh (65) and number eight batsman Gitansh Khera (59 not out) striking half-centuries.
Khera and Siddarth Kaul (2) will resume Punjab innings on Wednesday.
In their second essay, Punjab did not enjoy the best of the starts as they lost Manan Vohra (5) and Amitoze Singh (1)
in the first few deliveries but opener Jiwanjot Singh (65) and the middle order batsmen did well to ensure they go into the final day with a safe total on the board.
Jiwanjot faced 141 balls in his patient knock, which included seven boundaries.
Mandeep Singh (25), Gurkeerat Mann (22) and Taruwar Kohli (29) got starts but could not convert them into big ones but Khera kept the ball rolling with his superb innings.
Khera punished the Vidarbha bowlers with seven shots to the fence in his 121-ball innings so far.
Haryana-Maharashtra match set for tense finish
Medium pacer Shrikant Mundhe picked up four wickets to help Maharashtra bowl out hosts Haryana for 176 runs in their second innings, leaving the Group B Ranji Trophy match evenly poised going into the fourth and final day’s play.
At stumps on the third day, Maharsthra were nine for no loss in their second essay in the pursuit of 208 runs for an
outright win. The visitors still rquire 199 runs for victory with 10 wickets and a full days play remaining.
But going by the trend of the match which saw wickets tumbling like pack of cards in the last two days, it will be a
tall ask for Maharashtra to acieve the target.
Coming on to bat in the second innings after bowling out Maharashtra for meagre 105 runs in their first essay, Haryana batsmen flopped for the second time in the match as they were bundled out for 176 runs in 52.1 overs.
Brief Scores: Haryana: 136 and 176 all out in 52.1 overs (Kuldeep Hooda 39, Sachin Rana 32; Shrikant Mundhe 4/36). Maharashtra: 105 and 9 for no loss.
Menari ton guides Rajasthan to 437/5 dec
Former India Under-19 captain Ashok Menaria struck an unbeaten century to help Rajasthan post 437 for five declared against Saurashtra on Day 3 of their Group B Ranji Trophy match.
Making a strong reply in the four-day encounter at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, Saurashtra were 180 for three when bad light ended Tuesday’s play an hour early.
If Maneria (100 not out) struck his seventh first-class century then Robin Bisht was unlucky to get out on 99. The contributions came after opener Vineet Saxena’s 118 on the second day.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan 437/5 in 129.5 overs (Vineet Saxena 118, Robin Bisht 99, Ashok Maneria 100 not out; Sudeep Tyagi 2-76) Saurashtra 180/3 in 46 overs (Arpit Vasavada 56 not out, Divyaraj Chauhan 34 not out; Pankaj Singh 1-40).
Gujarat in full control against Odhisa
Pacer Rush Kalaria ripped through the Odisha top-order batting line-up with a superb bowling spell to put Gujarat in control of their Ranji Trophy match on the third day.
Kalaria produced bowling figures of four wickets for 20 runs to reduce Odisha to 143 for five in their second innings
at the end of third day.
But a brilliant counter-attacking innings from Abhilash Mallick — 90 not out from just 82 balls — rescued the Odisha
innings from disaster. Mallick hit 16 fours and two sixes in a superb batting exhibition. Govinda Podder was giving him company on 36 not out, which he made from 114 balls.
Odisha still trail by four runs overall with just five second innings wickets in hand.
Brief Scores: Odisha: 225 and 143 for 5 in 40 overs (Abhilash Mallick 90 not out; Rash Kalaria 4/20). Gujarat 1st Innings: 372 all out in 123.3 overs (Bhargav Merai 134, Akshar Patel 50; Suryakant Pradhan 3/59, Deepak Behera 3/80).