MADHYA PRADESH were 69 for 1 while chasing a target of 259 for an outright win over Goa on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group match at Usha Raje Cricket Grounds here on Wednesday. The match is evenly poised with both teams having chance to force a victory on the last day tomorrow.
Resuming at the overnight score of 67/2, Goa lost their third wicket at 73 when night watchman Sahil Dhuri was LBW to Sudhindra at his individual score of 13.
At the other end Swapnil completed his patient 50 off 168 balls with five hits to the ropes. He made the MP bowlers toil hard.
At the score of 96 Goa lost their fourth wicket when Anup Kolambkar was LBW to Sanjay Pandey for seven. After that Goa enjoyed slices of luck.
Rohit Asnodkar was lucky when Bundela’s dropped him when he was at seven off the bowling of Anand Rajan. Sudhindra, Anand Rajan and Pandey bowled well and contained opponent batsmen.
Swapnil and Rohit added 90 runs for the fifth wicket partnership when Rohit was clean bowled by MP skipper Abbas Ali for 34 laced with five boundaries. He batted for 164 minutes.
At the score of 207 Goa lost their important wicket of Swapnil at his individual score of 78. He hit eight boundaries. He single-handedly fought to save the match and batted for 372 minutes facing 242 balls. He was caught and bowled by Sudhindra.
Two Goa wickets fell at the score of 218 to Anand Rajan who, however, missed the hat-trick. First he bowled R D’Souza and then uprooted S Bandekar stumps. Off the third ball Anil Naik survived a confident LBW appeal.
Goa innings folded up for 240, taking an overall lead of 258 runs. The hosts need 259 runs to win the match. In the first innings Pandey did the damage and in the second innings it was Sudhindra who bowled well to capture four wickets for 58 runs off 21 overs, six of which were maidens. Pandey took 2/37 of 18 overs and Anand Rajan 2/88.
Opening the second innings, MP’s Mudassar Pasha and Amit Paul started off well. Paul batted with confidence and in drives were a treat to watch. Pasha too showed his class and his stylish drives got applause from the crowd.
When every thing was going well for MP, Pasha was out LBW to A Naik for 32 off 63 balls with five brilliant boundaries, at the team’s score of 69.
Ashutosh Jadhav was sent as night watchman. Paul going not out at 27 with five boundaries and Jadhav was yet to open the account.
The match is wide open. MP require scoring another 190 runs on Thursday with nine wickets intact. Goa too have a chance if they take early wickets to put pressure on the hosts. Brief score: Goa: 258 and 240, MP: 240 and II innings 69/1