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    Ranji Trophy Group C, Round 5, Day 3: J&K in sight of maiden win

    Guwahati: Jammu & Kashmir were looking at their first win of the season having hosts Assam at 46 for 3 at stumps as they attempted to block out the final day rather than attempt a chase of 477. Ian Dev Singh declared the second innings on 318 for 5 following his 118 and an unbeaten 120 from Parvez Rassol, and J&K then reduced Assam to 0 for 2 before Sibsankar Roy became the third wicket to fall – to Singh’s part-time offbreaks, no less - on the stroke of stumps. Singh and Rassol combined for a 198-run stand for the third wicket after J Syed Mohammad trapped Adil Rishi lbw for 51 and Abu Nechim removed Bandeep Singh for 19. It was the Gujarat-born Singh’s fifth first-class hundred and a third for Rassol. He finished unbeaten on 120 off 106 balls when Singh declared, having hit 17 fours and a couple sixes. Ram Dayal then took the new ball and prized out Pallavkumar Das first ball of Assam’s second innings, before extracting Kunal Saika for 0 without a run on the board. Assam captain Dheera Jadhav (16*) and Roy (29) added 46 before the latter was dismissed by Singh seven balls before the close of play. Against the backdrop of selection controversies, player strikes and two innings defeats this season, victory for J&K will be nothing short of sensational. Brief scores: Assam 165 and 46 for 3 in 25 overs need another 431 runs to beat Jammu & Kashmir 323 and 318 for 5 in 88 overs (Ian Dev Singh 118, Parvez Rassol 120*)At Nadaun, Tripura continued to have the better of Himachal Pradesh as they reached the close of play with a lead of 297 and five wickets in hand. A second-innings total of 116 for 5 was a remarkable comeback from 13 for 4 after veteran medium-pacer Vikramjeet Malik ripped out three quick wickets, thanks to former Madhya Pradesh batsman Syed Abbas Ali’s unbeaten 59. Ali, in his 99th first-class match, shored up the innings and helped Tripura to a sizeable lead by stumps. Earlier in the day, Tripura claimed the first-innings lead by dismissing the hosts for 260, with allrounder Rishi Dhawan top-scoring with 54 and Rahul Singh remaining not out on 49. Manisankar Murasingh (4 for 86) and Rana Dutta (4 for 65) were the successful bowlers as Tripura snatched a lead of 181. Brief scores: Tripura 441 and 116 for 5 in 48 overs (Syed Abbas Ali 59*) lead Himachal Pradesh 260 in 77 overs (Rishi Dhawan 54; Manisankar Murasingh 4 for 86, Rana Dutta 4 for 65) by 297 runsGoa and Andhra locked themselves in a gripping battle for the first-innings lead on day three in Visakhapatnam, where the visitors were 285 for 9 at stumps in pursuit of Andhra’s 393. From 72 for 1 at the start of the day’s play, Goa added 190 runs at 80 overs with former Uttar Pradesh batsman and India Under-10 captain Ravikant Shukla’s unbeaten 84 propping the innings together. However, allrounder D Shivkumar – who hit a century in Andhra’s innings – was the star for the home team with figures of 25-10-41-6 and Andhra look like easily claiming three points on Tuesday. Brief scores: Goa 262 for 7 in 111 overs (Ravikant Shukla 84*; D Shivkumar 6/41) trail Andhra 393 by 108 runs. For a report on Services v Kerala at Palam, click here