Bengal have almost confirmed a place in the knockouts after they took a first-innings lead of 69 runs against Goa on the third day in Kolkata. After scoring 379, Bengal's Ashok Dinda took a five-for to restrict Goa to 310. On second place in Group D with 20 points ahead of Punjab's 15, Bengal were leading by 177 runs with seven wickets in hand and will progress with 23 points even if they draw against Goa and Punjab register an innings win against Services.
Resuming on 191 for 5, Goa's overnight batsman Amogh Desai scored an unbeaten 103 - his sixth first-class hundred - to take Goa past 300, as wickets fell at the other end. Keenan Vaz stretched his overnight score from 40 to 60 before being dismissed by Dinda. Kanishk Seth (3-77) took the next two wickets off consecutive deliveries before Heramb Parab (29) put on 52 for the ninth wicket with Desai. Bur Dinda bowled Parab and to complete his 25th five-for in first-class matches and Goa wrapped up for 310 soon.
In their second innings, Bengal lost opener Abhishek Raman in the fifth over. Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sudip Chatterjee then added 58 runs for the second wicket but seamer Felix Alemao trapped Chatterjee lbw for 35. Following captain Manoj Tiwary's wicket for 8, Shreevats Goswami (15*) and Easwaran (20*) took Bengal to 108 for 3 at stumps.
Services face the prospect of an innings defeat as they still trail Punjab by 212 runs after following-on on the third day in Amritsar. After being bowled out for 315 in the first innings, they ended the third day on 118 for 3.
In reply to Punjab's massive total of 645 for 6 dec, Services resumed on their overnight score of 130 for 4 and lost three middle-order wickets for 53 runs to Manpreet Gony, who finished with a five-for. They were reeling at 188 for 7 but were boosted by a lower-order charge from Vikas Yadav (71 off 97 balls) and Diwesh Pathania (68 off 48 balls), as they added 83 runs for the eighth wicket. Following Pathania's wicket, Vikas went on to stretch the total past 300, before they were bowled out in 71.2 overs.
Trailing by 345 runs, they were made to follow-on and lost their top three batsmen in a span of 17 overs to Taruwar Kohli and Siddarth Kaul, who was later picked in the India ODI side for the Sri Lanka series. However, captain Rahul Singh and Ravi Chauhan's unbeaten 69-run partnership helped the side recover, as the duo will look to fight it out to avoid a defeat on the last day.
Captain Faiz Fazal converted his century into a double-hundred to help Vidarbha take a 103-run first-innings lead against Himachal Pradesh on the third day in Nagpur. After losing his overnight partner Sanjay Ramaswamy for 115 that ended the opening stand of 264, Fazal added a 101-run stand with Wasim Jaffer (47 off 84 balls). A collapse was triggered by Himachal seamers Rishi Dhawan (4 for 96) and Akshay Chauhan, who shared six wickets between them, to reduce Vidarbha from 381 for 2 to 456 all out. Fazal's was the third wicket and started the collapse as no other batsman after Jaffer crossed 20.
Himachal finished the day on 70 for 3 in their second innings, trailing by 33 runs, after Rajneesh Gurbani dismissed two of their top three batsmen. Nikhil Gangta (9*) and captain Sumeet Verma (10*) at the crease.