Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the fourth day of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2015-16 Group A match between Maharashtra and Karnataka at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Thursday. The match between the two neighbouring states is poised very excitingly after three days of play with Karnataka needing 232 runs to win on the final day with nine wickets in hand. What adds to the excitement is Karnataka’s qualification prospects lie largely on the outcome of this match. The early morning session on Day Four will determine who are the favourites. Live Cricket Score, Assam vs Bengal, Ranji Trophy 2015-16, Group A match, Day 4 at Guwahati

READ: 5 cricketers who excelled in Ranji Trophy but failed in international cricket

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 239 | Overs 72 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 65(104): All over for Karnataka! A Sanklecha finishes the job for Maharashtra, bags the last two wickets to remove Sreenath and Sharath HS in the 72nd over. The defending champions who fell short of 54 runs in their do or die match have been knocked out. CM Gautam who has been fighting alone watching the other slosing wickets at the other end remains unbeaten on 65 from 104 balls. OUT! Sharath H S b A Sanklecha 0(4)

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 239/9 | Overs 71.2 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 65(104): A Sanklecha strikes for Maharashtra, Sreenath’s fight comes to an end, he goes for a superb 41-ball 20 just when it looked Karnataka just might win this tough contest. From here, Karnataka need 54 runs with one wicket to spare. OUT! Arvind Sreenath c V V More b A A Sanklecha 20(41)

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 238/8 | Overs 71 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 64(103), Aravind Sreenath 20(40): Dhumal is back again to bowl his 25th over of the innings. Two balls gone, Gautam takes a single on the second one. Sreenath gives Gautam back the strike. Another one run from Gautam which is followed by three dot balls by his partner. From here Karnataka need 55 runs to win this. Brilliant batting by these two!

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 235/8 | Overs 70 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 62(100), Aravind Sreenath 19(37): Gautam begins the over with a single. Srenath gives hm back the strike by himself taking one run. Goos stuff from the duo! Six runs off that over, Karnataka contius to fight. From here, Karantaka need another 58 runs to win.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 229/8 | Overs 69 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 59(97), Aravind Sreenath 17(34): Dhumal given the ball after the break. Just one run in the first four deliveries for the visitors. And it remians the same at the end of the over. Karnataka need another 64 runs from here to qualify for the quarter-final in this edition of Ranji Trophy.

Tea at Pune!

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 228/8 | Overs 68 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 58(96), Aravind Sreenath 17(28): Just one run off that over. Sreenath begins with two dot off Sanklecha’s bowling before taking a single. Gautam leaves all the thre balls, tehreby giving Sreenath teh strike in the next over. From here, Karnataka need another 65 runs to win.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 227/8 | Overs 67 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 57(93), Aravind Sreenath 17(25): Gautam begins with a single. Sreenath gives the strike back to Gautam with a single again. Following three singles in the first three deliveries, Sreenath smashes a boundary. Excellent! With a dot on the last ball by Gautam, Sreenath will take strike in the next over. Karnataka need another 66 runs to win.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 212/8 | Overs 66 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 55(91), Aravind Sreenath 8(22): First boundary for Sreenath, six runs for Karnataka in that over. Fairly good one for the defending champs! They need another 77 runs to win. Can Maharashtra deny Karnataka a famous victiry here?

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 210/8 | Overs 65 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 54(90), Aravind Sreenath 3(17): Dhumal was back again and Karnataka duo survived, just two runs off that over. However, it is fine if they do not lose wickets and not score a lot in his over. It has been a while since Gautam hit a boundary, Karnataka need more of it now. The last two years’ champs need another 83 runs to win.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 208/8 | Overs 64 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 53(87), Aravind Sreenath 2(14): Two runs from that Sanklecha’s over. He has two wickets so far in this final innings. Maharashtra are trying their best to not give Gautam the strike. If they manage to get Aravind out, next in line and the final batsman for Karnataka is Sharath. He does not have a great First-Class record with unbeaten 12 being his highest score. Karnataka need another 85 runs.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 206/8 | Overs 63 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 52(86), Aravind Sreenath 2(9): Four runs from that Dhumal over. He already have five wickets in this innings and if Karnataka fail to chase down the target succesfully, Dhumal’s spell will be one of the major reasons for it. From here, Karnataka need another 87 runs to win.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 202/8 | Overs 62 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 50(84), Aravind Sreenath 0(5): Just one run off that over. NAs meanwhile, half-century for CM Gautam, what an innings from him under pressure. His innings has not fluctuated despite watching his teammates walk back to the pavilion from the other end. Sreenath has now joined him out in the middle, can these two finish the job for the defending champs? From here they need 90 rusn to win.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 201/8 | Overs 61 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 45(81): WICKET! 5-for Nikit Dhumal, Abhimanyu Mithum goes for 1, leaving Karnataka at 197 for 8. V V More takes the catch again after he had caught Vinay Kumar a couple of overs again. From here, Karnataka need 96 runs to win with two wickets to spare. While CM Gautam is stuck at one end fighting back after Karnataka’s poor’s start, the other batsmen are just getting dismissed on the other end. They need another 92 runs to win. OUT! Mithun A c V V More b Nikit Dhumal

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 197/6 | Overs 60 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 45(81), Abhimanyu Mithum 0(4): Just two runs off that over. Gautam will try and face all the ball from here, Karnataka have three wickets to spare and they cannot risk with letting the tail-enders face a lot of delievries. Mithum averages poorly at 18.69 in First-Class which is no good news for the defending champions. They need another 96 runs to win.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 195/7 | Overs 59 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 44(79), Abhimanyu Mithum 0(4): WICKET! Blow for Karnataka, skipper Vinay KUmar dismissed. It is once again Nikit Dhumal who mad ethe breakthrough. Fourth wicket for him in the innings. Vinay KUmar scored a fighting 15 off 31 deliveries before giving a catch to V V More in the 59th over. from here, Karnataka need another 98 runs with three wickets to spare. A huge task ahead of the defensing champions in order to deny an elimination after the group stage. OUT! Vinay Kumar c V V More b N R Dhumal 15(31)

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 194/6 | Overs 58 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 43(78), Vinay Kumar 15(30): Three runs off that over, Karnataka still need 99 runs to win. Gautam still needs seven runs more for a fighting half-century in the most crucuial match of his life, probably.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 191/6 | Overs 57 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 41(75), Vinay Kumar 14(26): Just a single off that over. Gautam is just a nine runs away from a fantastic half-century. He is definitely Karnataka’s hero if he manages to beat the bowling attack of Maharashtra. What an excellent opportunity for the 29-year-old who has been in and out from teh side in the recnet times. On the other hand, Vinay Kumar has a great chance to try winning a third consecutive Ranji Trophy as Karnataka’s skipper. Both the batsmen have their own reasons to win the match for their side, all they have to do is hold nerves and not throw away their wickets. This is the last batting combination for the defending champions. They need 102 runs to win.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 190/6 | Overs 56 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 40(70), Vinay Kumar 14(26): CM Gautam who has played 76 First- Class matches has 10 centuries and 17 fifties so this task is no way impossible for this lad. Meanwhile, Vinay Kumar who has 200+ First-Class runs with an unbeaten 105 being his highest score has the capability of playing the captain’s knock here to win it for Karnataka. They need another 103 runs with four wickets to spare on teh final day.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 183/6 | Overs 55 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 34(66), Vinay Kumar 13(24): Second boundary for Vinay Kumar, he is covering up for the dot balls earlier in his innings. From here Karnatak need anotehr 110 runs to win this contest. Vidarbha, Assam and Karnataka at the moment are fighting for a place in the quarter-final of this edition of Ranji Trophy.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 178/6 | Overs 54 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 32(63), Vinay Kumar 5(18): First boundary for Vinay Kumar, nine runs from two overs for Karnataka. Karnataka can win this one if these two bat till the end. They need another 115 runs.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 169/6 | Overs 52 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 31(60), Vinay Kumar 1(12): Vinay Kumar finally goes off the mark. From here, Karnataka need another 124 runs to win with CM Gautam being the last batsman for the home side. If Maharashtra manage to break this partnership, the game is all over for the defending champions.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 167/6 | Overs 50 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 30(58), Vinay Kumar 0(7): Still no run for the skipper, he seems to struggle and this is no good news for Karnataka. From here, the home side need 127 more runs to win. If they go on to lose this game, it will surely benifit Assam who are in the same group. They are playing Bengal at present and are seven wickets from a defeat. If Assam go on to save that match and Karnataka lose this fixture, Assam are through to the quarters.

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 157/6 | Overs 49 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 21(49), Vinay Kumar 0(5): From here, Karnataka need anotehr 136 runs. Vinay Kumar and Gautam have to play the innings of their life to save the contest for their side. While Gautam looks to settle, the skipper hasn’t gotten off the mark yet. Evernybody at Karnataka knows he can do it, remembering hsi superb century in the final last year that ahd won the league for them!

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 146/6 | Overs 46.3 | BATSMEN: CM Gautam 10(40), Vinay Kumar 0(0): WICKET! With Robin Uthappa’s wicket, it is more or less game over for Karnataka. Anupam Sanklecha strikes once again for Maharashtra and this time with the huge wicket of the well set batsman who could single-handedly take his side to a superb victory. OUT! Robin Uthappa LBW Anupam Sanklecha 61(108)

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 145/5 | Overs 45 | BATSMEN: Robin Uthappa 61(104), CM Gautam 9(35): Karnataka need another 148 runs to win from here. Can Maharashtra the advantage of the break and make a breakthrough here? All they have to do is dismiss Uthappa and it will be game over for the defending champions for this season!

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 141/5 | Overs 44 | BATSMEN: Robin Uthappa 60(101), CM Gautam 8(31): Play begins after lunch! Uthappa looks good, it’s just him at the moment who can do the job for Karnataka. However he wants some support from the other end, can Karnataka save their tournament with a win today?

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 127/5 | Overs 37 | BATSMEN: Robin Uthappa 51(88), CM Gautam 1(3): WICKET! Nikit Dhumal strikes again for Maharashtra. Karun Nair scored 4 from 7 deliveries before getting dismiised in the 37th over. Meanwhile it is 46th First-Class half-century for Uthappa. Karantaka has hopes of winning this contest if Uthappa bats till the end. His innings so far is inclusive of five boundaries and 2 sixes. The defending champions will get eliminated from this edition of Ranji Trophy if they lose this game. OUT! Karun Nair c & b Nikit Dhumal 4(7)

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 118/4 | Overs 35 | BATSMEN: Robin Uthappa 43(83), Karun Nair 4(2): Blow for Karnataka, fourth wicket down! Nikit Dhumal breaks the 40-run partnership between Uthappa and Shreyas Gopal when he dismissed the latter. From here, Karnataka need another 175 runs. OUT! Shreyas Gopal c Kedar Jadhav b Nikat Dhumal 19(50)

Live Cricket Score: Karnataka 84/3 | Overs 23 | BATSMEN: Robin Uthappa 31(50), Shreyas Gopal 5(15) | Big, big chase on the cards here. Robin Uthappa holds the key. Karun Nair and CM Gautam waiting in the wings. Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun are not too shabby either. And lets not forget Shreyas Gopal, who is still out there.

Set 293 for victory, Karnataka have definitely responded positively having scored 61 runs with loss of just one wicket but a couple of early wickets will turn the match on its head. Earlier in the day Karnataka managed to keep Maharashtra down to 260 runs in the third innings of the match. Vinay Kumar took four wickets in that innings while Sreenath Aravind chipped in with three. Shrikant Mundhe, with 88, ended as the top-scorer for Maharashtra.

The solitary Karnataka wicket to fall in the final innings on Day Three was that of Ravikumar Samarth for just seven runs, courtesy of Nikit Dhumal. Mayank Agarwal and Robin Uthappa took the team to stumps without further damage and Karnataka will hope that the duo add another fifty runs at least before getting out so that the task is easier for Karnataka.

Teams:

Maharashtra: Swapnil Gugale, Sangram Atitkar, Chirag Khurana, Rahul Tripathi, Ankit Bawne, Kedar Jadhav (c), Vishant More (wk), Shrikant Mundhe, Anupam Sanklecha, Nikit Dhumal, Bharatkumar Solanki.

Karnataka: Ravikumar Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, CM Gautam (wk), Abhimanyu Mithun, Shreyas Gopal, R Vinay Kumar (c), Sreenath Aravind, HS Sharath.