Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live blog of the third day of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2015-16 Group A match between Vidarbha and Rajasthan at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur on Tuesday. Vidarbha reached a score of 202 for the loss of six wickets at the end of the second day’s play on Monday, Aditya Sarwate and Ravi Jangid batting on 42 and 27 respectively, trailing Rajasthan’s first innings score of 216 by 14 runs with four wickets in hand. Rajasthan managed to get the early dismissal of experienced ex-Mumbai batsman Wasim Jaffer, who departed after scoring just eight runs. Complete coverage of Ranji Trophy 2015-16

Faiz Fazal provided some fightback at the top of the order, hitting eight boundaries in his patient 40, before getting dismissed by Aniket Choudhary. A disciplined bowling performance saw the hosts reduced to 121 for six, before Sarwate and Jangid forged a crucial unbroken seventh-wicket partnership, which Rajasthan will be hoping to bring a swift end to on the penultimate day of the seventh round match.

The highlight of the match so far has been hattrick of Umesh Yadav, that was instrumental in bowling Rajasthan out for 216 in their first innings. Having been dropped for the second India-South Africa Test at Bengaluru, Yadav presented a strong case for his selection for the third Test with the spell, which saw him finish with figures of 4 for 45. Akshay Wakhare was the other chief wicket-taker for Vidarbha, taking three for 78, which included that of Puneet Yadav (67 off 114 balls).

Vidarbha are currently placed fifth in Group A, and hope to break into the top four wicket a win or a draw (first innings lead). Rajasthan, on the other hand, are languishing at the bottom of the group after three defeats and two draws in their five games so far.

Live Cricket Score: Rajasthan 216 & 226/9 | Overs 78 | Vidarbha 247 | BATSMEN: TM Ul  Haq 8 (18), AB Singh 5 (17) | Rajasthan have lost two more wickets before stumps and have ended the Day 3 at 226 for 9. They are now ahead by 195 runs and have just one wicket remaining. In all probability, Vidarbha will get a total between 200 and 225 to win this game. From there on, it will be their game to lose. Since the game has been a low-scoring one, Rajasthan too would fancy their chances. We will bring you the coverage of Day 4 tomorrow, so stay tuned to find out who prevails, Rajasthan or Vidarbha.

OUT! TM Ul Haq ct Ganesh Satish b A A Sarvate 9 (32), Nathu Singh ct A A Wakhare b A A Sarvate 0 (3)

Live Cricket Score: Rajasthan 216 & 202/7 | Overs 69 | Vidarbha 247 | BATSMEN: TM Ul  Haq 8 (18), AB Singh 5 (17) | Rajasthan have lost the plot here, as they have gone from 173 for 4 to 190 for 7. Jangid and Wakhare have been the chief destroyers. Jangid has taken three while Wakhare’s spin has fetched him two wickets. All of a sudden, there is a possibility that we get a result in this match tomorrow. The way they have played today, it seemed like they would post a good total on board and push the match towards a draw. But a result seems a possibility now.

OUT! Vineet Saxena ct Wasim Jaffer b R L Jangid 54 (168), SS Dobal ct A A Wakhare b R L Jangid 7 (18), DH Yagnik lbw A A Wakhare 16 (29)

Live Cricket Score: Rajasthan 216 & 172/4 | Overs 57 | Vidarbha 247 | BATSMEN: Vineet Saxena 53 (166), DH Yagnik 11 (14) Rajasthan are now 4 down for 172. They have lost their most experienced pro Rajat Bhatia for 3. Vidarbha bowlers are doing well here and have kept the match alive with their regular strikes. Menaria’s knock can prove to be very important in the end. He sensed the match situation to perfection and played a handy knock.

OUT! R Bhatia ct J M Sharma b A A Sarvate 3 (13)

Live Cricket Score: Rajasthan 216 & 151/3 | Overs 50 | Vidarbha 247 | BATSMEN: Vineet Saxena 47 (144), R Bhatia 1 (4) Rajasthan have reached to 151 for 3 at tea, thanks to a counter-attacking innings from their captain Ashok Menaria. He launched a ferocious assault on Vidarbha bowlers and smacked seven sixes and four boundaries to quickly go on to 76. Jangid got rid of him when he was eventually caught by Wasim Jaffer. Vineet Saxena is still going pretty strong and is unbeaten on 47. His companion out there is the seasoned campaigner Rajat Bhatia.

OUT! A Menaria ct Wasim Jaffer b R L Jangid 76 (92)

Live Cricket Score: Rajasthan 216 & 87/2 | Overs 27 | Vidarbha 247 | BATSMEN: Vineet Saxena 26 (70), A Menaria 34 (34) Rajasthan have lost PR Yadav for 8, who fell to Sarvate’s spin. He has been replaced by skipper Ashok Menaria, who has showed aggression from the word go. He has so far hit four sixes in his short innings of 34 unbeaten. Opener Vineet Saxena is going strong at the other end. He has displayed some solid defence in his stay.

OUT! PR Yadav lbw A A Sarvate 8 (25)

Live Cricket Score: Rajasthan 216 & 40/1 | Overs 16 | Vidarbha 247 | BATSMEN: Vineet Saxena 14 (39), PR Yadav 8 (23) | Rajasthan go at lunch with 1 down for 40 runs. They are effectively 9 for 1 at the moment, with the deficit of 31 runs. Opener Vineet Saxena and one-down PR Yadav are at the crease now. The only wicket to fall was of opener PI Sharma, who fell to Akshay Wakhare’s spin for 14. Vidarbha bowlers would come hard at Rajasthan batsmen post-lunch, hoping for a collapse of sorts and aiming for an outright win.

OUT! PI Sharma lbw A A Wakhare 14 (34)

Live Cricket Score: Rajasthan 216 & 17/0 | Overs 6 | Vidarbha 247 | BATSMEN: PI Sharma 14 (26), Vineet Saxena 3 (10) | Vidarbha innings finally folded for 247. They have got a slender yet vital 31 run lead here. Veteran Rajat Bhatia cleaned up their tail and finished up with 3 wickets. However, the pick of the bowlers was youngster Tanveer-Ul-Haq, who got four wickets. Tanveer is a left arm pacer and it is still early days for him but if he can make a mark early on, he may well find himself in the Indian team soon as it has been hunting for a good left arm pacer for quite some time now.

OUT! UT Yadav ct M N Singh (Sub) b Rajat Bhatia 10 (11), AA Wakhare b Rajat Bhatia 2 (5) 

Live Cricket Score: Vidarbha 233 for 8 | Rajasthan 216 | Overs 96 | BATSMEN: SB Wagh 11 (24),  UT Yadav 1 (2) | Starting the day at 6 for 202, Vidarbha have managed to take lead against Rajasthan here in Nagpur. They have lost their overnight batsmen Sarvate and Jangid, who scored 50 and 36 respectively. Both fell only after ensuring the lead was taken. TM Ul Haq has taken both the wickets. He has shone with the ball by taking four wickets so far.

OUT! AA Sarvate b T M Ul Haq 50 (116), RL Jangid ct Ashok Menaria b T M Ul Haq 36 (142)

Brief scores:

Rajasthan 216 lead Vidarbha 202 for 6 in 84 overs (Faiz Fazal 40, Aditya Sarwate* 42; Aniket Choudhary 2 for 34) by 14 runs.