JAMSHEDPUR: Led by skipper Shahbaz Nadeem’s five-for, Jharkhand are eyeing an outright victory against Goa as they finished the third day of their Ranji Trophy Group C match on a strong position after forcing the visitors to follow on.
At the close of play, Goa were trailing by 136 runs. However, the visitors had all their wickets intact ahead of a gruelling final day.
Starting the day at 24 for one in response to the hosts’ first-innings total of 360, the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals to lend Jharkhand the upper hand.
Overnight batsmen Swapnil Asnodkar and Manvinder Bisla started cautiously, adding 28 runs for the second wicket. But the fall of Bisla in the 19th over of the Goa innings triggered a batting collapse. The visitors lost four wickets for an addition of 28 runs.
With the score board reading 72 for five, it was left to the lower middle-order to bail the team out of crisis.
Ravikant Shukla (64) and Rohit Asnodkar added 78 runs for the sixth wicket before Nadeem broke the partnership, getting one past through the defence of Shukla.
Rohit (39) followed suit few overs later to give Nadeem his third wicket. Goa tail-enders, led by captain Shadab Jakati, tried desperately to hang on, but Nadeem and company proved plentiful for the visitors as they finally folded on 208, leaving the hosts with just enough to impose a follow on.
At the draw of stumps, the visitors were 16 for no loss.
Brief scores: Jharkhand 1st innings: 360. Goa 1st innings: 208 all out in 71.3 overs (Ravikant Shukla 64; Shahbaz Nadeem 64/5). Goa 2nd innings (following on): 16 for no loss in six overs (Sagun Kamat 8*, Swapnil Asnodkar 7*).