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Goa in control:Ranji Trophy
PORVORIM Goa is set to take the first innings lead against Jammu and Kashmir after reducing them to 246 for 7 in reply to their first innings mammoth total of 468/9 declared, on the penultimate day of their four-day Elite, Group C, Ranji Trophy match, at GCA Academy ground in Porvorim, on Wednesday. The hosts, who started the third day's play at 422 for 7, added further 46 runs losing two wickets before declaring their first innings at 468 for 9. Overnight unbeaten centurion Snehal Kauthankar remained unbeaten on 130, which he scored with the help of 24 fours. For Jammu and Kashmir, veteran Irfan Pathan and Umar Nazir picked up three wickets each while Aamir Aziz contributed with two . Facing an uphill task of gaining a first innings lead, Jammu and Kashmir started well with their openers A Bandy and S Khajuria giving them a strong start, scoring 43 runs in 12 overs. The visitors suffered their first blow in the form of opener Bandy, caught by Amogh Desai off the bowling of Lakshay Garg. Khajuria then in the company of No 3 batsman I Singh made the Goa bowlers toil hard and stitched 74-run partnership for the second wicket before left-arm spinner Amulya Pandrekar found well-set Khajuria in front of the wicket for 53. With team's score reading 117 for 2, J&K's next in-line batsmen were expected to play sensibly and resurrect their innings. A lot was expected from skipper Parvez Rasool, who had scored a century at this very ground a couple of seasons ago, but the India international disappointed big way as he returned to the pavilion by adding just 13 runs, caught by Alemao off the bowling of Garg. Next man Pundir also went back soon after adding just 16 runs, bringing in Irfan Pathan to the crease, with the score reading 169 for 5. Pathan took the onus on himself and began resurrecting the innings. However his next partner wicketkeeper batsman Fazil Rashid departed soon after he was found plump in front of the wickets by Amogh Desai. At the close of third day's play Jammu and Kashmir had reached 246 for 7 and were trailing Goa by 222 runs. Irfan Pathan was batting on 42, which he scored with the help of 5 fours and 1 six, while his partner Aamir Aziz was unbeaten on 22. For Goa, Lakhay Garg and Amogh Desai have picked two wickets each while K Das, Darshan Misal and Amulya Pandrekar have taken one wicket each. On the fourth and last day, hosts Goa will look to remove visitors' remaining three wickets as early as possible and then possibly make them bat again to try and clinch an outright win.