Virender Sehwag started the Ranji Trophy season for his new team Haryana in some style, smashing 92, while Himanshu Rana hit a century to put the visitors on top on Day 1 of the Ranji Trophy match against Maharashtra in Pune, on Thursday.
At stumps, Haryana were sitting pretty on 303 for six at stumps.
Only 19 days shy of his 37th birthday, Sehwag showed glimpses of his vintage self, with his 92 off 129 balls that had 15 well-timed boundaries.
He added 124 runs for the third wicket with centurion Rana, who dropped anchor scoring a solid unbeaten 138 off 236 balls that comprised of 20 boundaries.
Haryana captain Sehwag walked out to the middle in the second over following an early wicket. Things got worse as the visitors soon found themselves reeling on 32 for three with Rahul Dewan (6), Chaitanya Bishnoi (4) and Sachin Rana (7) back in the hut.
Sehwag hit his team out of trouble as he counter-attacked the Maharashtra bowling attack of Samad Fallah, Shrikant Mundhe, Dominic Mutthuswamy and Nikit Dhumal.
There were cuts, slashes, drives and his 50 came from 73 balls.
With a reliable partner in Himanshu, Sehwag upped the ante in the post lunch session starting with a couple of boundaries. Just when it looked that Sehwag would score a century, a delivery from Mundhe moved a shade as the former India was beaten before the ball crashed into his stumps.
Rahul Dagar also perished cheaply to leave Haryana in a spot of bother at 158 for five before Nitin Saini (26) added 86 runs for the sixth wicket with Rana to steady the ship.
Rana then found an able ally in all-rounder Jayant Yadav (22 not out) as the duo put on 59 runs for the unbroken seventh wicket stand.
Haryana 1st Innings 303/6 (Virender Sehwag 92, Himanshu Rana 138 not out, Samad Fallah 3/70) vs Maharashtra.
Jadeja rescues Saurashtra
Ravindra Jadeja, out of the Indian team, scored a timely 91 to help Saurashtra reach 270 for six on Day 1 of their Group C match against Tripura in Rajkot.
While Jadeja came to his team's rescue at 66 for three, Cheteswar Pujara (10) failed to get going.
Another handy contribution came from Sheldon Jackson, who was unbeaten on 82 at stumps.
Jadeja, who has fallen out of favour with the Indian team selectors, occupied the crease for 138 balls and scored at a decent strike rate of 65.94. He ended up with 11 boundaries.
Sheldon too played a solid knock when his team needed one. His 152-ball innings comprised eight fours and a six.
Abhijit Dey did the maximum damage for Tripura, taking four wickets including the scalps of Pujara and Jadeja.
Saurashtra (1st innings): 270-6 in 90 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 91, Sheldon Jackson 82 batting; Abhijit Dey 4-107) vs Tripura.
Bhui, Kaif fifties rally Andhra against Mumbai
Ricky Bhui and skipper Mohammad Kaif scored a half-century each to take Andhra to 170 for two against Mumbai on the first day of their opening Ranji Trophy Group B match, in Vizianagaram, on Thursday.
Bhui (batting 91) and Kaif (batting 66) put on an unbroken 152-run stand for the third wicket to consolidate the home team's innings after they were struggling on 18 for two at one stage.
Electing to bat, Andhra had a bad start as both their openers -- KS Bharat (1) and Prasanth Kumar (7) – were out cheaply in just 14.2 overs.
Kaif played a captain's innings, while Bhui was the more dominating of the two, scoring at a briskly.
The duo steadied the boat and took the team past the 150-run mark without further loss in the next two sessions of the day.
Kaif needed 235 balls for his 66, which included nine fours and a six, while Bhui's 91 came off 183 deliveries and was studded with 12 boundaries and two sixes.
For the visitors, Shardul Thakur (1-23) and Balwinder Sandhu (1-24) took wicket apiece.
Andhra (1st innings): 170-2 in 80 overs (Mohammad Kaif batting 66, Ricky Bhui batting 91; Shardul Thakur 1-23) vs Mumbai.
Assam's Mohammad rattles holders Karnataka
Veteran left-arm spinner Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad registered his best first-class bowling figures to single-handedly give Assam the upper hand against defending champions Karnataka on the opening day of their Group A Ranji Trophy match in Guwahati.
Mohammad spun a web around the Karnataka batsmen to register his best bowling figures of seven for 44 and bundle out the title holders for a paltry 187 in 75.2 overs at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium after the visitors opted to bat.
At stumps, Assam were 21 for one, still trailing Karnataka by 166 runs.
Pallav Kumar Das was batting on 15 in the company of skipper Gokul Sharma (2 not out).
Swarupam Purkayastha was the Assam batsman to be dismissed, bowled by Karnataka skipper R Vinay Kumar.
Earlier, Karnataka's decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired as Assam picked up wickets at regular intervals, with Mohammad turning out to be the wrecker-in-chief.
Mohammad accounted for the wickets of in-form Mayank Agarwal (36), Robin Uthappa (11), CM Gautam, Karun Nair (14), Shreyas Gopal (9), Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun.
Shishir Bhavane (65) was the only Karnataka batsman to put up a fight against the Assam tweakers. He scored his runs off 143 balls with the help of six boundaries.
Leg-break bowler Amit Verma (2-16) also chipped in with two wickets against his former Ranji teammates, while pacer Krishna Das (1-22) accounted for the other.
Karnataka (1st innings): 187 in 75.2 (Shishir Bhavane 65; Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad 7-44).
Assam (1st innings): 21-1
Shanware shines as Jaffer fails on Vidarbha debut
Aditya Shanware scored a composed 119 to take Vidarbha to 256 for six on Day 1 of their Group A match against Odisha in Nagpur.
Openers Shanware and Jitesh Sharma (49) shared a 93-run stand before the centurion paired up with Ganesh Satish (53) to guide the team to 173 for one.
However, a middle order collapse meant Vidarbha lost the next five wickets for 83 runs.
It was a disappointing debut for veteran batsman Wasim Jaffer (1), who made the tough decision to move to Vidarbha from Mumbai. His innings lasted just four balls as he was castled by medium pacer Suryakant Pradhan.
Pradhan and Basant Mohanty brought Odisha back into the game by claiming two wickets each.
Vidarbha (1st innings): 256-6 in 90 overs (Aditya Shanware 119, Ganesh Satish 53; Suryakant Pradhan 2-52, Basant Mohanty 2-31) vs Odisha.
Gambhir labours as Rajasthan shoot out Delhi for 138
Delhi and Gautam Gambhir's off-field worries transformed into on-field woes as they were skittled out for a paltry 138 in 47 overs against an inexperienced Rajasthan on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy group league match in Jaipur.
Ashok Menaria, leading in the absence of an injured Pankaj Singh, won a good toss and seamer Deepak Chahar grabbed five wickets for 60 runs in 15 overs to leave Delhi in tatters within 47 overs.
Left-arm seamer Aniket Chaudhary took 3 for 26 in 13 overs.
At stumps, the home team played cautiously to reach 74 for three in 34 overs. They need only 65 runs to take first innings lead in a match that looks set to have an outright result.
Delhi's miseries started early as Unmukt Chand (4) was bowled by a swinging delivery from Chahar after hitting a lone boundary.
First change bowler Manjeet Singh got rid of one drop batsman Vaibhav Rawal (8), who was caught by wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik.
Milind Kumar (6) was gone as Chahr got one to come in after pitching as Delhi were 49 for three.
With coach Ajay Jadeja refusing to come to the ground due to the presence of assistant coach Amit Bhandari, there was no seasoned tactician in the dressing room, who could tell the boys what needed to be done to stem the rot.
Under pressure, Gambhir also struggled for nearly an hour and 43 minutes; he played and missed a lot before departing for a painstaking 24 off 68 balls that had four boundaries.
He was dismissed in the now familiar fashion of playing the ugly dab shot to a delivery from Chahar that was angling out as Yagnik made no mistake behind the stumps.
Debutant wicketkeeper Mohit Ahlawat (1) edged one from Aniket that held its line with the angle as Yagnik took his fourth catch.
Manan Sharma (2)'s dismissal made it a sorry scorecard for Delhi as it read 56 for six in 26 overs.
Sumit Narwal (25) and Pradeep Sangwan (18 no) then ensured that Delhi crossed the three-figure mark with a 48-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Narwal, who spanked five boundaries was caught in the deep off a delivery from debutant pacer Natthu Singh.
Delhi were soon all-out for 138.
Playing with a four-pronged pace attack on a helpful track, Vineet Saxena (4) and Abhimanyu Lamba (5) were dismissed cheaply by Narwal (2/15) as Rajasthan were reduced to 32 for two.
Pranay Sharma (42) hit seven fours as he added 38 for the third wicket before Pradeep Sangwan dismissed him.
At close of play, Menaria (batting 19) was in company of Puneet Yadav (batting 2).
Delhi (1st Innings): 138 in 47 overs (Gautam Gambhir 24, Sumit Narwal 25, Deepak Chahar 5-60, Aniket Chaudhary 3-26).
Rajasthan (1st Innings): 74-3 (Pranay Sharma 42, Sumit Narwal 2-15).
Vihari, Reddy steady Hyderabad in Goa
Hyderabad got off to a decent start on the first day of their opening Group C match against Goa at the Goa Cricket Association ground in Porvorim .
Asked to bat, the visitors posted 246 for five before the day's proceeding was called off early due to rain, with 21 overs still remaining to be completed.
Electing to bowl, Goa got an early breakthrough when medium pacer Rituraj Singh dismissed opener Tanmay Agarwal (14) with the visitors’ score 25.
But skipper Hanuma Vihari (82) and other opener Akshath Reddy (61) then steadied Hyderabad innings with a 113-run second-wicket partnership.
While Vihari struck 11 boundaries during his 165-ball knock, Reddy decorated his 118-ball innings with ten hits to the fence.
The partnership was eventually broken by spinner Shadab Jakati, who caught Reddy of his own bowling.
Vihari, in the meantime, completed his half century but became Rituraj's second victim of the day just 18 runs short of his century.
Hyderabad also lost two quick wickets in the form of Bavanaka Sandeep (22) and A Ashish Reddy (8).
Hyderabad were dealt another setback when wicketkeeper Habeeb Ahmed got injured and had to retire hurt on 5, before bad light and rain drew premature curtains to the day's proceedings.
Balchander Anirudh (24) and Akash Bhandari (15) were at the crease when play stopped.
For Goa, Rituraj (2-52) clinched two wickets while Jakati and Amit Yadav one each.
Hyderabad (1st innings): 246 for five in 69 overs (Hanuma Vihari 82, Akshath Reddy 61; Rituraj Singh 2-52) vs Goa.
Spinners Pathan, Bhatt bundle TN out for 125
Spinners Yusuf Pathan and Bhargav Bhatt grabbed four wickets each as Baroda shot out Tamil Nadu for a meagre 125 in their first innings on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match in Chennai.
Pathan (4/29) and Bhatt (4/32) made most of bowling on a wicket offering some help to the spinners at the M A Chidambaram Stadium to put their team in control.
Off-spinner Pathan's figures were striking as he bowled 10.4 overs on the trot from the pavilion end for his four wickets while his ally Bhatt, a left-arm spinner, scalped two wickets each in his as many spells.
At close, Baroda were 33 for 1 in 16 overs after the loss of opener Hitesh Solanki (5). Kedar Devdhar (17) and captain Aditya Waghmode (4) were at the crease when stumps were drawn.
Earlier, playing in his 100th first class match, Tamil Nadu captain Abhinav Mukund opted to bat first and he stayed at the crease for just 10 balls before he was out for a duck.
Bharath Shankar (28) and Baba Aparajith (44) steadied the innings as they put on 65 runs for the second wicket before the former's wicket opened the floodgates.
Shankar missed the line of the ball to be bowled by Bhatt followed by Tamil Nadu losing eight wickets for the addition of just 59 runs.
With the bat, Baroda's openers started off cautiously before left-arm spinner Rahil Shah dismissed Solanki for five.
Tamil Nadu 1st Innings: 125 all out in 57.4 overs (Baba Aparajith 44; Yusuf Pathan 4/29, Bhargav Bhatt 4/32).
Baroda 1st Innings: 33 for 1 in 16 overs (Kedar Devdhar 17 batting, Aditya Waghmode 4 batting).