Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir's dogged insistence of playing on a seaming track was vindicated once again as the hosts bowled out Punjab for just 74 runs in on a fog-hit first day of the Ranji Trophy group A encounter in New Delhi on Sunday.
At stumps, Delhi were 46 for two with Unmukt Chand batting on 21 and veteran Mithun Manhas on six on a day when only 42.4 overs of play was possible at the Roshanara Club ground.
Delhi skipper Gambhir won the toss and put Punjab into bat as the slide started from the third over itself as Ashish Nehra again showed that he is force to reckon with in overcast conditions and the pitch having a lot of juice in it.
Yuvraj Singh (0) might have got a debatable leg before decision when he had plonked his front-foot forward by a fair distance but most of the other batsmen looked incapable of handling the controlled seam bowling from Nehra.
Nehra grabbed four for 31 while Parvinder Awana (3/20) and Rajat Bhatia (2/4) produced wickets at regular intervals to reduce Punjab to 35 for nine at one stage. It was Manpreet Gony who used his long handle to a good effect smashing 29 off 24 balls with five boundaries as Punjab managed to cross 50 in the end.
It was Sumit Narwal, who started the slide by inducing an edge off Jiwanjot Singh (4)'s bat that was taken by Vaibhav Rawal in the slip cordon. Nehra then got into the act as Uday Kaul (2) nicked one to Rahul Yadav behind stumps.
Sandeep Sharma was sent at No 4 ahead of Yuvraj but he was taken at mid-on by Awana off Rajat Babita's bowling. Two balls later, Yuvraj tried playing a forward defensive prod and umpire adjudged him leg before. The batsman was unhappy as he showed that the ball has hit his bat before leaving.
At 16 for four, Punjab were in trouble before Manan Vohra (16), who looked solid played a pull-shot which went up and bowler Awana took the catch. It became 32 for six when keeper Yadav took a brilliant diving catch off Awana to remove Gurkeerat Singh (0).
Nehra was on a hat-trick when he cleaned up Mandeep Singh (11) and Jaskaran Singh (0) off successive deliveries but Siddharth Kaul averted the hat-trick. Nehra got his fourth victim when Gitansh Khera (1) edged one to give Yadav his third catch.
At 35 for nine, Gony and Kaul put some fight but that certainly won't be enough as Delhi will be aiming for another seven points.
Rahul's 120 help Karnataka come back against Mumbai
Lokesh Rahul gave ample proof of his class by cracking an unbeaten 120 as gritty Karnataka recovered from a mini-collapse to reach 228 for seven against Mumbai in their first innings on the opening day of their Group A Ranji Trophy match in Bangalore on Sunday.
The 21-year-old opener notched up his third century of the season to steer the hosts after they were 84-4 in 40.2 overs at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
At stumps, Rahul and Abhimanyu Mithun (7) were at the crease on an eventful opening day.
Mumbai dominated the last two sessions, sending back six Karnataka batsmen to pavillion.
Rahul hit an array of exquisite strokes even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end.
R Samarth (18), Karun Nair (13), Manish Pandey (1) and CM Gautam (0) were dismissed cheaply. Rahul, who was lucky to have not been given caught behind early in the innings, smashed 16 well-timed boundaries in his 275-ball knock.
Rahul was given vital support by Stuart Binny (38) during their 82-run fifth wicket stand, before the latter was caught by Siddesh Lad off pacer Javed Khan. Binny hit three boundaries and two sixes in his 88-ball enduring knock.
S N Thakur and Vishal Dabholkar bagged two wickets apiece while Javed, S N Netrawalkar and S A Yadav taking one each after Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer opted to field.
Rahul and R Samarth built 38 runs stand for first wicket, before the latter was dismissed by debutant Netrawalkar, caught by Yadav.
Thereafter, Karnataka lost three more wickets for 46 runs, sending jitters into the hosts' camp, before Rahul and Binny bailed them out.
Karnataka: 228-7 in 91 overs (KL Rahul 120; SN Thakur 2/49).
Jharkhand top order puts team in good position against Vidarbha
A brilliant knock by in-form opener Rameez Nimat (85) and his 91-run first wicket stand with Bhavik Thaker (23) steered hosts Jharkhand to a decent 233 for five on the opening day of their Group A Ranji tie against Vidarbha, in Jamshedpur on Sunday.
At close, skipper Shahbaz Nadeem was batting on 37 and giving him company was Kumar Deobrat (9) at Keenan Stadium.
Electing to bat, Jharkhand suffered an early jolt when opener Subroto Ghosh returned without scoring after adjudged leg before off Shrikant Wagh.
Bhavik Thaker and Nimat then stitched a 91-run first wicket partnership to rescue the team.
Thaker, who was settled and facing the rival attack with ease, fell short of the crease while picking up a single and an accurate throw from Akshay Wakhare saw the bails uprooted.
Southpaw Saurabh Tiwary too did not last long as he spooned a catch to Sandip Singh at slip off Wakhare for ten.
Middle-order batsman Ishank Jaggi then paired with Nimat for 67-run for the fourth wicket before Wakhare struck again to have the opener leg before for 85.
Nimat struck nine fours to score 85 off 221-balls.
Jaggi notched up a scintillating 52 studded with five boundaries and two sixes off 98-delivery. He though misread a delivery off Wakhare and sneaked a catch to Singh.
For Vidarbha, Wakhare emerged as the most successful bowler, grabbing three wickets for 59 runs.
Jharkhand: 1st Innings: 233 for five: Rameez Nimat 85, Ishank Jaggi 52; A Wakhare 3 for 59.
Tamil Nadu 231/5 against Rajasthan on day one
Rajasthan pacer Pankaj Singh claimed four wickets to wreck havoc on the Tamil Nadu top order before Ramaswamy Prasanna (56) and Vijay Shankar (57) played the rescue act as the hosts managed to end the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match at 231 for 5 in Chennai on Sunday.
Electing to bat, Tamil Nadu lost opener Arun Karthik (4) in the fifth over with seven runs on board. Pankaj forced Karthik to play in front and the batsman edged the delivery to wicketkeeper Chetan Bist.
Abhinav Mukund and Subramaniam Badrinath tried to stabilise the Tamil Nadu innings. Their approach to avoiding taking risks but going after loose deliveries was paying off and they put on 75 runs for the second wicket.
Then off-spinner Romesh Powar provided the vital breakthrough on a turning track, he scalped Mukund LBW as he was tried to play a defensive stroke. Mukund made 26 off 83 balls and put on 75 runs with Badrinath in 24.1 overs.
Then Pankaj Singh dismissed Baba Aparajith (8) and Dinesh Karthik (0) in consecutive deliveries.
Pankaj then clean-bowled Badrinath two overs later. Badrinath scored 50 off 102 balls, hitting seven fours.
Prasanna (batting 56 off 133 balls, 8x4), who has in the past bailed out Tamil Nadu, and Vijay Shankar (batting 57 off 130 balls, 8x4), then put on 132 runs in 40.3 overs for the unbroken sixth wicket when stumps were drawn 11 minutes before schedule due to bad light.
Tamil Nadu: 231 for 5 in 80 overs (S Badrinath 50, Ramaswamy Prasanna batting 56, Vijay Shankar batting 57; Pankaj Singh 4/41).
Parthiv's 109 take Gujarat to 287-3 against Odisha
Parthiv Patel cracked his 21st first-class century to power Gujarat to 287 for three in their first innings at stumps against Odisha on the opening day of their Ranji trophy Group A match in Motera on Sunday.
Parthiv scored an unbeaten 109 runs in 166 balls with the help of 11 fours. Venugopal Rao (68) and Bhargav Merai (45) were the other top scorers for Gujarat.
For Odisha, Jayanta Behera (2/65) took two wickets, while BB Samantray (1/38) scalped one.
Electing to bat, Gujarat were given a 54-run partnership upfront by Samit Gohel (27) and Priyank Panchal (31) before the duo departed in successive overs.
Bhargav Merai (45) and Parthiv (109) took over from the openers and added another 84 for the third wicket.
Jayanta Behera gave Odisha the breakthrough, removing Merai to take his second wicket in the 52nd over.
However, Gujarat put together another big unbeaten partnership when Rao joined Parthiv and the duo stitched 141 runs, which carried Gujarat to 287 for three by stumps.
Parthiv and Rao (68) were at the crease at the draw of stumps at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
Gujarat: 287-3 in 90 overs (Parthiv Patel 109; Jayanta 2/65).
Wakaskar's ton helps Baroda scrore 348 against Saurashtra
Opening batsman Saurabh Wakaskar's century and useful contribution from Aditya Waghmode and Dhiren Mistry helped Baroda score 348 runs for five against Saurashtra on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy group 'B' match in Rajkot on Sunday.
Yusuf Pathan was batting on 37 and giving him company was Pinal Shah (2) when stumps were drawn for the day at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium, Khandheri.
Baroda captain Yusuf Pathan won the toss and decided to bat first. Openers Saurabh Wakaskar (128) and Dhiren Mistry (45) laid a good foundation by adding 103 runs for the opening wicket before Mistry got out.
Left-arm leg-spinner Dharmendra Jadeja gave the hosts the first breakthrough by dismissing Mistry. Kedar Devdhar then returned to the pavilion without opening his account after falling to Kamlesh Makwana.
Aditya Waghmode (94) then joined hands with Wakaskar and the two added 131 runs for the third wicket.
Wakaskar made 128, while Waghmode missed a century by six runs. All rounder Irfan Pathan also chipped in with useful 37.
For Saurashtra, Dharmendra Jadeja took two wickets conceding 104 runs, while Chirag Jani, Vishal Joshi and Kamlesh Makwana had a wicket each giving away 31, 67 and 103 runs respectively.
Baroda 348 for 5 off 90 overs (Saurabh Wakaskar 128, Aditya Waghmode 94, Dhiren Mistry 45; Dharmendra Jadeja 2-104).
UP all out for 250 against MP
Half-centuries from Eklavya Dwivedi (80 not out) and Parvinder Singh (73) helped Uttar Pradesh score 250 all out on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match against Madhya Pradesh in Kanpur on Sunday.
At stumps, Madhya Pradesh were 4 for no loss in 2 overs.
It was quite a remarkable recovery as Madhya Pradesh's new-ball pair of Ishwar Pandey and debutant Puneet Datey had the hosts reeling on six for four in the fifth over of the day after UP were asked to bat.
Datey struck with his first two deliveries in first-class cricket, dismissing Digvijay Singh and Prashant Gupta for golden ducks. In his second over, he had Uttar Pradesh captain Suresh Raina caught by Jalaj Saxena for just one run. Two balls later, Ishwar Pandey sent back opener Mukul Dagar (5).
Mohammad Kaif (24) and Parvinder dug in to take the score to 69, but it was the 93-run stand between Parvinder and wicketkeeper Dwivedi that added some respectability to UP's total.
Saxena ended the partnership by having Parvinder caught by captain Devendra Bundela for 73.
Bundela and Saxena combined to mop up the tail, but not before seamer Amit Mishra gave valuable support to Dwivedi in a 62-run eighth-wicket stand.
Dwivedi was left stranded on 80 after which MP played out a couple of overs to end the day on four for no loss.
Uttar Pradesh: 250 all out in 73.1 overs (Eklavya Dwivedi 80 not out, Parvinder Singh 73; Jalaj S Saxena 3/44.
Railways struggle to 85-5 against Services
Services bowlers produced a disciplined bowling display to reduce Railways to 85 for five in their first innings at stumps on a weather-hit opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match in New Delhi on Sunday.
After electing to field on a chilly morning, Services didn't give Railways batsmen much leeway and kept taking wickets in regular intervals on a day when only 40 overs could be bowled due to foggy conditions.
For Services, Irfan Khan took two wickets for 14 runs, while Suraj Yadav, Shadab Nazar and Nishan Singh accounted for one each as the bowlers utilised the limited time of play possible.
After a delayed start due to bad light, play was again suspended at the fag end because of poor visibility at the Jamia Millia Cricket Ground.
Opening the innings after being inserted by Services, skipper Murali Kartik could not handle their rivals bowling and was the first to go back to the pavillion when he was trapped infront of wicket by Nazar in the fourth over.
Opener Shivakant Shukla (20) and Nitin Bhille (20) tried to steady the ship but the former was sent packing by Nishan in the 15th over with Sarabjit Singh taking the catch as Railways were reduced to 27-2.
Irfan then joined the party and got rid of Rongsen Jonathan (11) less then four overs after the second wicket. Arindam Ghosh too was sent back into the hut in the 22nd over by Yadav as Railways slipped to 43-4.
A few overs later, wicket-keeper Mahesh Rawat was dismissed by Irfan with Soumik Chatterjee taking the catch to leave Railways at 50 for five in 26.2 overs.
Ashish Yadav (19) and Bhille were at the crease when the stumps were drawn.
Railways: 85 for 5 in 40 overs (NS Bhille 20; Irfan Khan 2/14).