A round-up of Ranji matches played on Thursday:
Yuvraj Singh hammered Madhya Pradesh bowlers into submission with a superb knock of unbeaten 164, as Punjab posted a record 347 for 3 on the first day, on a seamer-friendly track in a Ranji Trophy encounter, in Lahli on Thursday.
Yuvraj, who is out of favour as far as national team is concerned, showed that he is still a force to reckon with as his 25th first-class hundred was studded with 24 boundaries and he faced 241 balls in all.
Punjab's total, which was also propped by India discard Gurkeerat Mann's undefeated 101, is the highest on a first day at Lahli, surpassing Haryana's 339/7 against Rajasthan during the last edition of the tournament.
Yuvraj's innings came in a pressure situation as Punjab were down to 15 for 2, losing Manan Vohra (2) and Uday Kaul (6), when he came in to bat.
He added 180 runs for third wicket with opener Jiwanjot Singh (61, 172 ball), who dropped anchor at one end with the stylish left-hander taking on an attack led by Iswar Pandey (2/95).
He added another 152 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket stand with Gurkeerat whose 102 ball innings had 16 fours and a six. In this partnership, Gurkeerat was the one who attacked as spinners Ankit Sharma and MS Raghav were in operation.
Conditions in Lahli have always been challenging for the batsmen and Yuvraj showed why MSK Prasad and his colleagues cannot ignore his claim for yet another India comeback, at least in the shorter formats.
For Madhya Pradesh, their three medium pacers -- Pandey (2/95 in 27 overs), Gaurav Yadav (1/78 in 24 overs) and Chandrakant Sakhure (0/79 in 19 overs) -- bowled 70 overs amongst themselves, but Yuvraj was equal to the task as he played both cuts and pulls with aplomb.
Brief Scores: Punjab: 347/3 in 89 overs (Yuvraj Singh 164 no, Gurkeerat Singh 101 batting, Jiwanjot Singh 61; Ishwar Pandey 2/95) vs Madhya Pardesh.
Easwaran leads collective effort as Bengal score 288/3 vs UP
Jaipur: Opener Abhimanyu Easwaran batted with determination as his unbeaten 123 helped Bengal reach a decent 288 for 3 against Uttar Pradesh in a Ranji Trophy group league encounter on Thursday.
It was a collective batting effort by a young Bengal top-order with Easwaran being ably supported by the talented left-hander Sudeep Chatterjee (73) and debutant southpaw Agniv Pan (53).
However, the day belonged sinewy Easwaran, who dropped anchor at one end en route his second first class hundred. His unbeaten 123 came off 241 balls with 18 boundaries – his second in Ranji Trophy after his 150 not out against Tamil Nadu back in 2015.
Manoj Tiwary called it right at the toss and Bengal openers Easwaran and Sayan Sekhar Mondal (30) provided a steady start with a stand of 64 in 20 overs.\
Left-handed Mondal, who has shown improved performance after being promoted to opening during late last season was just getting set when UP's only successful bowler Ankit Rajpoot (3/72) got one to move a shade away after pitching with Ekalavya Dwivedi holding onto the edge.
The elegant Chatterjee then joined forces with Easwaran and the duo added 132 runs with minimum fuss in shade under 40 overs. The found the gaps with ease as neither veteran leggie Piyush Chawla (0/36 in 16 overs) nor young chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (0/63 in 23 overs) could provide with a breakthrough.
Both Chatterjee and Easwaran weren't deceived by Kuldeep's wrong 'un while they did not take much risk off Chawla's bowling occasionally punishing the loose balls.
Both drove well off the front-foot against the pacers and waited for the turn playing both the spinners off the back foot. Chatterjee, who recently played for one of the sides in Duleep Trophy, hit some flowing cover drives in his 11 hits to the fence.
Just when Bengal were approaching 200-run mark, Chatterjee was bowled by Rajpoot after facing 140 balls for his 73.
However Chatterjee's dismissal didn't break the tempo as young left-hander Agniv showed a lot of maturity as he gave Easwaran company adding 86 runs for the third wicket.
The former Bengal U-19 stumper hit six boundaries in his 81-ball knock as he reached his maiden half century on debut.
However just as Bengal were looking to play out the day, Agniv became Rajpoot's third victim on a personal score of 51.
Brief Scores: Bengal: 288/3 in 88 overs (Abhiumanyu Easwaran 123 batting, Sudeep Chatterjee 73, Agniv Pan 51; Ankit Rajpoot 3/72) vs Uttar Pradesh.
Mumbai restrict Baroda to 286/9 on Day 1
New Delhi: Mumbai bowlers put up an impressive show as they restricted Baroda to 286 for nine on Day 1 of their Ranji Trophy encounter.
Save wicketkeeper-batsman Pinal Shah, who hit a gutsy 66, which was laced with 10 fours, none of the Baroda batsmen showed enough patience to stay at the wicket despite some of them playing
enough balls to get set.
Veteran India discard Yusuf Pathan, who smashed his way to 41 off only 28 balls with eight fours didn't use discretion as he was cleaned up by medium pacer Tushar Deshpande.
The situation demanded patience from the senior Pathan but he decided to attack and it was only partially successful.
Similarly, opener Aditya Waghmode (39) and IPL star Deepak Hooda (46) did all the hardwork during the first two hours only to throw it away after getting off to starts.
The pitch at the Model Sports Complex in Palam was also a sluggish one making strokeplay difficult.
Left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil (3-70) was punished by Pathan but came back well to get three quick wickets in the end.
India's Test specialist Shardul Thakur claimed two wickets for 77 runs but bowled a lot of boundary balls in his 22-over spell.
Brief Scores: Baroda 286/9 (Pinal Shah 66, Deepak Hooda 46, Yusuf Pathan 41, Vijay Gohil 3/70, Shardul Thakur 2/77) vs Mumbai.
Tamil Nadu batsmen falter yet again as Railways take control
Bilaspur: Tamil Nadu's batting woes continued as an unfancied Railways seam attack skittled them for a lowly 121 before finishing the day at 87 for three in a group league encounter of the Ranji Trophy.
Former Punjab seamer Deepak Bansal (4/48) and Rajasthan medium pacer Manjeet Singh (3/31) wreaked havoc as Tamil Nadu did a shade better at the picturesque ground located at a high altitude.
After being decimated for 87 in the first innings against Mumbai in the lung opener, the Tamil Nadu batsmen failed yet again with only seasoned Abhinav Mukund (22) crossing the 20-run mark among the top-order.
Tamil Nadu were in danger of being bowled out for less than 100 as they were tottering at 84 for 8 but Malolan Rangarajan (36) off 50 balls hit some lusty blows to take the team total past 100-run mark.
With conditions aiding seam bowlers, the Tamil Nadu batsmen were exposed badly with both left-arm seamer Bansal and right-armer Manjeet moving the ball appreciably.
There were leg-before decisions with two against left-handers to incoming deliveries to left-handers Washington Sundar (17) and Mukund.
Dinesh Karthik got one from Bansal where he got the ball to shape in to trap him plumb in-front. Mrunal Devdhar (47) was the top-scorer for Railways as they require another 35 runs to get first innings lead.
Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu 121 in 42.2 overs (Malolan Rangarajan 36, Abhinav Mukund 22; Deepak Bansal 4/48, Manjeet Singh 3/31). Vs Railways 87/3 (Mrunal Devdhar 47; K Vignesh 1/8).
Samarth's unbeaten ton takes Karnataka to 248/3
Greater Noida: Opener Ravi Kumar Samarth smashed an unbeaten century, while Karun Nair hit 74 to guide Karnataka to a strong position at the close of play on the first day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match against Jharkhand, here on Thursday.
Samarth remained unbeaten on 118 off 276 deliveries with the help of 10 boundaries, while Nair's fifty came off 168 balls and five fours as Karnataka reached 248 for three in 90 overs at stumps on the opening day.
Electing to bat, Karnataka lost opener Mayank Agarwal (15) and Robin Uthappa (2) early, before Samarth and Nair shared a 155-run third wicket stand to take Karnataka to a comfortable position.
At close, Kaunain Abbas was batting along side Samarth on 28.
Medium pacer Ashish Kumar (3/47) picked up all the three wickets for Jharkhand.
Brief Scores: Karnataka: 248 for three in 90 overs (Ravi Kumar Samarth 118 batting, Karun Nair 74; Ashish Kumar 3/47).
Pankaj takes five-for, Assam pack up for 195
Visakhapatnam: Captain Pankaj Singh led from the front with a five-wicket haul as Rajasthan bundled out Assam for a paltry 195 in their Group B Ranji Trophy match. Electing to bowl, Rajasthan made an impact on the game with Pankaj accounting for both the Assam openers. He first trapped Rahul Hazarika (6) and then had Pallav Kumar Das (40) caught by wicketkeeper Chetan Bisht.
Before being dismissed Pallav had added 63 runs for the second wicket with Rishav Das, who top scored for his side with an unbeaten 93.
Rishav was solid from one end but kept losing partners with following batsmen struggling to reach double-digit score. Rishav's 93 came off 221 balls with 10 shots to the fence.
Only Syed Mohammed managed 15 while Amit verma, (0), KB Arun Karthik (7), Gokul Sharma (0) and Tarjinder Singh (1) all perished cheaply.
Pankaj completed his five-wicket haul when he caught Krishna Das (9) off his own bowling to end Assam's innings.
Brief Scores: Assam 1st innings 195 all out in 84.1 overs (Rishav Das 93 not out, PK Das 40; Pankaj Singh 5/39).
Gugale, Bawne tons put Maharashtra in control
Mumbai: Stand-in-skipper Swapnil Gugale's patient 152 was complemented brilliantly by Ankit Bawane's equally impressive 120 not out which helped Maharashtra reach a healthy 290 for two against Delhi on the first day of their Ranji Trophy group match in Mumbai, on Thursday.
The duo added 249 runs for the unbroken third wicket stand as Delhi used as many as seven bowlers without much success.
Electing to bat at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, Maharashtra were reeling at 41 for two as Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini struck twice removing opener Harshad Khadiwale (10) and Chirag Khurana (4) in the first half an hour.
While Khadiwale was caught by Delhi's skipper Unmukt Chand in the slips, Khurana was trapped leg before wicket.
Bawane ably supported his skipper and ensured that the side did not lose any more wickets in the last two sessions of play, while also keeping the scoreboard moving at a good rate.
Gugale's knock comprised 19 boundaries and a six over extra cover. The 25-year-old right-handed batsman, who hit all around the park, made most of the two 'lives' which he got courtesy Delhi's sloppy fielding.
He was initially dropped by Chand in the slips on 38. Later in the post-lunch session, Gugale tried to hit over long-on as Nitish Rana missed a dolly.
The duo also rotated the strike well by taking cheeky singles and the two complimented each other very well. They also kept hammering the loose deliveries on the pitch which offered little assistance to the bowlers - both pacers and spinners.
Delhi bowlers toiled hard, even brought back pacers Parwinder Awana and Saini back in the attack, tried part-time spinners Rana and Milind Kumar, but were unable to to break the partnership.
Brief Scores: Maharashtra 290/2 (Swapnil Gugale 152 not out, Ankit Bawane 120 not out, Navdeep Saini 2/43) vs Delhi.
Odisha bowled out for 228
Hyderabad: Opener Sandeep Pattnaik's 123-run knock was the lone saving grace in Odisha's dismal batting performance as Saurashtra dismissed them for 228 on the opening day of their Ranji Group B match.
At stumps, Saurashtra were four for no loss when stumps were drawn for the day with openers Mohsin Dodia (3) and Sagar Jogiyani (0) at the crease.
Left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the wrecker-in-chief for Saurashtra with figures of four for 67 in 23.5 overs.
Odisha were off to a confident start with Sandeep Pattnaik and Ranjit Singh (30) combining for an 85-run opening stand but the latter's dismissal changed the scenario dramatically for the team.
Odisha's middle order failed to hold the other end even as Pattnaik waged a lone battle at one end. Pattnaik's knock was laced with 22 fours and came off 213 deliveries.
Skipper Govinda Poddar was the only other notable contributor to the scorecard with a 21-run effort.
Odisha: 228 all out in 80.5 overs (Sandeep Pattnaik 123, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 4/67) vs Saurashtra: 4/0 in 7 overs.
Kerala make steady start against Himachal
Kolkata: Middle-order batsman Sachin Baby remained unbeaten on 52 as Kerala reached 163 for four in their first innings at stumps on the opening day of their Group C Ranji Trophy clash against Himachal Pradesh at the EdenGardens, in Kolkata, on Thursday.
Baby played 168 deliveries and struck six boundaries en route his fifty and also shared unconquered 57 runs with VA Jagadeesh (24 not out) for the fifth wicket as Kerala played out 73 overs in the day.
Wicket-keeper Sanju Samson (47) also played a good hand with the help of seven fours and one hit over the fence.
Kerala did not have the best of starts after being invited to bat as they lost both their openers – Jalaj Saxena (2) and Bhavin Thakkar (14) with the scoreboard reading 17.
Skipper Rohan Prem (14) got a start before perishing in the 21st over.
Thereafter, Samson and Baby stitched 57 runs for the fourth wicket to stabilise Kerala's innings before the former edged a Rishi Dhawan delivery to wicket-keeper Ankush Bains just three runs short of his half-century.
For Himachal Pradesh, Gurvinder Singh (1/17), Shresth Nirmohi (1/29) and Dhawan picked up a wicket each.
Kerala: 163 for four in 73 overs (Sachin Baby 52 not out, Sanju Samson 47; Gurvinder Singh 1/17).
J&K all out for 227; reduce Goa to 43/5
Surat: Parvez Rasool (82) and Ian Dev Singh (67) posted fine half-centuries as Jammu and Kashmir scored 227 in their first innings before reducing Goa to 43 for five at the end of opening day's play of their Ranji Trophy Group C fixture on Thursday.
Electing to bat, J&K lost three of their top order batsmen cheaply to be struggling at 20 for three. But one-down batsman Ian Dev Singh and Rasool steadied the boat, as the duo put on a solid 123-run stand for the fourth wicket before Puneet Bisht contributed with a crucial 40 to take the team past 200-run mark.
For Goa, Shadab Jakati (4/48) and Amit Yadav (3/43) chipped in with important wickets.
In reply to J&K's modest first innings total, Goa failed to get off to a good start and kept losing wickets at regular interval to be reeling at 43 for five in 17 overs.
At the close of play, Amit Yadav (0) was at the crease.
Ram Dayal (2/10) and Rasool (2/18) took two wickets each.
J&K 1st innings: 227 all out in 70.3 overs (Parvez Rasool 82, Ian Dev Singh 67; Shadab Jakati 4/48; Amit Yadav 3/43) vs Goa 1st innings: 43 for five in 17 overs (Ram Dayal 2/10; Praveez Rasool 2/18).
Chahal takes six-wicket haul to bundle out Hyderabad 191
Jamshedpur: Riding on Yuzvendra Chahal's six-wicket haul, Haryana restricted Hyderabad to 191 in their first innings on the opening day of a Group C Ranji Trophy match on Thursday.
Leg-spinner Chahal did not let any of the Hyderabad batsmen settle down as he wreaked havoc, finishing with impressive figures of six for 44.
For Hyderabad, BP Sandeep top-scored with 44 after they opted to bat first upon winning the toss. Other notable contributors were K Sumanth (35) and skipper S Badrinath (27).
None of the other batsmen, despite reaching the double digits, could convert their scores into a big one.
Besides Chahal, Sanjay Pahal (2/31) chipped in with two scalps.
Hyderabad 1st innings: 191 all out in 82.5 overs (BP Sandeep 44, K Sumanth 35; Yuzvendra Chahal 6/44).
Khare's unbeaten ton helps Chhattisgarh reach 261/4
Kalyani: Riding on Amandeep Khare's unbeaten century, Chhattisgarh reached 261 for four in their first innings at stumps on day one of their Ranji Trophy Group C match against Andhra on Thursday.
Put in to bat by Andhra, Chhattisgarh lost an early wicket but one-down batsman Khare played a responsible knock of 136 not out with the help of 18 boundaries, while opener Sahil Gupta (30) also made important contribution at the top.
The two also put on a solid 67-run stand for the second wicket before Gupta got out.
Khare, however, continued to play his shots and shared an unbroken 169-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Abhimanyu Chauhan (73 not out) to put Chhattisgarh in command.
Andhra's CV Stephen took two wickets while giving away 44 runs.
Chhattisgarh 1st innings: 261 for four in 90 overs (Amandeep Khare 136 batting, Abhimanyu Chauhan 73 batting).
Image: Yuvraj Singh
Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters