Opener Chirag Pathak scored a classy century while his partner Bhushan Chauhan made an unbeaten 87 to power Saurashtra to 244 for two against Mumbai on the opening day of their Group A Ranji Trophy Elite division match in Rajkot on Tuesday.
Electing to bat, Pathak slammed 116 off 246 balls and together with Chauhan added 218 runs for the opening stand to take Saurashtra to the commanding position.
Cheteshwar Pujara (7) was giving Chauhan company at the crease when stumps were drawn.
Not a single Mumbai bowler including, pace spearhread Zaheer Khan (1/55), who is playing Ranji Trophy matches to prove his fitness ahead of India's upcoming Australia tour, could pose any problem for Pathak and Chauhan, who looked at complete ease after Saurashtra won the toss and elected to bat.
Pathak hit 13 boundaries during his patient knock before he was caught by Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer off off-spinner Romesh Powar (1/38) in the 75th over.
Zaheer finally managed to register his name among wickets when he cleaned up Sagar Jogiyani (8) three overs later.
But that was all Mumbai could manage as Chauhan and Pujara played cautiously from there on to end the day without any further damage for home team.
Saurashtra 1st innings: 244 for two in 88 overs (Chirag Pathak 116, Bhushan Chauhan 87 not out; Romesh Powar 1/38).
Wickets tumble on opening day of Delhi vs MP match
It was a bowler's day out for both Delhi and Madhya Pradesh in their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match with as many as 16 wickets tumbling on the opening day at the Emerald Heights High School ground in Indore.
Delhi skipper Mithun Manhas opted to bat but the visitors were shot out for a paltry 158 in 59 overs. However, the Delhi bowlers brought their team right back into the match as hosts were reeling at 86 for six in 24.5 overs when stumps were drawn.
With the ball still in a semi-new state, the trio of Ashish Nehra (2/30), Pradeep Sangwan (2/27) and Parvinder Awana (1/28) will like to clean up the lower-middle order in a hurry and consolidate as the match may get over in three days.
The Emerald Heights strip has produced a string of low scores in the past and it wasn't any different. There was some help for the bowlers with seamers Taduri Sudhindra (4/46) and Amit Sharma (3/55) sharing the bulk of spoils.
It was right-arm seamer Amit who made the first inroads as he got the first three wickets with Delhi's score less than 50.
Senior opener Shikhar Dhawan's (11) woeful Ranji season continued as he was the first to get out nicking one off Amit to Naman Ojha behind the stumps. Milind Kumar (0) and skipper Mithun Manhas (0) didn't trouble the scorers. Milind was cleaned up by Amit while Manhas edged one to give Ojha his second catch.
India colts skipper Unmukt Chand (37) again got set before one change bowler Ishwar Pandey induced an edge to Ojha behind stumps. At 65 for four, Rajat Bhatia (20) and Yogesh Nagar (18) added 33 runs but as they were looking to get set, Sudhindra trapped Nagar leg before.
Last match's hero Punit Bisht (35) understood that one had to play his shots to survive on this track. He waged a lone battle at one end as wickets fell at the other end. Bisht was the ninth Delhi batsman to get out.
Madhya Pradesh started their first innings with Naman Ojha starting to hit the bowlers from the word go. Ojha played in his typical fashion where he hit a few good strokes but also had a few streaky ones in between. The idea was to score the runs quickly as the ball was doing a fair bit.
The home team raced way to 61 before Zafar Ali (20) got nick off Awana, which was snapped by Bisht behind the stumps.
Brief Scores: Delhi 158 in 59 overs (Unmukt Chand 37, TP Sudhindra 4/46, Amit Sharma 3/55).
MP 86/6 in 24.5 overs (Naman Ojha 39, Ashish Nehra 2/30, Pradeep Sangwan 2/27).
Vasudevadas, Prasanna revive TN
A 121-run unbroken fifth wicket partnership between K Vasudevadas and R Prasanna helped by some shoddy fielding by Bengal saw Tamil Nadu end first day's play at 261 for five in an Elite Group B match of the Ranji Trophy at the Eren Gardens.
After being reduced to 140/5, the duo of Vasudevadas (69) and Prasanna (53, 159 balls, 9x4) held the fort to end the day with 261/5 in 84 overs when umpires called time. Vasudevadas was let off twice while Prasanna got the reprieve on one occasion, thanks to poor catching by Bengal fielders.
Among the top-order batsmen, only Abhinav Mukund (83) looked fluent before he was the fifth man to get out.
Opting to bowl on a green top Eden strip, Bengal made perfect use of the conditions to reduce Tamil Nadu to 102/4 at lunch, even as Mukund stood tall in a defiant half-century.
As has been the case this season, Bengal bowlers failed to deliver the final punch due to wayward bowling and lacklustre effort on the field.
While on 13, Vasudevadas was dropped at second slip by Writam Porel with the team's score on 151 for 5.
Bengal had another fine chance when Tamil Nadu were on 176/5 but this time left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena dropped Prasanna on 15 of his own bowling.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 261-5 in 84 overs (A Mukund 83, Vasudevadas 69 n.o; Dinda 2-58).
Inder, Goel's ton give Punjab the edge
Opener Ravi Inder Singh and Karan Goel stroked their way to centuries as Punjab posted 283 for three against defending champions Rajasthan on the first day of their Ranji Trophy Elite division Group A match.
Opting to bat, Inder (133) led from the front, scoring his ton off 212 balls, while Goel remained unbeaten on 116 that came off 278 deliveries to guide Punjab to a comfortable position.
After a poor start, Inder and Goel not only steadied the boat but also shared a 219-run partnership for the second wicket at Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Goel and Mayank Sidana (0) were at the crease when the stumps were drawn for the day.
The visitors lost opener Sarul Kanwar (8) in the fifth over caught by wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik off Pankaj Singh.
Inder and Goel then held fort and mixed caution with agression to provide stability to Punjab's innings.
Right-arm medium Sumit Mathur, who came in for Aniket Choudhary, got the prized wicket of Inder, inducing an edge to wicketkeeper Yagnik.
Inder struck 20 fours and a six during his stay at the crease.
Punjab skipper Uday Kaul had to retire hurt just after facing three deliveries when a ball from Pankaj Singh bounced awkwardly to hit his knuckles.
Goel and Mandeep Singh (22) then shared a third-wicket stand of 70 runs to give Punjab the upper hand on the opening day.
Brief Scores: Punjab 283 for 3 in 90 overs (Inder Singh 133, Karan Goel 116 not out; Pankaj Singh 1/52, Sumit Mathur 1/54).
Gujarat reduce Baroda to 192/7
Gujarat put up a spirited bowling display to reduce Baroda to 192 for seven at stumps on the opening day of their Group B Ranji Trophy Elite division match in Vadodara.
Ishwar Chaudhary (2/63), Mehulkumar Balubhai Patel (2/35) and Faisal Dudhat (2/44) shared six wickets between them to give Gujarat the upper hand after electing to field.
Rakesh Solanki top-scored for Baroda with 69 that came off 129 balls.
Sent into bat, Anupam Gupta (28) and Aditya Waghmode (29) gave a solid start to Baroda innings with a 60-run opening stand before losing four quick wickets.
Baroda lost Gupta, Waghmode, Ambati Rayudu and captain Pinal Shah in a span of 16 runs to find themselves in a spot of bother at 76 for four.
But then Solanki shared two crucial partnerships with Shatrunjay Gaekwad (14) and Abhimanyu Chauhan (22) to stabilize the Baroda innings to some extent.
Solanki stitched 49 runs for the fifth wicket with Gaekwad and then 43 runs for the sixth wicket with Chauhan before Baroda lost two wickets at the team score of 168.
Brief Scores: Baroda 1st inning: 192 runs for seven wickets in 90 overs (Rakesh Solanki 69, Aditya Waghmode 29; Ishwar Chaudhary 2/63, Mehulkumar Balubhai Patel 2/35).
Bhille, Shukla power Railways to 282-5
Playing only his second first-class match, young Nitin Bhille scored a century and added 218 runs for the second wicket with Shivakant Shukla before Uttar Pradesh bowlers made a comeback restricting Railways to 282/5 in a Ranji Trophy match in Ghaziabad.
Bhille (123) showed a lot of maturity while former UP opener Shivakant missed three-figure mark by only two runs as he played a rank bad shot off leggie Piysuh Chawla to be caught by skipper Rudra Pratap Singh at slips. Shivakant 14 boundaries and a six in his 213-ball knock.
UP captain RP decided to field first but there wasn't much in the strip. Railways dropped out of form veteran Yere Goud and inducted veteran spinner Murali Karthik who was sent to open the batting. Karthik attacked the bowlers scoring a quickfire 27 off 34 balls with the help of five fours before rival skipper dismissed him caught by Praveen Gupta.
Bhille, who has played his junior cricket for Karnataka showed lot of maturity as he repeatedly punished the loose balls. Shivakant also got into the groove and started playing his shots. The UP attack lacked penetration and the Railways duo didn't find any difficulty in negotiating with the attack.
Birthday boy RP who bowled 11 overs in two spells in the morning session didn't come back till the final hour which was pretty baffling.
The post tea-session started with Shivakant hitting three consecutive boundaries off Chawla to jump from 83 to 95. However, Shivakant should curse his luck as he was out to a bad delivery.
Skipper Sanjay Bangar (0) may have been a bit stiff due to a four and half hours wait in the pavilion and gave a tame catch to short mid-wicket fielder Gupta off yet another long hop from Chawla.
Brief Scores: Railways 282/5 (Nitin Bhille 123, SS Shukla 98, Bhuvenshwar Kumar 2/50, Piyush Chawla 2/81).