Young Siddesh Lad and Nikhil Patil rescued Mumbai with counter-attacking, unbeaten fifties as the hosts ended Day 1 in the Group ‘A’ Ranji Trophy match against defending champions Karnataka on 342 for 5, at the Wankhede stadium, on Friday.
Lad was unbeaten on 94 while Patil, playing only his second game of the season, was not out on 85. The sixth-wicket pair put the visiting team’s attack to the sword in an unfinished partnership of 175 in just over two-and-a-half hours after combining forces midway through the second session of play.
They came together when Mumbai, whose quarter-final hopes rest on securing an outright victory over the group leaders, were tottering at 167 for five following the dismissals of opener Shrideep Mangela (4), captain Aditya Tare (72 off 92 balls, including 15 fours), Shreyas Iyer (20), Abhishek Nayar (36) and Suryakumar Yadav (19).
It was a tricky time as another wicket would have sent Mumbai crashing to a low total in the first innings after electing to bat. However, the two youngsters showed splendid fighting spirit to pull the 40-time champions out of trouble with aggressive stroke-play.
Karnataka also did not take all the chances that came their way, as Lad was twice let off, when on 13 in a team score of 148 for 5 by Manish Pandey off captain Vinay Kumar, and then on 55 by R Samarth off Abhimanyu Mithun.
The No. 6 batsman took full advantage of these reprieves to stay unbeaten after a stay of 164 minutes during which he faced 119 balls and struck 18 fours.
His partner, Patil, was marginally ahead of him at the tea score of 230 for 5 after a brisk beginning but then played a bit more sedately to remain unconquered at the end after facing 129 balls and striking two sixes and 11 fours.
For Karnataka, Vinay Kumar bagged the first two wickets – those of Mangela and Iyer -- to end with decent figures of 2 for 65.
Off-spinner Udit Patel also picked two wickets in the space of seven balls when he sent back experienced batsmen Nayar and Yadav to finish the day with 2 for 68.
But the big disappointment was young leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal, who had Tare caught off a cut shot, but bowled a spate of short balls for the Mumbai captain to rock back and pull with disdain. He ended the day with figures of 1 for 71 in 14 overs.
Mumbai: 342 for 5 (A Tare 72, A Nayar 36, S Lad batting 94, N Patil batting 85; Vinay Kumar 2 for 65, Udit Patel 2 for 68) v Karnataka.
Ojha checks Himachal's run-riot
Hyderabad left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha made an immediate impact after being cleared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for suspect bowling action, bagging three wickets, to check Himachal Pradesh's run-feast on the opening day of the Group C match in Hyderabad.
Put in to bat at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, in Uppal, Himachal rode Paras Dogra's unbeaten 101 to finish the day on 269 for five in 84 overs.
The Bipul Sharma-led Himachal lost early wickets, but opener Raghav Dhawan (53) did provide a platform for the middle-order with a knock laced with eight fours.
However, Ojha, who was back after an effective one-month ban since being suspended last December, trapped Dhawan lbw and then got Rashmi Parida and Nikhil Gangta out for duck to rock the Himachal boat.
Dogra, who registered his 17th first-class century, then stitched a 168-run sixth-wicket partnership with Sharma (83 not out) to stabilise the innings.
Dogra's 208-ball knock was laced with 13 fours and two sixes while Sharma's innings consisted of nine fours and a six.
Left-arm pacer Anwar Ahmed and medium-pacer Ravi Kiran also picked a wicket each but Ojha was clearly the star of the day for the Hanuma Vihari-led Hyderabad, albeit a touch expensive in his 17 overs bowled.
Himachal Pradesh: 269-5 in 84 overs (Paras Dogra 101 not out, Bipul Sharma 83 not out; Pragyan Ojha 3-89) vs Hyderabad.
MP openers Srivastava, Saxena tear apart Bengal attack
Madhya Pradesh openers Aditya Srivastava and Jalaj Saxena struck patient centuries as the home team put up 274 for 1 against Bengal in their match in Indore.
Srivastava (118 batting) and former India ‘A’ player Saxena (109) added 222 for the opening stand as Bengal’s bowlers found little cheer on a flat deck at the Holkar Stadium.
Such was the plight of the Bengal attack that the only wicket of the day was taken by Manoj Tiwary, who bowls part-time leg-breaks.
None of the senior bowlers, including Ashok Dinda (0/68 in 19 overs), Saurashish Lahiri (0/36 in 14 overs) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (0/51 in 18 overs), couldn't make much of an impact.
Srivastava, playing his third first-class match, scored his second ton, a patient knock off 292 balls, which was inclusive of 15 boundaries.
The more experienced Saxena scored his 10th first class ton, which was inclusive of 19 boundaries. He faced 191 balls.
Bengal’s team management finally dropped veteran opener Arindam Das and picked young Abhishek Das in his place.
Madhya Pradesh: 274/1 in 90 overs (Aditya Srivastava 118 batting, Jalaj Saxena 109, Manoj Tiwary 1/21) vs Bengal.
Mohanty, Mangaraj help Odisha dismiss Saurashtra for 218
Chirag Jani fell one run short of his maiden first-class century as Odisha rode on pacers Basant Mohanty and Alok Mangaraj's superb bowling to bundle out Saurashtra for 218 on the opening day of their Group B match in Cuttack.
An unlucky Jani was unbeaten on 99 off 143 balls, inclusive of nine boundaries and five sixes.
Mohanty (4/40) and Mangaraj (4/57) shared eight wickets between them as Saurashtra were bowled out in 79.3 overs after electing to field.
Apart from Jani, no other Saurashtra batsmen could make a substantial score, with opener Sagar Jogiyani (21) and Cheteshwar Pujara (20) being the next highest scorers.
Deepak Behera also chipped in with two wickets for Odisha, giving away 38 runs.
In reply, Odisha were yet to open their account in the one over they faced at the fag end of the day before stumps were drawn.
Saurashtra: 218 all out in 79.3 overs (Chirag Jani 99 not out; Basant Mohanty 4/40, Alok Mangaraj 4/57)
Odisha: 0-0 in one over.
Stripped of MP captaincy, Rawat hits back with ton
Removed from captaincy at the eleventh hour, Mahesh Rawat scored his first ton of the season, his 146 taking Railways to 331 for 9 against wooden spooners Uttar Pradesh in Delhi.
Courtesy Rawat's belligerent 189-ball knock, studded with 23 boundaries and two sixes, Railways reached a respectable total after being down in the dumps at 51 for four following excellent swing bowling by Praveen Kumar (5/68).
En route his 11th first-class century, Rawat enjoyed two fruitful partnerships, 129 for the fifth wicket with Arindam Ghosh (51) and 123 for the sixth wicket with India international and new captain Karn Sharma (56). Karn also had four boundaries and three sixes in his innings.
Yadav's sixes came off chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav.
Railways: 331/9 in 89.2 overs (Mahesh Rawat 146, Arindam Das 51, Karn Sharma 56, Praveen Kumar 5/68) vs UP.
Bowlers give TN upper hand against Baroda
A brilliant performance by their bowlers helped Tamil Nadu gain the upperhand against Baroda on the opening day of their Group A match in Vadodara.
Medium pacer Aswin Crist (4/40) registered his best bowling figures in first-class cricket, while Prasanth Parameswaran (3/46) and Vijay Shankar(2/27) provided the support from the other end to help Tamil Nadu bowl out Baroda for a paltry 149 in 50.3 overs in their first innings.
Opener Saurabh Wakaskar top-scored for Baroda with a patient 51, while Hardik Pandya made 47 as only four batsmen from the home team managed double digit scores after being invited to bat.
In reply, Tamil Nadu reached 77 for two in 32 overs at close of play.
Murali Vijay scored 32 before being run-out, while Baba Aparajith was unbeaten on 31 in the company of Dinesh Karthik (5).
Sagar Mangalorkar (1/29) was Baroda’s the lone wicket-taker.
Baroda: 149 all out in 50.3 overs (Saurabh Wakaskar 51, Hardik Pandya 47; Aswin Crist 4/40)
Tamil Nadu: 77 for 2 in 32 overs (Murali Vijay 32, Baba Aparajith 31 not out; Sagar Mangalorkar 1/29).
26 wickets fall on Day 1 of Haryana-Gujarat match
In a rare occurrence on a cricket pitch, 26 wickets fell on Day 1 of the Group B match between Haryana and Gujarat at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
By the end of an action-packed day, Haryana were 71 for six in their second innings, leading the hosts by 75 runs.
Spinners ruled the roost, with Ramesh Powar (5/40) and Amit Mishra (5/37) taking five wickets each for Gujarat and Haryana respectively.
The home team's left-arm medium pacer Rush Kalaria gave his team a slight edge going into day two by taking four wickets in either innings.
Opting to bat on a tricky surface, Haryana managed 129 in 31.5 overs. Gujarat replied with 125 runs in 29.2 overs.
Haryana: 121 in 31.5 overs and 71/6 in 24 overs (Sachin Rana; Rush Kalaria 4/17)
Gujarat: 125 in 29.2 overs (Parthiv Patel 43; Amit Mishra 5/37).
Punjab bowl out Delhi for 249
All-rounder Manan Sharma's gutsy unbeaten 77 was the lone bright spot in an otherwise poor batting show by Delhi as they were dismissed for 249 by Punjab at Patiala.
Pacer Sandeep Sharma (3/38), left-arm spinners Rajwinder Singh Golu (3/64) and Vinay Choudhary (3/45) shared the spoils, while skipper Harbhajan Singh (1/55) was also amongst wickets in his comeback match for Punjab.
At stumps, Punjab were 30 for 2, Jiwanjot Singh and Amitoze Singh back in the hut.
With Virender Sehwag being rested before the quarter-finals, skipper Gautam Gambhir (44) had extra responsibility to get his team's focus back on track after a couple of indifferent matches. But he padded an arm ball from
Golu and was trapped leg before.
It was former Delhi stalwart Ajay Sharma's son Manan who played a good knock, hitting 13 fours off 144 balls. He enjoyed a good 74-run stand for eighth wicket with Varun Sood (30), who was sent back by Harbhajan.
Delhi: 249 (Gautam Gambhir 44, Manan Sharma 77 no, Rajwinder Singh Golu 3/64, Sandeep Sharma 3/38).
Punjab: 30/2 (Sumit Narwal 1/15).