Mumbai's top-order fired in unison to steer their team to a commanding position against Gujarat at the end of the first day's play of their Ranji Trophy Group A Elite match in Valsad on Wednesday.
At stumps on day one, Mumbai were comfortably placed at 282 for two, with Ajinkya Rahane (54) and skipper Wasim Jaffer (46) at crease, here at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium.
Electing to bat first, the visitors got off to a great start through openers Sahil Kukreja and Onkar Gurav to lay out a solid platform for Mumbai.
The duo made Gujarat bowlers toil hard as the hosts unsuccessfully tried to take wickets.
Kukreja and Gurav went on to put up a 166-run stand together for the opening wicket, while completing their half-centuries each in the process, although both of them failed to reach their respective hundreds.
Kukreja was the first one to depart, falling to Siddharth Trivedi after playing some fabulous shots for a well-made 81 off 150 balls, including 10 hits to the fence.
Gurav also soon followed his partner into the dressing room after hitting a fine 195-ball 89 studded with nine boundaries.
However, Rahane and Jaffer did not let the advantage slip out of their hands and took over from where the openers had left, to keep Mumbai on top throughout the day.
Rahane also reached his half-century, besides sharing an unbeaten 99-run stand with Jaffer.
For Gujarat, only Ishwar Choudhary and Trivedi could finish with a wicket each.
Mumbai 1st innings: 282 for 2 in 90 overs (Sahil Kukreja 81, Onkar Gurav 89, Ajinkya Rahane batting 54; Ishwar Choudhary 1/57).
Manhas ton puts Delhi in command
New Delhi: Mithun Manhas played a captain's knock under pressure as hosts Delhi scored runs at a brisk pace to finish first day's play at 332 for five against Assam in a Ranji Trophy Super League match at the Roshnara ground.
Manhas (100 n.o) scored his 18thfirst-class century of last delivery of the day with a single.
With Mayank Tehlan (61 n.o) batting who is playing his first match of the season for company, Manhas added 146 runs for the unbeaten sixth wicket partnership after Assam seamer Dhiraj Goswami (three for 56) rocked the middle-order reducing Delhi to 187 for five before tea.
Manhas's knock was even more praiseworthy as it came on a track where the ball was doing a fair bit throughout the day with the odd ball skidding through, the Delhi captain's vast repertoire of experience came in handy as he not only stemmed the rot that was about set in but also ensured that his team never lost the momentum despite losing quick wickets.
Manhas hit some lovely shots through the on-side but the pull-shot off Ranjit Mali to move from 85 to 89 was the best shot off the day.
Assam captain Amol Mujumdar rightly opted to bowl on a greenish track but it was some poor bowling 'complemented' by equally atrocious fielding that let the visitors down.
After Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan (13) erred in judging an incoming delivery from pacer Abu Nechim Ahmed shouldering arms in the process, Delhi colts skipper Unmukt Chand (59) and Aditya Jain (58) added 103 runs for the second wicket to steady the innings.
While Aditya looked circumspect to start with, 18-year-old Unmukt hit some fluent drives with some flashy shots square off the wicket in between.
It was good to see the youngster use his feet against off-spinner Arlen Konwar hitting him for two huge sixes --- one over deep mid-wicket and the other over long-on.
Just when he looked set for a big score he was snapped up by Parvez Aziz at short leg off Konwar who finally got his revenge.
However in the post lunch season, it was Goswami who suddenly looked like causing some trouble as he first got Aditya caught by Gokul Sharma and then trapped Puneet Bisht (36) leg before. He was on a hat-trick after he got one to lift short of good length as Yogesh Nagar (0) was gobbled up in the slips by Aziz.
If Manhas positive intent, young Tehlan also showed lot of composure as he played the role of second fiddle to perfection.
Delhi 1st Innings 332/5 (M Manhas 100 batting, M Tehlan 61 batting; D Goswami 3/56)
Binny lifts Karnataka to 254 against HP
Dharmasala: All-rounder Stuart Binny (109) slammed a brilliant century as Karnataka recovered from an early slump to post a modest 254 in their first innings on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match against Himachal Pradesh.
Binny forged a 155-run sixth wicket partnership with Amit Verma (76) to steady the Karnataka ship after pacer Mohinderraj Sharma's three-wicket burst left the visitors tottering at 33 for four in 15.5 overs.
Binny had 17 hits to the fence in his 181-ball innings, while Amit cracked nine boundaries to lift the visitors from 33/4 to 201 for six.
Binny then added 48 runs with Adithya Sagar to help his team cross the 250-mark.
In reply, Himachal Pradesh openers Sangram Singh (1) and Hemant Dogra (0) had to negotiate just one over before stumps were drawn at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
Earlier, left-arm medium pacer Sharma responded to skipper Paras Dogra's decision to field and scalped three top-order batsmen -- Lokesh Rahul (3), Ganesh Satish (10) and Manish Pandey (0).
He also took the prized wicket of Binny and tail-ender Abhimanyu Mithun (0) in the fag end of Karnataka's first essay.
Vikramjeet Malik provided the early breakthrough for the hosts as he removed opener K B Pawan in the fifth ball of the innings caught by Dogra.
Sharma then dismissed Rahul caught behind by wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla. The 25-year-old then returned with yet another fierce spell during which he snapped Ganesh Satish (10) and Pandey in consecutive balls to leave Karnataka gasping for breath.
Amit and Binny then took the charge and engaged in a much-needed partnership to rescue Karnataka.
Karnataka 1st innings: 254 all out in 86.3 overs (Amit Verma 76, Stuart Binny 109; Mohinderraj Sharma 5/29)
Himachal Pradesh 1st innings: 1/0 in 1 over.
Kanwar's ton guides Haryana to 277/3
Bhubaneswar: Sarul Kanwar's scored his first class century to guide Punjab to 277 for three on the opening day of their four-day Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match against Orissa.
Opening the innings, Kanwar smashed 104 off just 116 deliveries as Punjab ended the day at a comfortable position after electing to bat at the East Coast Railway Sports Association ground.
Kanwar and Ravi Inder Singh (34) gave a solid start to Punjab innings by stitching 126 runs together for the opening wicket before the duo fell in quick succession.
Ravi was the first to depart, bowled by Basanth Mohanty, and 16 runs later Orissa tasted another success when they got dangerman Kanwar, caught by Biplab Samantray off Dhiraj Singh's bowling.
Kanwar decorated his innings with 16 boundaries and one six.
Uday Kaul (55 not out) and Mandeep Singh (43) then batted sensibly to add 77 runs for the third wicket. Mandeep was unlucky not to have completed his half-century as he trapped leg-before-wicket by Basanth Mohanty just seven runs short of what would have been his second first class fifty.
That was all Orissa bowlers could manage on the day as Uday and skipper Pankaj Dharmani (35 not out) ensured that there was no further damage and signed off the day at the score of 277.
Basanth Mohanty was the pick of Orissa bowlers with figures of two for 50 while Dhiraj scalped the other wicket, giving away 54 runs from his 22 overs.
Punjab 1st innings: 277 for three in 90 overs (Sarul Kanwar 104, Uday Kaul 55 not out; Basanth Mohanty 2/50)
Haryana gain upper hand against UP
Ghaziabad: Sachin Rana and Dhruv Singh shared seven wickets between them to help Uttar Pradesh bowl out Haryana for 167 and then reach 84 for no loss at stumps in the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match.
Openers Nitin Saini (49) and Rahul Dewan (34) were going steady at the crease at draw of stumps at the Mohan Meakins Cricket Stadium here.
Earlier, skipper Mohammad Kaif's decision to bat first backfired as beside Piyush Chawla (49) none of the UP batsmen could provide enough resistance to the Haryana bowlers.
Openers Tanmay Srivastava (22) and Shivakant Shukla (13) added just 27 runs before the former was sent packing by Joginder Sharma leg-before-wicket in the ninth over.
Eklavya Dwivedi failed to open his account and was cleaned up by Budhwar, while Shukla was caught plumb in front of wicket by Dhruv.
Dhruv then consumed Parvinder Singh (0) and Ashish Yadav (0) in successive deliveries as UP looked down the barrel at 54 for five in 18.4 overs.
A lot was expected of skipper Kaif (14) but he too perished after being bowled by Rana.
Rana then cleaned up Bhubaneshwar Kumar (23) and Amir Khan (18) before inducing Chawla to an leg-before-wicket to break UP's back. Sudeep Tyagi then run himself out as UP folded for 167.
In reply, Haryana had no problems with openers Saini and Dewan negotiating the early overs very well.
Saini is just a run short of a well-deserved half-century which has been studded with nine boundaries so far. Dewan, on the other hand, struck five hits to the fence in his 92-ball innings.
Uttar Pradesh 1st innings: 167 all out in 49.5 overs (Piyush Chawla 49; Sachin Rana 4/51)
Haryana 1st innings: 84 for no loss in 32 overs (N Saini 49 batting, R Dewan 34 batting; RP Singh 0/26).
Fazal, Bangar take Railways to 233/4
Rajkot: Faiz Fazal scored a patient century to see Railways draw curtains at 233 for four against Saurashtra at the end of the opening day's play in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match.
Opening the batting, Fazal made 107 off 229 balls and shared 154 runs stand for the second wicket with Sanjay Bangar (79 not out) before Saurashtra bowlers bounced back at the fag end of the day with three quick wickets.
Fazal struck 15 fours and a six during his 305 minutes stay at the crease, while Bangar ended the day's proceedings with 12 boundaries and a lone hit over the fence.
Young left-arm medium pacer Jaidev Unadkat justified his selection in the Indian team for the upcoming three-match Test series in South Africa, scalping two wickets for 39 runs.
He was ably supported by off-spinner Kamlesh Makvana who also accounted for two Railways batsmen giving away 67 runs.
Earlier opting to bat, Railways did not have a perfect start to their innings as opener V Cheluvaraj (14) was cleaned up by Unadkat at the team score of 39.
But Fazal and Bangar held the fort for the visitors before the former was caught by Cheteshwar Pujara off Makvana.
Prasant Awasthi (14) and Yere Goud (4) failed to make much impact, falling in a span of six runs. While Awasthi was dismissed by Unadkat, Goud nicked one to wicketkeeper Sagar Jogiyani off Goud's bowling.
At stumps, skipper Murali Kartik (6 not out) was giving Bangar company at the crease.
Railways 1st innings: 233 for four in 90 overs (Faiz Fazal 107, Sanjay Bangar 79 not out; Jaydev Unadkat 2/39, Kamlesh Makvana 2/67).
First day's play between Bengal-TN called off due to rain
Chennai: The first day's play between Bengal and Tamil Nadu of the Ranji Trophy match in Elite-A group was called off due to rain.
The umpires thrice inspected the CPT India Cements ground here since morning before calling off the play at 1500 hours.
In the eight team Elite-A Group, Tamil Nadu have earned 10 points from four matches and are placed joint second along with Gujarat, while Bengal are in fifth spot with eight points.
Defending champions Mumbai lead the table with 14 points.