Hard-hitting batsman Saurabh Tiwary rescued Jharkhand with a blistering, career-best unbeaten 175 as holders Mumbai lost the plot and allowed the visitors to escape with 262 for 8 on Day one of their four-day Ranji Trophy Group ‘A’ match, in Mumbai, on Friday.
Tiwary slammed eight cleanly-hit sixes and 15 fours to send the cocky Mumbai bowling attack scurrying for cover after the hosts, having asked Jharkhand to bat first on a Wankhede stadium wicket having good bounce, had taken the upper hand before tea by reducing the visitors to 180 for 8.
The 23-year-old Jamshedpur-born left-hander, who came in when his side was tottering at 13 for 2 in the seventh over, took the Mumbai attack by the scruff of its neck in his 304-minute knock, in which he faced 212 balls.
By the end of the day the home team was clueless about how to stop him or break his 82-run ninth wicket partnership with tail-ender Shiv Shankar Rao (5 not out in 123 minutes).
Tiwary struck the ball cleanly even as Mumbai went on the defensive by posting all its fielders on the boundary line and tried their best to prise out Rao at the other end without success even after bowling 64 balls to the latter.
Tiwary, who notched his first ton of the season, which bettered his previous career-best of 169, raced to his century with a single in 144 balls, with 13 fours and three sixes. He then went on a six-hitting spree by carting the bowlers mainly over the leg side when they tried to bounce him out.
The tall batsman, who had played for Mumbai Indians in IPL and knows the Wankhede ground well, registered his tenth first class hundred after all the other top order batsmen found the going tough against the Mumbai pace and spin attack.
Medium pacer Javed Khan was the most successful bowler with 4 for 61, including the wickets of openers Bhavin Thakker and Rameez Nemat which he secured cheaply. Fellow-medium pacer Shardul Thakur and left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar bagged two wickets each.
Vidarbha shoot out Punjab for 184
Mohali: Vidarbha’s bowlers produced a disciplined effort to dismiss Punjab for a modest 184 and take a grip over their Group A Ranji Trophy match.
By stumps on the opening day of the match, at the PCA stadium, the visitors were 75 for 1, 109 runs in arrears, with nine wickets in hand.
Middle-order batsman and skipper Mandeep Singh top-scored with a strokeful 54-ball 56, but the rest of the Punjab batsmen failed miserably against Shrikant Wagh and Amol Jungade, who both claimed three wickets.
There were also two wickets for medium pacer Sandeep Singh.
Coming in to bat at No 10, pacer V R V Singh smashed 30 off just 13 balls, hitting three fours and two sixes in the process. He was the second best scorer in Punjab's first innings.
At the close of play, Faiz Fazal (34) and Ravi Jangid (24) were unbeaten for Vidarbha, who had lost opener Akshay Kolhar for nine, the batsman getting out to Siddarth Kaul.
Sent in to bat, Punjab had a poor start as they lost two wickets with just 16 runs on the board. Opener Jiwanjot Singh struggled to get 15 runs, after facing 57 balls in 100 minutes at the crease.
Taruwar Kohli was run-out for 7 while Gurkeerat Singh could score 14 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Singh.
Sandeep Sharma scored 20, but it was Mandeep who was the lone bright spot for the hosts. He smashed 12 fours during his brisk knock.
Punjab: 184 all out in 47.4 overs (Mandeep Singh 56; Wagh 3-34, Jungade 3-63).
Vidarbha: 75 for 1 in 32 overs (Faiz Fazal 34 not out, Ravi Jangid 24 not out).
TN bundle out Baroda for 162
Chennai: Tamil Nadu rode on a brilliant showing by their spinners to dismiss Baroda for a meagre 162 before finishing Day 1 on five for no loss in their Group B Ranji Trophy match.
While debutant Rahil Shah was the pick of the bowlers with impressive figures of 26-11-49-4, R Aushik Srinivas (3-20) and M Rangarajan (3-55) chipped in with three wickets each.
Dhiren Mistry (68) was the lone Baroda batsman to make a significant contribution.
Electing to bat, Baroda could never settle down and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Only four of their batsmen -- Kedar Devdhar (18), out of favour India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan (26) and Hardik Pandya (11) – could get into double figures.
Opener Mistry consolidate the innings somewhat before he offered an easy catch to R Prasanna at forward short leg off Rangarajan's bowling and was out for 68 off 154 balls, laced with eight hits to the fence.
The Baroda batsmen simply failed to get any partnerships going and their innings folded in 83.5 overs.
At stumps, K Arun Karthik was unbeaten on four and Abhinav Mukund was yet to open his account.
Play was halted due to poor light at around 1600 hours and was finally called off at 1630 IST.
Baroda: 162 in 83.5 overs (Dhiren Mistry 68; Rahil Shah 4-49, R Aushik Srinivas 3-20).
Tamil Nadu: Five for no loss in 2 overs (K Arun Karthik batting 4).
Sehwag fails again
Sambalpur: Virender Sehwag's awful form continued, but Mithun Manhas (92) and Rajat Bhatia (unbeaten 71) struck half-centuries to ensure Delhi a respectable 268 for 6 against Odisha in their Group A match.
Delhi's top-order came a cropper after being inserted in to bat as Sehwag failed to open his account, young Unmukt Chand managed just three runs and Gautam Gambhir (32) failed to convert a good start.
Sehwag, who has scored just 69 runs since the start of this Ranji season in his last six innings, was the second victim of pacer Suryakant Pradhan, who is playing just his second first class game.
Pradhan got both his wickets in the sixth over, dismissing Chand with the second delivery and Sehwag with the last.
Gambhir and Manhas then added 103-runs for the third wicket to bring the innings back on track before pacer Deepak Behera broke the stand by dismissing the former.
Vaibhav Rawal got a good start and in a 40-run partnership with Manhas, scored 35 runs. As Manhas closed in on his century he was dismissed by Basant Mohanty. His 92 runs came off 115 balls, with 18 boundaries and a six.
Rawal was trapped by off-spinner Govind Poddar.
Bhatia, though, held his nerve and batted patiently. Delhi also lost wicketkeeper-batsman Rahul Yadav (11), trapped by left-arm spinner Dhiraj Singh.
Bhatia was unbeaten on 71, which came off 141 balls with the help of 11 shots to the fence. Giving him company was Varun Sood (12).
All five bowlers employed by the hosts were among wickets with Pradhan (2-91) being the pick.
Delhi: 268 for 6 in 90 overs. (M Manhas 92, R Bhatia 71 batting; S Pradhan 2-91).
Nitin Saini hundred as Haryana dismissed for 247
Rohtak: Wicketkeeper Nitin Saini (109) stood tall amid the ruins with his fifth first class century as Haryana were dismissed for 247 by Karnataka on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group ‘A’.
In a listless batting display by the Haryana batsmen, apart Saini, only Sachin Rana (36) and Avi Barot (35) resisted the Karnataka attack.
Saini somehow completed his century and was the last man out. He faced 152 balls for his 109-run knock, which was studded with 14 boundaries, including three sixes.
Stuart Binny scalped three batsmen at the expense of 43 runs while Abhimanyu Mithun (2-/40), HS Sharath (2-68) and Ronit More (2-57) claimed two wickets each.
Karanata were 18 for no loss in reply, with Mayank Agarwal (3) and Lokesh Rahul (10) at the crease.
Haryana: 247 all out in 76.5 overs. (Nitin Saini 109, Suresh Rana 36; Stuart Binny 3-43).
Arindam leads Railways fightback with patient 88
New Delhi: Former Bengal batsman Arindam Ghosh’s resilient, unbeaten 88 guided Railways to a decent 210 for 4 on the first day of their Group ‘B’ match.
Ghosh batted for nearly five hours as he steadied the Railway innings with a fourth-wicket partnership of 122 runs with Nitin Bhille (65) at the Jamia Millia Islamia Sports Complex Stadium.
This was after Bengal pacers Ashoke Dinda (2-63) and Shib Shankar Paul (2-30) had rocked the top order, reducing Railways to 31 for 3.
Poor fielding also cost Bengal dear as three catches were dropped -- two by reserve keeper Gitimoy basu and one by Sandipan Das.
Dinda was the unlucky bowler on two occasions while Saurashis Lahiri was the other one.
Dinda removed Shivakant Shukla for nought when he edged at an away-going delivery that was pouched by Gitimoy.
Karn Sharma (3) then got one to nip back in and was adjudged leg before by umpire off Dinda's bowling. Paul then removed Harshad Rawle (7), trapping him leg before to make it 31 for 3.
After that, for 53 overs, Bengal toiled without success.
Ghosh, who had a measure of Bengal’s bowling, hit shots all around the wicket. He cover drove, pulled, square drove and also ran brilliantly between the wickets.
Ghosh has hit 10 fours in his 220-ball knock. Bhille, on the other hand, was content playing second fiddle during his 207-ball knock that had seven boundaries.
Bhille was dropped once by Gitimoy off Saurashis's bowling. However, Paul, coming back in the post-tea session, bowled a beauty which moved away late and dislodged the off-bail.
Mahesh Rawat (44 batting) then came in and smashed the Bengal bowlers. He was dropped by Sandipan at point when he was on 16.
Ghosh didn't did not take too many chances in the last hour and an edge during the fag end off Dinda's bowling was dropped by Gitimoy.
Railways: 210 for 4 in 90 overs. (Arindam Ghosh 88 batting, Nitin Bhille 65, SS Paul 2-30, Ashoke Dinda 2-63).
Image: Saurabh Tiwary