A round-up of Day 1 in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final matches.
Anustup Majumdar's gritty century rescued Bengal from a hopeless 46 for five in a dramatic turnaround for them on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Odisha, in Tangi, Odisha, on Thursday.
At stumps, Bengal were 308 for six.
Put in by a pace-heavy Odisha, Bengal found themselves in all sorts of trouble in the first session.
Suryakant Pradhan (2/96), Preet Singh Chohan (2/52) and Basant Mohanty (1/48) used the early moisture to advantage and blew away Bengal’s top order.
But old warhorse Majumdar, playing his sixth match of the season, led a turnaround with an unbeaten 136 (20 fours), a composed innings that came under tremendous pressure.
Majumdar, who will turn 36 next month, had scored 99 in a similar situation in their rain-affected drawn encounter against Delhi earlier this season.
Rookie all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed, a Royal Challengers Bengaluru recruit in the IPL, also showed a lot of maturity at No. 7, the left-hander slamming an unbeaten 82 to help Bengal take control in a fruitful final session.
With the duo putting on an unbroken 167-run stand for the seventh wicket, Bengal looked solid in the final session, which saw them score 99 runs at an impressive run-rate of 3.41.
Wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami chipped in with 34 and lent Majumdar the initial support in a 95-run partnership, which steadied what looked like a sinking ship.
The home team toiled after the initial success but it turned out to be a perfect batting strip as the day progressed.
Having missed the mark by just one run against Delhi in a rain-interrupted match at the Eden Gardens, Majumdar elegantly swept Govind Poddar to the square-leg boundary to get to his eighth century, his first since December 2017.
Incidentally, Majumdar's last century (132 not out in second innings) too had come in a Ranji Trophy quarter-final when Bengal got the better of Gujarat in 2017-18.
Earlier, talented India A regular Abhimanyu Easwaran, who was made the captain this season in place of Manoj Tiwary, continued his miserable run and fell for seven to become the first casualty.
Pace spearhead Mohanty, who is playing in his 100th first-class match, dismissed Koushik Ghosh as both the Bengal openers were back in the dressing room inside seven overs.
Suryakant Pradhan trapped Abhishek Raman, who was preferred over the experienced Sudip Chatterjee by the Bengal think-tank, as they slid to 25 for three.
Arnab Nandi looked set and slammed four elegant boundaries, but could not convert his start. And then came the day's biggest blow as Debabrata Pradhan accounted for the in-form Tiwary.
Bengal 308/6 in 86 overs (Anustup Majumdar 136 batting, Shahbaz Ahmed 82 batting, Shreevats Goswami 34; Preet Singh Chohan (2/52), Suryakant Pradhan 2/96) vs Odisha.
Parthiv Patel's ton hoists Gujarat against Goa
Valsad: Skipper Parthiv Patel led from the front with his 27th first-class century and helped Gujarat post 330 for 4 on the first day of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Goa.
The left-handed batsman scored an unbeaten 118 off 156 balls at the Sardar Patel Stadium, hitting 15 boundaries off the Goa bowlers.
In the process, Patel also completed 11,000 first-class runs.
Opting to bat, Gujarat openers Samit Gohil (52) and Priyank Panchal (28) gave the team a sedate start and added 64 for the first wicket before Panchal holed out to cover.
One-down Bhargav Merai (84 off 113 balls) joined Gohil, who failed to convert his start. He poked at a wide delivery from left-arm spinner Darshan Misal and was caught by Snehal Kauthankar in the slips. Gujarat were 107 for two.
Patel and Merai then started the rescue act. Both the batsmen scored at a brisk pace as they hammered a listless Goa attack.
The duo added 139 runs for the third wicket and did not allow Goa to make a comeback.
Merai, a right-handed batsman, struck 12 boundaries. He, however, could not get his eighth first-class hundred, as he departed after a well-made 84.
Leg-break bowler Amit Verma (2-73) gave Goa the much-needed breakthrough after he tossed one up and Merai's attempted drive resulted in an edge in the slip cordon.
Verma then removed Manprit Juneja (1) quickly. But the fall of two quick wickets did not deter Patel, who held the innings together.
Patel notched his hundred after paddle-sweeping Verma for his 13th boundary.
Chirag Gandhi (40 not out), who came in at number six, played the perfect second fiddle to Patel as the two ensured that Gujarat took the honours on the opening day.
For Goa, Verma was the pick of the bowlers, while Darshan Misal and Vijesh Prabhudesai (1-60) took a wicket each.
This is Patel's second hundred in the Ranji knock-outs, the first being against Mumbai in the 2016-17 final.
Gujarat 330-4 (Parthiv Patel 118 not out, Bhargav Merai 84; Amit Verma 2-73) vs Goa.
Jadeja, Jani, Jackson prop Saurashtra
Ongole (AP): Fighting half-centuries by Vishvarajsingh Jadeja (73, 179 balls, 10 fours), Chirag Jani (53, 128 balls, 5 fours) and Sheldon Jackson (50) helped Saurashtra score 226 for 6 in 79 overs on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Andhra.
For the home team, left-arm medium-pacer Yarra Prithvi Raj was impressive, picking up three wickets in 20 overs, conceding 51 runs. K V Sashikanth picked up two wickets.
Sent in to bat by Andhra captain K S Bharat, the visitors lost opener Harvik Desai (0) in the third over. Desai nicked one from left-arm medium-pacer C V Stephen to the wicketkeeper Bharat.
Kishan Parmar (35), the other opener, was watchful and added 34 runs for the second wicket with Avi Barot (14, 21 balls, 3 fours) before the latter edged one to Bharat off Prithvi Raj.
Parmar and Jadeja put on 33 runs for the third wicket before the latter became Prithvi Raj's second victim, again caught behind.
Jadeja and the experienced Jackson got together and added 72 runs for the fourth wicket.
While Jadeja looked to bide his time and wait for the bad balls to hit, Jackson looked to get on with things and hit nine boundaries and hoisted a huge six. He reached his half-century in 68 balls and fell three balls later, caught by B Sumanth off Prithvi Raj.
Arpit Vasavada (1), who scored a ton in the final league encounter against Tamil Nadu, did not last long, edging one from medium-pacer Sasikanth to Bharat to leave Saurashtra in a spot of bother.
This brought together Jadeja and Jani (53 batting). They not only defied the Andhra attack but made sure that the scoreboard was kept ticking. They took the total past the 200-run mark and looked good to see the day through without further loss when Sasikanth got Jadeja to nick one behind to Bharat, who took four catches.
A lot will now depend on Jani and the lower-order including captain Jaydev Unadkat if Saurashtra has to post a fighting total in the last-eight match.
Saurashtra 226 for 6 in 79 overs (Vishvarajsingh Jadeja 73, Chirag Jani 53 batting, Sheldon Jackson 50, Kishan Parmar M 35; Prithvi Raj Yarra 3/51) vs Andhra.
J&K have Karnataka in a spot after only 6 overs on Day 1
Jammu: Karnataka were wobbling at 14 for 2 at stumps after only six overs were possible due to bad light on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Jammu and Kashmir.
Overcast skies meant the light alternated between poor and border-line for most part of the day.
Play started after tea and only six overs were possible during which Karnataka struggled against Jammu and Kashmir’s new ball pair of Aquib Nabi (1/6) and Mujtaba Yousuf (1/5).
They lost openers Ravikumar Samarth (5) and Devdutt Padikkal (2).
At close of play, skipper Karun Nair was batting on 4 in the company of Krishnamurthy Siddharth, who is yet to open his account.