Mukund's century, stand with Indrajith help TN to 215 for 3
A patient century by Test discard Abhinav Mukund and his 155-run partnership with captain Baba Indrajith (86) helped Tamil Nadu make 215 for 3 in 90 overs at stumps on day one against Delhi in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B' match in Chennai.
Mukund, who was dropped when on 97 by Lalit Yadav off Navdeep Saina, reached his ton with a glorious drive through the covers of Shivam Sharma in the 87th over.
The stylish southpaw and Indrajith, who hit 11 fours, came together with the host in a spot of bother at 42 for 2, negotiated the bowling with a mix of caution and aggression.
Indrajith, in particular, started slowly before growing in confidence in the company of Mukund, who essayed some elegant shots.
The TN skipper, who was let off on 21 at first slip, made the most of that lapse to record yet another half-century.
Speaking at the end of the day, Indrajith said he was happy that his partnership with Abhinav helped the team to overcome the wobbly start.
"When I walked out to bat, we were in a spot of bother. We needed a big partnership. The wicket was offering something for the spinners and there was good bounce. The pitch will deteriorate since it's a red soil wicket and it will take turn from day two," the 24-year old right-hander said.
Indrajith played cautiously while Mukund hit his stride early in the innings and kept the scoreboard moving.
The left-handed opener reached his 50 in 102 balls and was on the lookout for runs though he lost fellow opener N Jagadeesan, who fell going for a big hit of left-arm spinner Vikas Sharma.
Baba Aparajith (6) too didn't last long as he was stumped by Anuj Sharma when he stepped out to a delivery from Shivam Sharma.
Mukund and Indrajith, who put on 155 runs from 350 balls for the third wicket, made sure the Delhi bowlers didn't find any success in the second session.
Their solid stand helped the host recover from two early losses and end the day in a good position.
Indrajith, who was looking good to score his 10th first class ton, was snapped up by Dhruv Shorey for 86 to give Mishra his second wicket.
Mukund and all-rounder Vijay Shankar (8 batting, 43 balls) ensured the team survived without any further losses despite the Delhi bowlers exerting pressure.
Brief scores (At end of Day 1):
Tamil Nadu 215 for 3 in 90 overs (Abhinav Mukund 104 batting (244 balls, 11x4), B Indrajith 86 (199 balls 11x4, Vikas Mishra 2 for 71) vs Delhi. (Toss: TN).
At Amatar: Himachal 257 for 7 in 87 overs (A R Kalsi 89 batting, Rishi Dhawan 58, M D Nideesh 4 for 81) vs Kerala. (Toss: Kerala).
At Indore: Andhra 132 all out in 54.3 overs (D B Prashanth Kumar 29, Ishwar Pandey 4 for 43, Kumar Kartikeya Singh 3 for 23, Gourav Yadav 3 for 21) vs Madhya Pradesh. (Toss: MP).
Mumbai bundle out Chhattisgarh for low score
Former champions Mumbai, out of running for a place in the knock out rounds, finally found some form when they shot out minnows Chhattisgarh for a measly first innings score in their last Group A game at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Pace bowlers Shardul Thakur (4 for 32) and Tushar Deshpande (5 for 46) got on top of the rival batsmen soon after Mumbai inserted Chhattisgarh in and terminated the visitors' first innings at 129 in just 42.1 overs on day one of the four-day match.
In reply, Mumbai made 118 for three with recalled former captain Suryakumar Yadav unbeaten on 31. New opener Vikrant Auti made 43.
In another Group A game at the Moti Baug ground in Vadodara, hosts Baroda skittled out Karnataka for a cheap total of 112, made 223 to take a handy first innings lead of 111 and then had the visitors again in a spot of bother at 13 for 2.
Opting to bat first, Karnataka were in deep trouble at 31 for 5 before the innings was revived by a stand of 54 between captain Manish Pandey (43) and B R Sharath (30).
But once the sixth wicket stand was broken, Karnataka lost their way once again and lasted for less than 32 overs.
Wickets were shared by Rishi Arothe (2), Lukman Meriwala (3), Bhargav Bhatt (3) and Soaeb Tai (2).
Baroda were also in a bit of trouble in reply at 20 for 2 before Vishnu Solanki (69) and Deepak Hooda (51) revived the innings with a stand of 119.
Veteran Yusuf Pathan made an unbeaten 36 and also added 36 vital runs with Tai (23).
Trailing in the first innings, Karnataka lost two wickets in four overs in the second with Baroda left arm spinner Bhatt grabbing both.
In another important match in the same group at Rajkot, hosts Saurashtra ended the opening day at 218 for five against reigning champions Vidarbha.
Winning the toss, Saurashtra rode on half centuries from opener Harvik Desai (74) and seasoned batsman Sheldon Jackson (65) to start well.
At stumps, Arpit Vasavada (36) and Prerak Mankad (27) were at the crease.
In an inconsequential Group A match in Delhis Karnail Singh stadium, Maharashtra were dismissed for a paltry 70 by hosts Railways who took the first innings lead by making 180 for 8.
For Maharashtra, Satyajeet Bacchav made the top score of 15 and also grabbed 7 wickets. Mahesh Rawat was Railways' top scorer (46).
At Mumbai: Chhattisgarh 129 (Ashutosh Singh 30, Amandeep Khare 48; Shardul Thakur 4 for 32, Tushar Deshpande 5 for 46) versus Mumbai 118 for 3 (Vikrant Auti 43, Suryakumar Yadav 31).
At Baroda: Karnataka 112 (Manish Pandey 43, B K Sharath 30; L Meriwala 3 for 22, B Bhatt 3 for 27) and 13 for 2 (B Bhatt 2 for 7) versus Baroda 223 (Vishnu Solanki 69, Deepak Hooda 52, Yusuf Pathan 36 not out; S Hegde 4 for 74, S Gopal 4 for 47).
At Rajkot: Saurashtra 218 for 5 (Harvik Desai 74, Sheldon Jackson 65, Arpit Vasavada 36 not out) versus Vidarbha.
At Delhi: Maharashtra 70 (Avinash Yadav 4 for 38, Ashish Yadav 2 for 11, Harsh Tyagi 2 for 2) versus Railways 180 for 8 (Mahesh Rawat 46; Satyajeet Bacchav 7 for 70).
Choudhary claims six-for, Bengal fold for 187
Left-arm spinner Vinay Choudhary claimed a career-best 6/62 as Punjab bundled out Bengal for 187 to take early initiative in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B fixture in Kolkata.
The 25-year-old grabbed the key wickets of Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary (4) and the two half-centurions, Shreevats Goswami (57) and Sudip Chatterjee (52), on way to his maiden five-wicket haul, as the home side folded in 69.1 overs at the stroke of tea after electing to bat.
In reply, Punjab were 47/2 at stumps, trailing Bengal by 140 runs with Shubman Gill continuing his sublime form to be unbeaten on 36 (57 balls; 3x4) along with Anmolpreet Singh (1) at the crease.
Bengal pacer Mukesh Kumar dismissed opener Jiwanjot Singh (10) and night-watchman Mayank Markande (0) off successive balls but Gill looked unperturbed on a wicket that had some help for the spinners.
"The key for us was to bowling in pairs. Mayank (Makrande) was bowling a tight line from the other end and it helped me give the breakthroughs," Choudhary said giving credit to their leg-spinner Markande (1/56).
He further said Yuvraj Singh's inputs helped him and he was just keeping his focus without trying too much.
"To have a player like Yuvi paaji with you is a big boost. He constantly kept on telling me to stay focus and not try too much. He told me not get panic, and don't bowl loose deliveries. I just kept bowling to the field."
But it was the pacer Manpreet Singh Gony (2/19), who gave Punjab a superb start, dismissing both the Bengal openers for 21 inside the first hour's play.
Fresh from their century-plus opening partnership in their record 322-run chase against Delhi, Bengal got off to a shaky start with Abhishek Raman getting out for a duck.
Gony then trapped last match's centurion Abhimanyu Easwaran (7) before Choudhary made his presence felt, grabbing the big wicket of Tiwary for four, when the Bengal skipper was caught at slip by his Punjab counterpart Mandeep Singh.
Just when Anustup Majumdar was looking to calm things down, a terrific catch by Gill, running back from square leg, gave Punjabanother breakthrough.
In the next over, Choudhary had Writtick Chatterjee (0) plumb in front of the stumps, as Bengal lost half of their side inside the first session.
Choudhary was at his best in his second spell (9.1-0-41-4) when he ran through the Bengal batting lineup, breaking the partnership between Chatterjee and Goswami, who added valuable 65 runs for the sixth wicket.
"It was a moisture laden wicket in morning. We needed to survive. Now we have to fight back. I'm really disappointed and looking for answers. We should have scored at least 250 runs in the first innings.
"We are staring at the wrong end of the barrel. It's now struggle for us," Bengal mentor Arun Lal said, summing up Bengal's misery."
Bengal 187; 69.1 overs (Shreevats Goswami 57, Sudip Chatterjee 52; Vinay Choudhary 6/62). Punjab 47/2; 20 overs (Shubman Gill 36 batting, Anmolpreet Singh 1 batting).
Baroda in driver's seat against Karnataka
On a day when as many as 22 wickets fell on the 22 yards, Vishnu Solanki and Deepak Hooda smashed brilliant fifties to help Baroda take a crucial 111-run lead over Karnataka in the Group A Ranji Trophy match in Vadodara.
Asked to bowl first, Baroda dismissed Karnataka for 112 before the hosts scored 223 runs, riding on Sonalki's 69 and a 60-ball 51 by Hooda, to take a crucial lead over their rivals.
In the second innings, Karnataka were 13 for 2, trailing Baroda by 98 runs at stumps.
Krishnamurthy Siddharth and Karun Nair are batting on 11 and two, respectively at close.
Left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt picked both the wickets.
Lukman Meriwala (3/22), Bhatt (3/27), Rishi Arothe (2/34) and Soaeb Tai (2/7) were among the wicket-takers for Baroda, while Shreyas Gopal (4/47) and Shubhang Hegde (4/74) emerged as the wrecker-in-chief for Karnataka.
As the bowlers made merry, Solanki and Hooda were the only batsmen who got half centuries 69 and 51 runs, respectively.
For Karnataka, they had to be satisfied with captain Manish Pandey being the top-scorer with 43 runs.
Karnataka made a disappointing start as they were 31 for five in 9.5 overs after left-arm pacers Arothe and Meriwala wreaked havoc.
Opting to bat first, Karnataka lost openers Dega Nischal and Ravikumar Samarth for zero and eight, respectively.
Nischal was cleaned up by Meriwala and Samarth was caught by Mitesh Patel off Arothe, as the visitors began their match on a bad note.
Krishnamurthy Siddharth and test discard Karun Nair did not last long either as they fell to Arothe and Meriwala, after scoring four and 12, respectively.
Shreyas Gopal was out first ball that he faced off Meriwala as the Karnataka lad gave a catch to Deepak Hooda.
Struggling at 31 for five, Pandey and B R Sharath stitched a crucial 54 runs partnership for sixth wicket.
Sharath was bowled by Bhatt after scoring 30 runs and Pandey, who had smashed a ton in the last match against Chhattisgarh, top-scored for visitors with 43 runs, before he was cleaned up by Tai.
Karnataka lost last three wickets after adding three runs, with Bhatt and Tai running through the tail-enders.
In reply, Baroda began their innings on similar lines, losing two quick wickets -- Kedar Devdhar (0) and Aditya Waghmode (10) -- within ten overs.
However, Solanki and Hooda sketched 119 runs partnership for third wicket, which gave an impetus to the hosts.
Solanki was later cleaned up by Shreyas, while Shubhang Hegde picked up Hooda's wicket after he gave a catch to Nischal.
Krunal Pandya and Mithesh Patel did not stay long, departing after making seven and nine respectively. They were sent back by Gopal in quick succession.
Baroda lost their last four wickets after adding 51 runs.
Karnataka first innings: 112 all out in 31.2 overs (Manish Pandey 43; Lukman Meriwala 3/22)
Baroda first innings: 223 all out in 51 overs (Vishnu Solanki 69, Deepak Hooda 51; Shreyas Gopal 4/47)
Karnataka second innings 13/2 in 4 overs. (K Siddharth 11; Bhargav Bhatt 2/7)
Karnataka trail by 98 runs.
Aman, Quadri floor Manipur
Skipper Ashutosh Aman and Samar Quadri shared nine wickets between them as Bihar shot out Manipur for 156 in their must-win final round Ranji Trophy Plate group match at the Moin-ul-haq Stadium in Patna.
In reply, Bihar were 107/5, trailing Manipur by 49 runs, with Kundan Gupta and skipper Vikas Ranjan batting on 29 and five, respectively.
Priyojit Singh was the pick of the bowlers with 3/22 in his seven overs, while Bishworjit Konthoujam (2/39) claimed both the openers to reduce Bihar to 44/2 inside 11 overs.
Bihar are placed second, three points behind leaders Uttarakhand in the Plate Group from where one team will make the quarterfinals.
In Dehradun, Uttarakhand kept their knockout hopes alive, posting a challenging 377 against Mizoram with Saurabh Rawat (102) cracking his second first class century.
Rawat found a fine ally in skipper Rajat Bhatia who slammed a run-a-ball 84 (9x4, 1x6) to add 144 runs for the fifth wicket.
The duo's partnership revived Uttarakhand from 90/4 in the first session after they were sent in. Malolan Rangarajan also contributed with a vital 58 from 76 balls as Uttarakhand ensured that they have a competitive total in their crucial match.
In reply, Mizoram were eight for no loss in eight overs.
In Patna: Manipur 156; 32 overs (Mayank Raghav 79; Samar Quadri 5/49, Ashutosh Aman 4/39). Bihar 107/5; 32 overs (Kundan Gupta 29 batting, Vikash Ranjan 5 batting; Priyojit Singh 3/22).
In Goalpara: Arunachal Pradesh 169; 49.1 overs (Kshitiz Sharma 59; Milind Kumar 5/42, Ishwar Chaudhary 3/55). Sikkim 132/3; 42 overs (Milind Kumar 50 batting, Jahan Uddin 27 batting).
In Dehradun: Uttarakhand 377; 83.5 overs (Saurabh Rawat 102, Rajat Bhatia 84, Malolan Rangarajan 58). Mizoram 8 for no loss; 4 overs.
In Dimapur: Nagaland 387/5; 87.5 overs (Hokaito Zhimomi 177, Nitesh Lohchab 100; Pankaj Singh 3/95) vs Puducherry.