A round-up of Ranji matches played on Sunday.
Former skipper Manoj Tiwary hit an unbeaten 156 and Shreevats Goswami a combative 95 as Bengal recovered from a shaky start to end day one of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match against Hyderabad at a commanding 366 for five, in Kalyani, West Bengal, on Sunday.
Desperate for an outright win to keep their qualifying hopes alive, Bengal, who chose Kalyani over Eden Gardens, found the going tough early on to be reduced to 60 for three inside 15 overs.
Opener A Raman fell for a duck in the fifth ball of the day, edging Ravi Kiran (2/47) behind the stumps after Bengal elected to bat.
Skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran (12) continued his poor run while debutant Kazi Saifi, who was drafted in after his stupendous show at the U-23 level, could not convert his start to be dismissed for 27.
But it was Tiwary who showed class act as he paced his innings beautifully to lead Bengal's recovery.
Number five Anustup Majumdar (59) also gave a fine support with 86-ball 59 (8x4) as the duo put on 112 runs for the fourth wicket.
"I will rate as one of my favourite innings, maybe in the top-seven as I have five times double hundred before this. This knock was however very special. It came in a crucial stage," Tiwary said after the day's proceedings.
"I was playing well, but a big knock was due. I had back spasm against Kerala. I knew I was doing well in batting and this was due. Given the situation, this is one of my best innings."
Tiwary counter-attacked the Hyderabad seamers as he scored freely, hitting 15 fours and three sixes in his 212-ball unbeaten knock.
"I had to counter attack knowing that they were playing with only two pacers. I wanted to attack pretty early. They were on the backfoot from start."
"There was little movement early on. We knew that. But I'm happy to contribute to team's cause. Anustup and Shreevats played really well and had good partnerships."
After Majumdar departed, Tiwary found a fine ally in wicketkeeper batsman Shreevats who played brilliantly but missed out on a hundred by just five runs with P Sairam taking a superb low catch.
"We would have been happy to see him score a hundred. 100 would have been more satisfying but it was an extraordinary catch. Nevertheless, he played an important knock."
Tiwary said he would look to complete a sixth double hundred on day two as Bengal are eyeing a 500-plus total.
"We didn't expect to score so many runs on the first day. We have to score 500-plus if we want to bat once. We want to bat long tomorrow."
Bengal 366/5 in 90 overs (Manoj Tiwary 156 batting, Shreevats Goswami 95, Anustup Majumdar 59) vs Hyderabad.
Majestic Jaffer stands tall, Vidarbha take control vs Delhi
New Delhi: Veteran Wasim Jaffer's masterclass was a purists' delight as Delhi's strategy of preparing a result-oriented seaming track boomeranged with defending champions Vidarbha taking control on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy encounter.
On a track where players half his age were not able to cross 20-run mark, the former India opener, who is a month shy from being 42, scored 83 in his team's meagre total of 179.
With the ball jagging around all day in cold and windy conditions, former India U-19 seamer Aditya Thakare (4/14) polished the Delhi top-order in a five-over burst to reduce the hosts to 41 for 4 at stumps.
The match is expected to get over inside three days and Delhi will have to depend on the pair of Nitish Rana (3 batting) and Lalit Yadav (0 batting) to at least ensure a respectable first innings total.
Thakare got the bowl to swing both ways as the likes of captain Dhruv Shorey was deceived by away movement and Jonty Sidhu squared up by late swing.
The day belonged to Jaffer, who showed the technique to bat on a track where the trio of Ishant Sharma (3/45 in 14 overs), Simarjeet Singh (4/39 in 16.5 overs) and Kulwant Khejroliya (2/50 in 18 overs) made life miserable for other players.
Playing late and close to his body, Jaffer, coming in at No 3, followed the basics to the 'T' as his backfoot punch through the covers off Simrajeet and the off-drive off Ishant were a visual treat.
There were 11 boundaries in all and he never really looked in trouble until Ishant bowled a beauty to clean him up. The next best score was 16 by Aditya Wakhare.
"The pitch was difficult to bat on. And when someone like Ishant, who is one of India's top fast bowlers, is bowling, you need to be careful," said Jaffer, who recently worked as a batting coach with Bangladesh's High Performance Academy and will also mentor KXIP batsmen in the coming IPL.
"On this track, it will be very difficult to bat in the fourth innings. I feel the ball will keep low and so it's good that we are not batting last on this track," said Jaffer.
He is already a coach and is still playing an active role in the Vidarbha set-up.
"We have a chance of Ranji Trophy hat-trick so some of us have stayed for the third season. As far as coaching is concerned, I love it and would like to pursue it once I am done with cricket. Already I am a mentor for the Vidarbha youngsters. I am the bridge between coach and players," said the man, who has two Test double hundreds against West Indies and Pakistan.
Brief Scores: In Delhi: Vidarbha 179 in 61.5 overs (Wasim Jaffer 83, Simarjeet Singh 4/39, Ishant Sharma 3/45) vs Delhi 41/4 (Aditya Thakare 4/14).
At Valsad: Gujarat 277/9 (Bharghav Merai 130, Siddarth Kaul 4/57, Baltej Singh 4/62).
At Thumba: Kerala 90 (Shubham Sharma 5/41) vs Rajasthan 173/4 (Jalaj Saxena 4/34).
Aquib Nabi takes five wickets to help J&K dismiss Odisha for 161
Cuttack: Right-arm pacer Aquib Nabi grabbed five wickets to help Jammu and Kashmir dismiss Odisha for 161 on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group C match on Sunday.
Nabi was the star of J&K as he ran through the Odisha batting line-up after his skipper Parvez Rasool decided to bowl first.
Odisha suffered a slump after the opening partnership of 51 runs between Anurag Sarangi (33) and Shantanu Mishra (21) was ended by Nabi. The team slipped to 75 for 4 and then 103 for 5 before a fighting knock of 42 by skipper Subhranshu Senapati took them past the 150-run mark.
In response, Odisha bowlers Rajesh Mohanty (1/14), B Mohanty (1/17) and SB Pradhan (1/6) picked up wickets to leave J&K at 38 for 3 in 24 overs to leave the game evenly poised.
Skipper Rasool was batting on 10 and a lot will depend on him when play resumes on Monday.
Brief Scores: Odisha 161 all out in 64.3 overs (Shubhranshu Senapati 42; Aquib Nabi 5/39) vs J&K 38 for 3 in 24 overs.
At Ranchi: Uttarakhand 213 for 6 in 50 overs (Saurabh Rawat 66, Tanmay Srivastava 48 batting; Ashish Kumar 3/50, Ajay Yadav 3/53).
At Guwahati: Maharashtra 175 all out in 43.4 overs (Ankit Bawane 75, SS Bachhav 40; Arup Das 4/66, Ranjeet Mali 4/55) vs Assam 75 for 1 in 29 overs (Rishav Das 33 batting).
At Raipur: Tripura 53 for 9 in 18.1 overs (Pankaj Rao 5/11, Veer Pratap Singh 3/53) vs Chhattisgarh 137 for 5 in 50 overs (Shashank Singh 70 batting; AA Sarkar 3/35).
Goa recover from shaky start to post 251 vs Chandigarh
Porvorim: Goa dished out a superb rear-guard action with Suyash Prabhudessai and Darshan Misal hitting valiant half-centuries to rescue the side from a terrible start against Chandigarh in Ranji Trophy Plate Group, on Sunday.
Put in, the home side had their backs on the wall with 26 for 6 inside the first hour's play as their top six batsmen departed for single digit scores with Jagjit Singh (5/64) and Shresth Nirmohi (3/38) wreaking havoc.
But it was the Suyash Prabhudessai (90) and Darshan Misal (54) saved them the blushes in a brilliant 133-run seventh wicket partnership as Goa rebuilt their innings to eventually put on board 251.
Their number 11 Vijesh Prabhudessai also contributed handsomely remaining unbeaten on a quickfire 37-ball 40 (3x4, 2x6) before being bundled out in 80.3 overs.
In reply, Chandigarh were three for no loss at close on the first day.
Leading the Plate group, Goa have 29 points from five matches as third-placed Chandigarh (23 from five matches) are looking to go level with an outright win.
Only the Plate group toppers qualify for the last-eight.
At Porvorim: Goa 251 in 80.3 overs (Suyash Prabhudessai 90, Darshan Misal 54, Vijesh Prabhudessai 40 not out; Jagjit Singh 5/64, Shresth Nirmohi 3/38) vs Chandigarh 3-0 (2 ovs).
At Puducherry: Puducherry 209 in 46.4 overs (Sagar Trivedi 79 not out; Nabam Tempol 5/61, Akhilesh Sahani 4/77) vs Arunachal Pradesh 109/3; 33 overs (Samarth Seth 64 batting).
At Sovima: Nagaland 166 in 63.5 overs (Imliwati Lemtur 41; Abhijeet Saket 3/19, Ashutosh Aman 3/65) vs Bihar 115/2; 26 overs (Shasheem Rathour 46 batting).
At Mangaldoi: Meghalaya 235 in 67.1 overs (Dwaraka Ravi Teja 90, Puneet Bisth 66, Sanjay Yadav 44; Homendro Kabrambam 3/29, Rex Rajkumar 3/33) vs Manipur 18/7; 15 overs (Sanjay Yadav 4/12, Abhay Negi 3/1).
At Bhubaneswar: Mizoram 201; 59.1 overs (Taruwar Kohli 113; Iqbal Abdulla 5/78, Ishwar Chaudhary 3/65). Sikkim 107/4; 28 overs (G Lalbiakvela 3/35).