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Ranji Trophy: Rahane, Agarkar save the day for Mumbai

December 24, 2009 19:29 IST

Ajinkya Rahane (116 not out) and Ajit Agarkar (78) saved Mumbai the blushes with a 174-run partnership as the visitors reached a respectable 238 for five on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Haryana in Rohtak.

Opting to bat, Mumbai made a disastrous start, losing two early wickets and soon they were reduced to 55 for four.

While Haryana pace duo Joginder Sharama and Sanjay Budhwar struck once each, Sachin Rana's two wickets in two balls pushed Mumbai on the backfoot.

However, Rahane who is in tremendous form, and seasoned Agarkar combined well to steady the rocking ship with their fighting fifth wicket stand.

Rana with his medium pace was at it again when he broke the partnership in the last session of the day by trapping Agarkar.

Agarkar battled for 166 balls and during his almost four hour vigil at the crease he struck nine fours and a six.

Rahane who came out to bat as early as in the fourth over, at the fall of opener Sahil Kukreja, was rock solid and batted through the day to rescue his side.

His patient knock came off 267 balls with the help of 14 shots to the fence.

After Agarkar's wicket Romesh Powar saw off the proceedings of the day with Rahane.

At the start, Budhwar scalped Sahil (5) and Joginder Sharma trapped Sushant Marathe (6) to give their team a brilliant start.

Rahane and Jaffer (19) had hardly lifted their team from the early jolts that Rana caught latter in front of the wicket.

Mumbai were still coping with the wicket of Jaffer that Rana sent back Rohit Sharma in the next ball to send shock waves in the rival camp.

Brief Score:
Mumbai first innings: 238 for five (A Rahane 116, A Agarkar 78; S Rana 3/41).

Konwar's fiver restricts UP to 213

Guwahati: Spinners Arlen Konwar and Sairaj Bahutule shared eight wickets among them as Assam shot out Uttar Pradesh for 213 in their first innings on the first day of the four-day quarter-finals of Ranji trophy in Guwahati.

Konwar emerged as the wrecker-in-chief, picking up a crucial five-wicket haul with his off-break while 36-year-old Bahutule scalped three to restrict the visitors in 81.2 overs.

India discard Mohammad Kaif top scored for Uttar Pradesh with a patient 150-ball 56, which was studded with seven fours and was supported well by opener Shivakant Shukla (47).

Five of the Uttar Pradesh batsmen got starts, but they failed to capitalise on it and lost wickets at regular intervals to deny the visitors a big score.

Electing to bat first, Uttar Pradesh lost opener Tanmoy Srivastava (26) in the 19th over when he was caught by Tarjinder Singh off Konwar.

Konwar struck again in the 31st over when he removed the other opener Shukla. Abu Nechin Ahmed then picked up Rohit Prakash Srivastava (8), while Parvinder Singh (22) became the Konwar's third victim. Ranjitkumar Mali then got rid off Bhuvaneswar Kumar (9) as the visitors were looking down the barrel at 165 for five in 61.4 overs.

Konwar then went on to claim Piyush Chawla (0) and RP Singh (9) to complete his five wicket haul, while Bahutule picked up Praveen Gupta (1) and Salabh Srivastava (3) to wrap up the UP innings.

In reply, Assam batted for only eight overs and scored 17 runs for the loss of opener Amit Sumanta Sinha (8).

When stumps were drawn, Pervez Aziz and Amol Muzumdar were at the crease.

Brief Score:
Uttar Pradesh 1st innings: 213 all out in 81.2 overs (M Kaif 56, SS Shukla 47; A Konwar 5/79, S Bahutule 3/41)
Assam 1st innings: 17 for one (P Aziz 4 batting; P Gupta 1/1).

Mukund, Karthik propel TN to 278 for 4

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu top order fired in unison with three of the first four batsmen hitting half-centuries to propel the side to 278 for four wickets after the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Super League quarter-final against Delhi.

Delhi captain Rajat Bhatia asked the visitors to take first strike at the Palam Ground but had to wait till the 39th over to make first inroads.

For Tamil Nadu, Abhinav Mukund (73) and stand-in captain Murali Vijay (51) added 110 runs for the opening stand before in-form Arun Karthik chipped in with a well-made 78.

Srikkanth Anirudh - son of former India captain and current chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth - was nine runs away from his well-deserved half-century at stumps with R Ashwin (4) giving him company.

For Delhi, left-arm pacer Vikash Mishra was the most successful bowler, picking two for 60 in his tidy 21 overs.

Playing without their regular skipper Dinesh Karthik, who is away on national duty, Tamil Nadu got off to a solid start even though the run-rate was modest at best.

Both Mukund and Vijay shunned risk as they concentrated on laying the foundation for the subsequent batsmen to capitalise on and they succeeded in their mission.

Both played without any particular discomfort, stitching together a 100-plus stand before Vijay perished caught behind off Mithun Manhas after an uncharacteristically quiet 119-ball 51 that had nine fours in it. But with next man in Arun Karthik continuing his purple patch, there was no respite for the Delhi bowlers.

Mukund was looking good for a century, when Vikas Mishra came up with double blows.

The left-arm pacer got the better of Mukund's defence, dropping curtains on the 137-ball knock studded with 11 fours.

Karthik and Anirudha steadied the ship with some sensible cricket and added 91 runs for the fourth wicket when Karthik edged Pradeep Sangwan to perish caught behind.

Karthik faced 162 balls for his 78 which included five fours.

Bhatia tried as many as seven different bowlers but could not make much of a dent in the Tamil Nadu line-up.

Brief Scores:
Tamil Nadu 1st innings: 278 for four (A Karthik 78, A Mukund 73, M Vijay 51; V Mishra 2/60)

Kaul, Bhalla Punjab the blushes 

Mysore: Uday Kaul (68) and Vishwas Bhalla (61 not out) hit half-centuries as Punjab survived two batting collapse to reach a healthy 292 for nine on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals against Karnataka.

The Karnataka pace attack used the conditions well in the morning at the Gangotri Glades to destabilise the Punjab batting as the visitors were in dire straits at 160 for five after being invited to bat first by skipper Rahul Dravid.

However, a fighting 68 by Uday Kaul and rearguard action by Bhalla and Harmeet Singh (11 not out) saved Punjab the blushes of being bowled out for a paltry first innings score.

Abhimanyu Mithun, who consistently propels the cherry at speeds over 140, began the slide removing Sunny Sohal and Ravi Inder Singh (30) inside 14 overs.

But a fighting third-wicket 46-run association between Kaul and Mayank Sidhana briefly stemmed the rot.

R Vinay Kumar soon produced the breakthrough by evicting Sidhana from the crease, before accounting the scalps of skipper Pankaj Dharmani (29) and Taruwar Kohli (5) to leave the visitors tottering at 160 for five in 47.4 overs.

Vinay thus took his season's tally to an impressive 36 wickets from six matches. However, Kaul and Bhalla reconstructed the tattered innings, raising 49 runs for the sixth-wicket.

But the fall of Kaul, caught by Dravid off Sunil Joshi, precipitated another collapse as veteran left-arm tweaker struck thrice in a jiffy, returning with his best figures of four for 62.

Bhalla was instrumental in keeping the lamp burning in the Punjab dressing room, batting with gumption and poise.

His innings-redeeming ninth-wicket partnership has already raised 41 runs.

Karnataka would be desperate to get an early wicket before they begin their quest to trounce Punjab and book a place in the semi-finals.

Brief scores:
Punjab 1st innings: 292 for nine (U Kaul 68, V Bhalla 62 not out; S Joshi 4/62)

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