Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Round III, Day 1
5.10pm Century for Kaif A terrific innings from Mohammad Kaif, guides UP to 236 for 7 against Karnataka. Bhuneshwar Kumar giving him good support, with an unbeaten 30, and UP are in a much-better position after having been reduced to 40 for 4.
Railways finish the day on 193 for 7 against Punjab, another innings in which no batsman has hit a half-century.
Thanks everyone for joining us on the Ranji live blog. And thanks to Amol and Amit for the updates. See you all tomorrow, cheers!
5.00pm The last update of the day from Amol Karhadkar from Jaipur: "Ishwar Pandey helps MP end the day with something to cheer. He bowls a near-perfect delivery with the new ball - in the corridor of uncertainty, Ankit Lamba pushes at it and edges it to Naman Ojha behind the wickets. That's stumps. Rajasthan 7 for 1."
In a day of slow-scoring, Andhra have scored 331 for 7 by stumps on the first day against Himachal, highlighted by centuries from B Sumanth and Amol Muzumdar.
And Orissa completed the first day by reaching 177 for 6 in Lahli after shooting out Haryana for 66.
4.45pm Stumps at Hyderabad. Saurashtra have fought back to 251 for 7, after having been 145 for 6 at one stage.
Stumps in Delhi, where Kerala have crawled to 211 for 5 against Railways. No batsman made a half-century but four of them made it past 35.
In Chennai, Tamil Nadu end the day on 273 for 9 against Maharashtra, saved by half-centuries from the lower-order: Prasanna, Yo Mahesh and Malolan Rangarajan all made 50-plus scores.
4.35pm The latest from Amol, MP have been bowled out: "And Pankaj completes the innings by disturbing the woodwork, the ball after Ishwar Pandey slogged him for a boundary over square leg. MP all out for 253."
Stumps at Eden Gardens. Play was halted by bad light at 3.36pm, and has been called off for the day. Bengal edge the first day there, as Gujarat finish on 230 for 6, with half-centuries for Parthiv Patel and Smit Patel.
Stumps at Agartala as well. It was all Services as Yashpal Sharma and Anshul Gupta made centuries to lead the side to 277 for 3 against Tripura.
4.25pm Amol from Jaipur: "Pankaj gets his third, and second in as many overs. Anand Rajan tries to duck under a short ball but the ball was too quick for him to do anything but lob it off his glove to the first slip. MP 246 for 9."
The umpires are walking off at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The light is not great. Baroda 252/3, Rayudu 83*, Chauhan 82*. Confirmed, it's stumps in Delhi. Nehra has been off the field for about four hours today, not entirely sure what his injury is. He is applying an ice pack right now.
4.20pm Amit on the track at Feroz Shah Kotla: "Rajat Bhatia's figures of 13-6-20-2 proves how difficult stroke-making is on this wicket, he didn't do anything extraordinary, just bowled wicket-to-wicket, and the low bounce didn't let batsmen take any risk."
Tail wagging for Railways, Murali Kartik and Krishnakant Upadhyay have added 55 for the eighth wicket so far. Railways 193 for 7.
4.15pm Rajasthan strike. Here's Amol: "New ball does the trick for Rajasthan! Rameez Khan gets a thin edge down the leg off Pankaj Singh. MP 238 for 8."
It is stumps at Jamshedpur, where Jharkhand have finished on 222 for 2 against Goa. Ishank Jaggi is unbeaten on 56, Saurabh Tiwary is 34*. A solid first day then for Jharkhand.
4.10pm Amit in Delhi: "It's 240/3. Rayudu is 79 now, Chauhan is 74*, Baroda have recovered well and on this low-and-slow pitch, a 400-plus score could be difficult to surpass."
The last update we have from the UP v Karnataka game is still the tea-time score: UP are 162 for 7.
In Dharamsala, Himachal strike again: they have now removed both Andhra centurions, with B Sumanth falling for 102 to Jitender Mehta. Andhra now 273 for 5.
4.00pm Amol in Jaipur: "Rameez Khan (46*) and Anand Rajan (35*) are frustrating Rajasthan bowlers as the duo have stitched together an unbroken stand of 76 runs for the eighth wicket. MP 226 for 7."
In Chennai, Tamil Nadu are now 235 for 8 after L Balaji is bowled by Samad Fallah. In Kolkata, there's only been 73 overs of play, Gujarat have finished on 230 for 6 against Bengal.
3.50pm Amol Muzumdar has been dismissed. He just completed his century, his 24th in Ranji Trophy history, drawing level with Vinod Kambli's tally. The leader, though, is Delhi's Ajay Sharma, who has 31 Ranji hundreds. Andhra 256 for 4, Muzumdar gone for 101, Sumanth still there on 91.
Meanwhile, in Agartala, Yashpal Sharma has also reached three figures pushing Services to 277 for 3 against Tripura. Anshul Gupta is still there, unbeaten on 112.
3.45pm In Chennai, Yo Mahesh has been dismissed for 81, and Tamil Nadu have moved to 227 for 7. It was Akshay Darekar again who got the breakthrough, and Maharashtra will be looking to wrap up this innings before stumps.
And Amit says: "Rayudu has just hit the best shot of the day, thumping sumit Narwal over covers. The light is fading at the Kotla, and Rayudu who is now on 74 will want to get to triple-digits in the time left today."
3.40pm Baroda move along to 217 for 3 against Delhi. Amit: "Rayudu took some time to settle down but then hit some crisp boundaries. He drove well and the best part was he used his feet against spinners. Time and again he came down to loft Manan for straight boundaries." Rayudu 66* and Chauhan 64*.
3.30pm Amol (Karhadkar) spots this in Jaipur: "The manual scoreboard operator at the KL Saini Stadium seems to feeling the heat as he forgets to change the first digit plate from 1 to 2. As a result, MP's tally of 202 is reduced by a hundred runs. It takes more than two minutes for the operator to realise his misdeed and he rectifies the error."
3.20pm Big day for Amol Muzumdar He has moved to Andhra this season, and started the game 68 behind Wasim Jaffer's record Ranji run-tally of 8320. He is now 74*, giving him 8326 runs which helps him reclaim a record he had earlier held before Jaffer overtook his tally. Will Jaffer overhaul Muzumdar's tally again?
3.10pm Services' Anshul Gupta has scored the first century of the day. He's currently unbeaten on 102, his first first-class century, with Yashpal Singh closing in on a hundred of his own. Yashpal is on 92* and Services are at a comfortable 249 for 3.
2.40pm Tea time
Kerala undoing the good work of their openers, losing three wickets in six overs to slide to 158 for 5 against Assam. Half an hour ago they were 144 for 2.
Here's Amol's update before he heads off to find some chai and biscuits: "Rameez Khan and Anand Rajan keep Rajasthan bowlers at bay as MP trudge to 171 for 6 at tea."
And this is what Anil posted: "Baroda 181/3 in 63 overs, Abhimanyu Chauhan 58*, Rayudu 38*, in a 70-plus partnership. No penetration from the lone spinner Manan, and Rajat bowling a long spell. Baroda will look to consolidate here."
Anshul Gupta (92*) and Yashpal Singh (75*) still worrying the Tripura bowling. They have taken Services to 222 for 3 by tea.
Batsmen having a reasonable time in Group C. Jharkhand are cruising at 181 for 2 against Goa in Jamshedpur. Ishank Jaggi 32* and Saurabh Tiwary 17*.
Sumanth and Muzumdar have ensured Andhra have gone through the session without losing a wicket. Both have reached half-centuries and Andhra are now 199 for 3 against Himachal.
In Meerut, Mohammad Kaif's innings stretches beyond four hours as he reaches 62 not out at tea. UP are still in a bother, at 163 for 7, against a Karnataka attack that has three debutants.
In Chennai, Maharashtra has got a breakthrough via left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar, who went on the India A tour of the West Indies earlier this year. Prasanna is gone for 56, but Yo Mahesh is going strong on an unbeaten 70*. TN 198 for 6.
Fourteen wickets already in two sessions at Lahli. Orissa are now 88 for 4, replying to Haryana's 66.
2.20pm By tea, Bengal are slowly taking charge of their match against Gujarat, who are now 165 for 6, with medium-pacer Sourav Sarkar taking three.
In Agartala, Services have made their way past 200 against Tripura, thanks to a long partnership between Anshul Gupta and Yashpal Singh who have now added 135 runs for the fourth wicket.
Saurashtra struggling at 172 for 6 against Hyderabad, but Jackson and Makwana have ensured no wicket has gone down in the last 14 overs or so. 2.15pm In Delhi, Amit tells me Abhimanyu Chauhan has just completed his half-century. "Abhimanyu has looked in good form, and has punished anything that pitched on the leg stump."
2.00pm In Meerut, Mohammad Kaif is holding fort for UP, with a patient unbeaten 54 that has taken him three-and-a-half hours. Piyush Chawla, who smashed a century last week against Maharashtra, is gone for 23. UP 144 for 6.
The Tamil Nadu fightback continues apace. Half-centuries to both R Prasanna and Yo Mahesh has lifted them to 174 for 5 against Maharashtra, who are letting it slip after getting rid of the big guns early. The pair came on at 87 for 5, and have now added 87 more.
1.55pm The indefatigable Amol sends this from Jaipur: "Devendra Bundela edges Pankaj Singh through the slip cordon for a four to complete his 36th first-class fifty."
A minute later, he adds: "Two balls hence, Pankaj Singh is finally rewarded for his accurate bowling as he traps Devendra Bundela in front of the wickets. MP 150 for 7."
1.50pm A week after running up 716 for 3 against Gujarat, Saurashtra have slid to 150 for 6 against a new-look Hyderabad attack, which features two debutants, A Ashish Reddy and AA Bhandari.Like Karnataka's Sharath in Meerut, it is the new boy who is causing much of the damage, Ashish Reddy has got four now.
1.30pm Group C updates:
B Sumanth and Amol Muzumdar* leading Andhra's fightback against Himachal. The pair are both in their 40s, and have added 86 runs now to take Andhra to 146 for 3. *Correction: I had mentioned the wrong batsman before, thanks to our readers LP Surve and Aniket for pointing that out.
In Jamshedpur, two wickets after lunch has brought together two of Jharkhand's brightest batting talents: Suarabh Tiwary and Ishank Jaggi. The opener Manish Vardhan and Sunny Gupta have been dismissed after reaching their half-centuries.
Two wickets soon after lunch have reduced Kerala to 109 for 2 against Assam, both their openers Hedge and Jagadeesh have fallen in their 40s.
In Agartala, Anshuk Gupta makes his third fifty in a row, and Yashpal Singh is unbeaten on 51 to help Services reach 166 for 3 against Tripura.
1.25pm Wickets galore In Eden Gardens, Gujarat are slipping against Bengal. Smit Patel has been dismissed for 67, and Venugopal Rao is gone for 4, giving Ashok Dinda his first wicket. Gujarat 153 for 5.
Wickets in Hyderabad as well, where the usually Shitanshu Kotak nicknamed 'fevicol' for his crease-occupying abilities has fallen for a duck. Saurashtra 131 for 5. Seems to be a bowler's day today.
In Cuttack, two wickets in the space of six deliveries leaves Railways at 95 for 5 against Punjab, who came into this game on the back of two convincing wins.
After bowling out Haryana for 66, Odisha have lost two early wickets and are at 26 for 2.
1.15pm Over in Chennai, Tamil Nadu are launching a bit of a fightback, Yo Mahesh and Prasanna have added 43 for the sixth wicket to take TN to 130 for 5 against Maharashtra.
Amol reports: "Jalaj Saxena's cameo comes to an end as he edges left-arm pacer Anikey Chaudhary to offer Dishant Yagnik his third catch off the day. Saxena scored 36 off 35 balls as MP reeling at 116 for 6."
1.05pm Sri has some sane words on the points system: "With regard to the batting and bowling points expressed by Meyrick Pringle which is being used in English County Cricket, it needs to be reminded to all that Ranji Trophy did have that points system for several years as well in the 80s. But, it was dropped for reasons that the teams simply looked determined to be satisfied with those points and that they did not really attempt harder for outright wins. That points system used in Ranji Trophy was good, at least as long as it lasted. But, as it transpired, it reached a predicted pattern and the Committee scraped the batting & bonus points altogether. It wouldn't hurt bringing back that system at least partially. Moreover, we have had that before and the Committee could look at the pros and cons and present it without flaws this time around. It may generate some positive effects in the current scenario."
Karnataka's stand-in captain Stuart Binny's comments ahead of the match against UP highlights the need for changes to the points system. "We are going into this match with the aim to gain the first-innings lead."
Meanwhile in Meerut, debutant Sharath's dream debut gets better. He gets his fourth wicket, dismissing Arish Alam for 27. Sharath now has figures of 13-6-30-4. UP 108 for 5, Kaif still in the middle with an unbeaten 37.
12.50pm Not a great start for Baroda after lunch. The old hand Rajat Bhatia strikes twice for Delhi. Waghmode is snapped up brilliant by Mohit Sharma in the slips, a one-handed take sends back Waghmode for 54. Rakesh Solanki follows, nicking through to the keeper. Baroda slip to 109 for 3.
Amol sounds excited: "That's the best shot of the day so far! Jalaj Saxena bends his front knee and hits Rituraj Singh for a boundary through covers. Rajasthan 112 for 5 as Saxena has raced to 32 off 29 balls."
12.00pm Lunch scores will be coming in now:
First up, the match at the Kotla. Amit reports: "Baroda are 92/1 with Waghmode on 49 and Abhimanyu on 16. Looks like Baroda will pile it on, they still have Rayudu, Solanki and Devdhar. Was it the right decision by Dhawan to field?"
Now Amol pings me with: "Devendra Bundela (26*) and Jalaj Saxena (15*) avoid any more damage as MP go in to lunch at 90 for 5 against Rajasthan."
In Cuttack, Railways 70 for 3. Gony has figures of 8-5-5-2. Amitoze Singh 6-3-8-0. Bangar 20*, Madkaikar 5*.
In Hyderabad, Saurashtra are 99 for 3. Ravindra Jadeja has been dismissed for 13. Jaydev Shah, son of BCCI bigwig Niranjan Shah, is batting on 18 and opener Bhushan Chauhan is 42*.
In Meerut, there is no further damage for UP against Karnataka as they reach lunch at 97 for 4. Kaif 34*, Arish Alam 25*. The session has belonged to debutant Sharath though, who has 10-5-24-3.
In Dharamsala, Andhra have reached 105 for 3 against HP. Almost the entire bowling in the first session has been by their troika of quick bowlers Vikramjeet Malik, Rishi Dhawan and Jitender Mehta.
In Jamshedpur, Jharkhand have gone through the first session without a wicket. Vardhan and Gupta have both hit half-centuries.
Sensational news from Lahli, Haryana. last year's semi-finalists, have been shot out for 66. What's worse, this is not even their lowest score of the season - having folded for 55 against Vidarbha in their first-round match.
Haryana's last few scores in completed FC innings: 97, 120, 55, 183, 334, 66. The 334 came against England.
Kerala's openers have put on 85 against Assam before lunch: Hegde 43* and Jagadeesh 40*.
C8w asks: "Best Top Five in the Ranji Trophy, he says! What's the Wasim Jaffer (career Ranji #1 rungetter), Ajinkya Rahane (career avg 63), Hiken Shah (2012 avg 58), Rohit Sharma (career avg 59), Surya Yadav (career avg 57) lineup, then?" They definitely have a case but there's no Jaffer so far this season, and Rahane is with the Test squad, unlikely to be available for too many games. And it's still early days for Hiken and Surya Yadav. Of course, a full-strength Mumbai batting will be a hard act to match. As will Delhi's.
11.55am Maharashtra on top Tamil Nadu's famed batting order, the best top five in the Ranji trophy, has flopped in Chennai. Dinesh Karthik has also been dismissed, for 29, and TN are at 88 for 5.
11.50am Amol is unstoppable today, neither is Rajasthan's Rituraj Singh, who made such an impact last Ranji season, with 26 wickets in four matches: "Rituraj is at it again. Anand Singh tries to drive a full-lenght delivery, misses it and the off stump goes for a walk. MP 71 for 5."
11.45am Here's an anecdote from Amol in Jaipur: "An RCA volunteer is doing his best to understand domestic cricket. "How many overs need to be bowled before lunch?" he asks a ball boy. "It'll be at noon," replies the kid. "Oh, time se hota hai," says the volunteer. The hungry soul has to wait for another half an hour.
"And the 50-odd spectators at the KL Saini Stadium [Stadium? It is a ground, actually] finally witness a spinner bowling to the batsmen as Madhur Khatri, an offspinner, is introduced into the attack in the 28th over."
11.40am I asked Amit about the crowds at the Feroz Shah Kotla, and his reply is: "Empty. A few stray dogs here and there but no monkeys unlike last match when there were around 15-20 in the stands. Ghaziabad (first round match against UP) was an exception though as it happens in small towns it was jam-packed, about 15 thousand, but that was mainly due to the presence of stars like Sehwag, Gambhir and Kohli."
It's lunch at the Ahmedabad Test, as well as the Ranji matches being played at the eastern part of the country. In Kolkata, Parthiv Patel has been dismissed for 61, and Gujarat end the first session on 116 for 3. In Agartala, Services are 91 for 3 at lunch against Tripura. Meanwhile, in Jamshedpur, Goa have got in 40 overs in the first session, but they haven't got a breakthrough to show for it, as Manish Vardhan and Sunny Gupta have added 98.
11.30am Update from a game we have completely ignored so far. Railways are 70 for 3 against Punjab. Manpreet Gony continues to impress in domestic cricket, his figures now are: 7.1-4-5-2. Sanjay Bangar, who is playing his 159th first-class match, is batting on 20.
11.20am Half-century for Parthiv: He has slowed down a touch at Eden Gardens, but still scoring at a not-too-shabby rate of 96.67. Twelve boundaries in Parthiv's unbeaten 58. Keeping him company is India Under-19 wicketkeeper Smit Patel, who has moved along to a patient 44 off 87 balls. Gujarat 112 for 2 v Bengal.
And in momentous news from Hyderabad, Ravindra Jadeja is batting. He's unbeaten on 13 as Saurasthra reach 66 for 2.
11.15am Amol Karhadkar sends this from Jaipur: It's been 22 overs into the game and all the workload has been shared by the Rajasthan pace troika. Devendra Bundela and Anand Singh have survived and Singh manages an edge that races through the slip cordon to third man boundary. MP 64 for 4.
And more from Amol, who is making sure he earns his salary: "Rajasthan coach Meyrick Pringle goes out for a stroll with physio Ashish Tibrewal under the blazing sun. But considering their bowlers' commendable effort, none of them would have felt the heat!"
11.10am A breakthrough for Delhi, Amit tells me. "Narwal gets it with a short one and the debutant Wakaskar goes for 22. It was a good bouncer from Narwal and Wakaskar failed to check his pull shot. Parwinder Awana at square leg takes the catch, it went high up in the air and Awana flung his cap and red Oakleys to get a good view and takes the catch." Loved that bit about the Oakleys. Baroda are 50 for 1.
11.00am: Runs elude Raina again Suresh Raina, in need of big runs to try force his way back into the Test squad, has been clean bowled for 14 by the debutant Sharath, whose day becomes even better as he adds the scalp of Parvinder Singh for a duck. UP tottering at 49 for 4, that too against a second-string Karnataka attack. Is this the same line-up that did so well against a strong Delhi side? Mohammad Kaif still battling out there, he's unbeaten on 14.
10.55am Some Group C updates: Kerala have made a solid start against Assam, their openers Hegde and Jagadeesh have taken them to 56/0 after 15 overs. In Kerala's previous game against Himachal Pradesh, Jagadeesh got a duck in the first innings, and Hegde in the second.
Table-toppers Jharkhand have begin their third match well, their openers Vardhan and Gupta have put on 76 in the first two hours against Goa.
Things not going as well for Andhra, who have lost three wickets to Himachal's new-ball pair of Rishi Dhawan and Vikramjeet Malik. Andhra 60 for 3. 10.50am Haryana in trouble against Odisha In Lahli, Odisha, who lost by ten wickets to Delhi in the previous round, have struck thrice early. Haryana 34 for 3 after 16 overs.
In the other match of the group, Services have also lost three wickets early, but their stalwart Yashpal Singh is still in the middle. Services 79 for 3 v Tripura, who have just the one point after two matches.
10.40am Parthiv cuts loose Over in Kolkata, Parthiv Patel has raced to 35 off 30 deliveries, including eight boundaries. He came in after Gujarat lost two early wickets, and they are now at 71 for 2.
And in Delhi, Baroda have safely negotiated the first hour. Amit has more: "An interesting move from Delhi, with their captain Shikhar Dhawan bowling offspin within the first hour. He's not much of a bowler (226 balls in 74 first-class matches), and if Delhi wanted to see whether there's any turn in the track, they could have turned to left-arm spinner Manan Sharma. Baroda 40/0."
Saurashtra making slow and steady progress against Hyderabad. They have reached 32 for 1 after 14 overs.
10.30am Tamil Nadu's big name batsmen flop: Ducks for M Vijay and S Badrinath. Abhinav Mukund gone for 6. TN struggling at 29 for 3 against Maharashtra. They still have the in-form Dinesh Karthik in the middle though. This will be a huge change for Maharashtra, after having had to wait 82.2 overs for getting three wickets against UP in the last round.
MP batting also falling apart Here's Amol: "Aniket Choudhary puts MP in a deeper hole. The left-armer, bowling his second over after replacing Pankaj Singh, strikes timber to dismiss Udit Birla. MP 31 for 4.
Rajasthan coach Meyrick Pringle had said on the eve of the game that "they are going for an outright win". And he couldn't have asked for a better start!"
Refreshing to see these scorecards after the batathons of the previous round.
10.25am Karnataka's new-ball bowler's name is actually HS Sharath. 'Shivalingaiah' is his middle name. Also, Sharath is playing his first match for Karnataka. Thanks to Abhi for pointing this out. Meanwhile, Suresh Raina and Kaif are now batting. UP 34/2, after Karnataka captain Stuart Binny dismissed Mukul Dagar for 10.
10.20am Update from Amit: "Nehra is getting the ball at the rib cage region but if the fast bowler don't put in the extra effort, Puneet Bisht collecting every ball in the ankle region. Now Waghmode is in pain after being struck midships by a Pawan Suyal delivery. Baroda 26 for 0 in 11 overs."
10.15am Amol's latest from Jaipur: "Rituraj is on fire! He gets his third wicket. Satyam Choudhary is castled by the sheer pace of Rituraj and MP are in dire straits, 27 for 3."
Meanwhile, over at Meerut, Karnataka have an unfamiliar pair sharing the new ball. Debutant Ronit More and Shivalingaiah are bowling, and Shivalingaiah has struck removing Ali Murtaza. Mohammad Kaif batting now. UP 17 for 1.
10.10am Quite a start at the Kotla, says Amit Shetty. Huge appeal for lbw by Parwinder Awana as Aditya Waghmode shoulders arms to a ball that held its line. Umpire feels too high and rightly so. Baroda 11/0 after six overs.
And this from Amol in Jaipur. "And Rituraj gets the other opener. He extracts bounce of fthe wicket and Zafar Ali can only find an edge to the 'keeper Yagnik. MP 26 for 2. In comes Devendra Bundela, the purana chawal."
10.05am Here's what Meyrick Pringle, the Rajasthan coach, had to say about the need for revamping the Ranji points system. He wants batting and bowling points, irrespective of the result. Sounds like a sensible move to me, and it is working quite well in England's domestic tournament. Could put an end to the bore high-scoring draws that tend to mar the Ranji Trophy.
10.00am We've just been informed that VVS Laxman isn't playing because of a back problem. A spinning track has been prepared in Hyderabad, and they have a new-look bowling line-up for the game.
9.55am This just in from Amol in Jaipur: Rituraj Singh gets the first wicket. Naman Ojha, who had survived two close lbw appeals off Pankaj Singh in the previous over, goes after one outside off only to edge it to wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik. MP 17 for 1
9.50am Amit Shetty is reporting on his game for us from Delhi. As usual not much there for bowlers on a low Kotla strip. Nehra is trying to bend his back though. Also, this is Rajat Bhatia's first first-class match of the season. Saurabh Wakaskar, a left hander, is making his debut for Baroda in place of Yusuf Pathan.
9.45am In the Haryana v Odisha match, Haryana have lost an early wicket, Nitin Saini falling cheaply. Haryana didn't play the last round of matches, instead the opposition for one of England's warm-up matches.
9.40am M Vijay, having rushed back to Chennai after being released from the Indian Test squad, has already been dismissed. He falls for a duck as Maharastra strike early. TN 3 for 1.
And in big news from the Hyderabad V Saurashtra game, VVS Laxman is not playing this round.
9.30am Over in Meerut, in another high-profile match, UP are batting against Karnataka. Another chance for Suresh Raina to show his Test credentials, that too against a weakened Karnataka attack. Both Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun are out of this match with minor injuries, so Stuart Binny who has been superb over the last 12 months is the Karnataka captain.
9.20am Meanwhile, in one of the games which started early, Bengal have struck early against Gujarat. It's the battle of the wicketkeepers there, Parthiv Patel v Wriddhiman Saha. Also, just a reminder that Mumbai are not playing this round of matches.
In Hyderabad, Saurashtra have won the toss and chosen to bat. Another big score from that everybody's favourite allrounder, Ravindra Jadeja?
9.10am Over in Delhi, in a match between two big teams, Delhi have chosen to field against a Baroda which is missing both the Pathan brothers. Ambati Rayudu is the Baroda captain, the first time he is leading a team in first-class cricket. In team news, Rajat Bhatia and Ashish Nehra are back in the Delhi team.
8.50am Greetings, welcome to Round three of the Ranji Trophy. The previous round was totally dominated by the batsmen, with as many as 34 centuries scored (!), with scorelines 600/9 dec v 716 for 3 and 764 for 6 dec v 669 for 7.
Amol Karhadkar, who brought us this cracking Suresh Raina interview from Pune last week, now finds himself in Jaipur, covering Rajasthan v Madhya Pradesh. He informs me that Rajasthan have won the toss and decided to field.
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo