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5pm What an action-packed day. Result-oriented pitches at most venues and wickets have been a-fallin'. Centuries for Parthiv Patel, CM Gautam and Stuart Binny too. In Cuttack, 15 wickets fell, 11 in Mumbai, 10 in Delhi and nine in Rajkot. Expect more breathless action tomorrow. I will see you early in the morning. Cheers
Brief scores - scroll down for text updates
Saurashtra (toss) 212 for 9 (Vasavada 54, Jackson 53, Pandey 3-37) v MP in Rajkot
Mumbai (toss) 24 for 1 trail Gujarat 244 (Parthiv Patel 101) by 220 in Mumbai
Railways 214 for 9 (Paunikar 50) v Bengal (toss) in Kolkata
Rajasthan 274 for 5 (Saxena 84) v Hyderabad (toss) in Jaipur
Odisha (toss) 70 for 5 trail UP 160 (Deepak Behera 6-37) by 90 in Cuttack
Delhi (toss) 254 for 4 (Chand 82) v Vidarbha in Nagpur
Karnataka 306 for 4 (Gautam 132*, Binny 115*) v Maharashtra (toss) in Pune
No play on day one between Tamil Nadu and Haryana in Chennai
Andhra 249 for 7 (Muzumdar 99*) v Kerala (toss) in Cuddapah
Goa 264 for 3 (Amogh Desai 101*, Kamat 70) v Assam (toss) in Porvorim
Jharkhand (toss) 4 for 0 trail Services 185 (Chatterjee 97, Ajay Yadav 5-30) by 181 in in Delhi
No play on day one between J&K and Tripura in Jammu
4.55pm - And again a wicket off the last ball Reports Amol Karhadkar from Mumbai: "Huge appeal off the last ball of the day. Kaustubh Pawar bat-pads it and the man at forward short leg takes an acrobatic catch. And the umpire raises his finger after ages. That's stumps. Mumbai 24 for 1"
And yet another. In the relegation contest in Jaipur, Hrishikesh Kanitkar has fallen last ball, bowled by Hyderabad's MP Arjun. Rajasthan 274 for 5 after being put in
Other stumps scored updated at the top of the page
4.50pm - Services bowled out Despite opener Soumik Chatterjee's 97, Services have been rolled over for 185 by Jharkhand. Ajay Yadav took 5 for 30.
In Porvorim, Amogh Desai retired-hurt when on 56, but has come back and scored a hundred to put Goa in a strong position of 274 for 3 at stumps
In the important Group B match in Nagpur, Delhi finish the first day at 254 for 4 on a flat wicket. Unmukt Chand fell for 82, and Mohit Sharma and Mithun Manhas scored fifties
4.45pm - Amol Karhadkar in Mumbai
With three overs remaining in the day, Parthiv Patel introduces the spin of left-armer Rakesh Dhurv, the most successful spinner of the season. Mumbai are 18 for no loss
4.40pm - Amol Muzumdar running out of partners again Muzumdar is not out on 99, but wickets are falling fast at the other end. Andhra 249 for 7. It's KJ Rajesh who has taken the last two. Bad light has forced early end to day's play, and Muzumdar will have to spend the night on 99 not out
4.35pm - Stumps in Cuttack On a crazy day, 15 wickets have fallen. UP lost their 120 for 160, but Odisha have lost five of theirs already for 70. This pitch is a beauty, and we should be done in two-and-a-half days
4.30pm - Stumps in Rajkot Kamlesh Makvana, who will have a big role to play with the ball has contributed with the bat first - as he has been doing previously too. He ends the day unbeaten on 41, taking Saurashtra to 212 for 9. However, MP will not be too disappointed: they have ended another session with a wicket off the last ball. And kt's that man Rameez Khan again.
4.25pm - Hundred for Binny too Staurt Binny joins CM Gautam as centurions on day one. That is a superb recovery for Karnataka, who were 91 for 4 at one stage. They are 271 for 4 now
4.15pm - Railways lose three more Murali Kartik falls just short of fifty, in the last over of the day, Railways' ninth wicket to fall. They are 214 for 9. This is also stumps.
4.11pm - Welcome back, Sudeep Tyagi Tyagi has ripped out the big one, Niranjan Behera. Are we headed for a two-day finish in Cuttack? Odisha 49 for 5
4.10pm - In Cuttack, wickets keep a-fallin' Odisha might have bowled UP out for 160, but they have themselves lost four for 46. Imtiaz has two, Rajpoot has one, and one has been run out. This is some match
4.05pm - The other wicketkeeper-batsman falls Parthiv Patel goes. Reports Amol Karhadkar: "And Parthiv's splendid knock comes to an out. He tries to hit Javed Khan inside out but times it straight to sweeper cover. Parthiv Patel c Patil (Jr) b Javed 101, 146b, 215m, 12x4 Gujarat 243 for 9"
PS: "Zaheer takes a skier running backwards to end Gujarat innings for 244"
4pm - A day for wicketkeeper-batsmen Now it's CM Gautam with a century scored under pressure. He, like Parthiv, has had a big season too, and is one of the bright spots for Karnataka. With him is allrounder and captain Stuart Binny, who has his 86 off 109 balls. Karnataka 245 for 4 after being 91 for 4 at one stage
3.55pm - Parthiv Patel gets first ton of the round But he is running out of partners. Reports Amol Karhadkar: "And Parthiv's single with a defensive push earns him a deserving century - his third of the season. 142b, 12x4. 242 for 7. And the next ball, Javed Khan gets Rush Kalaria caught in the slip cordon."
3.50pm - Amol Muzumdar first to 9k Amol Karhadkar has just pointed out that Amol Muzumdar became the first man to 9000 Ranji runs when he reached 68. he is now unbeaten on 85, with Andhra at 229 for 5. Once again, Muzumdar has helped rescue his adopted Ranji side
3.45pm - And Mumbai drop another catch Reports Amol Karhadkar: "And Jaffer grasses one in the slips! Ankeet Chavan flighted one and Rush Kalaria edged it but Jaffer couldn't collect it to help Kalaria get off the mark."
3.35pm - Amol karhadkar in Mumbai
Zaheer Khan has a looooooong chat with Ankeet Chavan and makes a fielding change. Two balls later, Rakesh Dhurv falls into the trap and offers a skier to Zaheer at mid-off. Gujarat 232 for 7
3.30pm - Amol Karhadkar in Mumbai
Parthiv Patel is going after Ankeet Chavan. In the left-arm spinner's last over, Patel charged down to hit him for a one-bounced four over mid-off. And now he drives him through covers for a boundary and follows it up with a cut through point for a brace. Patel on 90, Gujarat 223 for 6
3.25pm - No play in Chennai and Jammu Rain has washed out the first day of cricket in both Chennai and Jammu. Chennai rain is not unexpected at all. After all there is international cricket scheduled in the city tomorrow
3.22pm - Abhishek Purohit has seen a wicket too In Rajkot, Ankit Sharma gets Aarpit Vasawada with a ball that turns in sharply from outside off, and the batsman is caught on the crease. However, Vasawada has scored a vital 54 in Saurashtra's 170 for 7
3.20pm - Nayar to Mumbai's aid again The golden arm strikes again, shouts Amol Karhadkar. Rujul Bhatt caught in front. Gujarat 205 for 6. Patel not out on 77
3.15pm - Cuttack chaos continues After being bowled out for 160, UP have removed Odisha openers for 18 runs on the board. Rajpoot and Imtiaz have taken the wickets. Tyagi yet to bowl
3.10pm "Hi Siddharth, With Abhishek Purohit at Rajkot, should I expect a decent report on the macth every evening or will it be some 5 lines like every other Ranji Match we have been used to." Sachin, yes expect proper reports from Rajkot and Mumbai
3.05pm - Chatterjee keeps Services fighting Soumik Chatterjee, the Services opener, has stood tall in the face of the Jharkhand juggernaut. He is unbeaten on 71 out of a score of 130 for 5
2.40pm - Chand misses ton Unmukt Chand has fallen for 82 on a flat Nagpur pitch. Shreekant Wagh takes the wicket. Delhi 185 for 2
This is also tea or near about tea. Scores are being updated at the top of the page. I will be back before you realise
2.30pm - Behera does UP Deepak Behera has taken six wickets to bowl the group leaders UP out for 160. Tea taken in Cuttack
2.25pm - Amol karhadkar in Mumbai
As they have consistently been doing all through the season, Mumbai drop the best opposition batsman. Dhawal Kulkarni gets an edge off Parthiv's willow but Hiken Shah makes a mess of it at first slip. Parthiv on 64, Gujarat 184 for 4. Three weeks ago, Mumbai dropped Mandeep Singh on 67, 73 and 93, the Punjab batsman piled on a double hundred. Will Parthiv do a Mandeep?
And he follows up with this: "And the action doesn't stop at DY Patil stadium. Ankeet Chavan gets rid of Chirag Gandhi. Gujarat 186 for 5"
2.05pm - Parthiv Patel highest run-getter this season Says Amol karhadkar: "Parthiv Patel guides Javed Khan to the third-man boundary to raise his fifty and surpass Ravindra Jadeja's tally of 794 runs this season. And he follows it up with an exquisite cover drive that helps him become the first batsman to score 800 runs this season. Parthiv on 55, Gujarat 165 for 4."
1.50pm - Manu Krishnan takes one more In Cuddapah, Kerala are running through the Andhra batting with Amol Muzumdar providing the only resistance. Andhra 139 for 5
1.45pm - Chirag Jani loses the plot In Rajkot, after a 36-run stand, Chirag Jani charges down blindly to Ankit Sharma and misses. Saurashtra 130 for 6
Adds the insightful Abhishek Purohit: "Saurashtra will miss Nayan Doshi. the left arm spinner who got hit by a Jaydev Shah stroke during practice yesterday. Arrived today at the ground with a heavily bandaged left hand. Out for five weeks. And it was one of the last few deliveries of the session that got him."
1.40pm - Amol Karhadkar in Mumbai
Zaheer does the trick for Mumbai. He bounces one to Manprit Juneja, and the batsman fails to keep the hook shot on the ground and it sails to at Javed Khan deep fine leg. Gujarat 146 for 4
And he adds: "Zaheer stretched his calf before bowling a trademark inswinger to the new man Chirag Gandhi. But considering that he has bowled seven overs on a trot, it's bound to take a toll on his body."
1.35pm - Deepak Behera runs through UP With the wicket of Imtiaz Ahmed, Deepak Behera has five wickets for just 30 runs. UP 125 for 8. That's his second first-class five-for
1.32pm - They're playing our song In Rajkot, when the frequency and volume of songs played in the press box increases as the run rate falls. With Saurashtra going at 2.5 an over, you can imagine the song. Saurashtra 126 for 5
1.30pm - Down to Amol again Manu Krishnan takes the fourth wicket for Kerala. Amol Muzumdar 36 not out. Andhra 126 for 4
1.25pm - Odisha on fire Deepak Behera has four wickets, and UP are 117 for 7. What a last round. Result p[itches everywhere
1.22pm - Services down too Not a good day for departmental teams. Services are collapsing against Jharkhand. From 43 for 0 to 66 for 5. It's Ajay yadav doing the damage with sensational figures of 15-7-17-4
1.20pm - Railways coming down like a house of cards There is no stopping the fall of wickets in Kolkata. They have last six wickets for 40 runs to be down at 125 for 6. Shib Shankar Paul, nicknames Macko in the Bengal dressing room, is back and has taken a wicket. Sourav Sarkar has two.
1.15pm - Great news from Rajkot Abhishek Purohit has found a desk, and has also been served a great meal: batata bhaji, vaal nu shaak, dal, rice, dahi, rotis, papad, salad, small gulabjamuns, and chicken curry. "I avoided chicken, rice, papad and gulabjamun," he says.
1.12pm - Run-out in Pune karnataka singking again. Their fourth wicket has fallen to a run-out. Ganesh Satish gone. Karnataka 110 for 4
1.10pm - Odisha keep picking up wickets And now Deepak Behera has broken through a stubborn sixth-wicket partnership. Ali Murtaza, centurion from the last game, is gone. UP 116 for 6
1pm - Observations from Abhishek Purohit, who is still struggling for a desk in RajkotHasn't been a real turner, but balls have kept low and hurried on, especially off the spinners, who bowled 24.2 of the 36.2 overs in the first session.
Amol Karhadkar, meanwhile, is enjoying good facilities in Mumbai, and has had butter chicken, palak paneer, dal fry, chapatis, steamed rice and gulab jamun for lunch. Hope he stays awake in the middle session.
12.40pm - Railways collapsing in Kolkata Railways have lost two wickets each either side of lunch to go from 85 for 0 to 107 for 4
Noon - Other lunch updates The scores will be updated at the top of the page, but here are a few important text updates.
From Amol in Mumbai first: "And Mumbai have struck again at the stroke of lunch. Bhargav Merai calls Parthiv Patel for a quick single after nudging the ball on the off side but Dhawal Kulkarni gets a direct hit. It's referred to the third umpire and Merai is found short of his crease. That's lunch. Gujarat 107 for 3"
Wickets falling everywhere at the stroke of lunch. In Pune, Karnataka have lost Kunal Kapoor, who last week became the first Karnataka batsman to score hundreds in each innings of a Ranji match. They are now 86 for 3
Rajasthan, too, have lost Robin Bisht to a run-out just before lunch - 92 for 2 now
And Services follow the trend and have gone to 50 for 3 just before lunch
No more success for Kerala. Andhra 96 for 3
11.58am - Big blow just before lunch in Rajkot Before the buttermilk and Kathiawadi food, Saurashtra have lost the big wicket of Sheldon Jackson. Rameez Khan knocks back the middle stump in the last over before lunch. Saurashtra 94 for 5 now
11.55am - Over to Pune Karnataka, who still have an outside chance to make it to the quarters, have recovered against relegation candidates Maharashtra. From 18 for 2 they have reached 80 for 2 thanks to the stand between Kunal Kapoor and CM Gautam
11.50am - Intriguing contest in Delhi Services, fighting to hold on to their lead, and Jharkhand, desperate to win to reach that top two, are engaged in a keen tense tussle in Delhi. Services began cautiously after being put in, but have lost two quick wickets to be reduced 44 for 2 from 29 overs
11.40am - Abhishek Purohit from Rajkot He might not have got a desk to sit, but Abhishek Purohit is keeping us updated. Here: "Sheldon fifty with a cut to point boundary and a driven single to extra cover. He has been positive throughout, with a couple of very tough return catches out down. Saurashtra 87 for 4."
11.33am - Lunch in the east In Cuttack, UP go into lunch at 85 for 5
And in Kolkata, Railways have lost the other opener - Shivakant Shukla - too to be 99 for 2
11.30am - Amol Karhadkar in MumbaiDhawal Kulkarni strikes for Mumbai. He entices Samit Gohel into a drive and manages to catch the nick of his blade. Aditya Tare does the rest behind the stumps. Gujarat 89 for 2
11.25 am - Off to relegation contest In Jaipur, Hyderabad and Rajasthan are locked in a contest to avoid relegation. Ashish Reddy has just interrupted the defending champions' solid start. Rajasthan 61 for 1
11.15am - Delhi off to solid start In a big Group B match that Delhi and Vidarbha ideally need to win, Nagpur has rolled out a flat pitch where batsmen are playing without fear. Finally, though, Shikhar Dhawan has fallen to a loose stroke outside off, without foot movement and dragging it on. Delhi 72 for 1. Sandeep Singh has the wicket
11.10am - Amol Karhadkar from MumbaiA family of four climbs more than 100 steps only to find out they have entered the media enclosure. Since they are first-timers at the venue, they didn't know there's an elevator to the media centre. Moreover, they have to take the long walk to the stands, since the organisers (rightly) refuse to accommodate them in the media centre.
11am - Good news for UP UP may be losing wickets in Cuttack, but Srinivasan Raju, our know-all scorer, has just observed that Sudeep Tyagi is back for them. UP have already qualified, so it is good news for them to have a solid fast bowler back for the knockouts.
Meanwhile, Odisha are running through them. UP have gone from 59 for 0 to 72 for 5. Deepak Behera and Biplab Samantray have taken two each. Even Kaif is gone
10.45am - Solid start for Railways Railways still have an outside chance of progressing, and they have giving themselves a good start. Put in to bat, Amit Paunikar and Shivakant Shukla have taken them to 84 for 0 in 24 overs. Paunikar is not out on 50
10.40am - Fifty-nine is the number for Odisha On the same score of 59, Odisha have taken the third wicket. Three overs, zero runs, three wickets. Deepak Behera has two, Biplab Samantray one. Kaif still unbeaten
10.35am - Exceptionally slow start in Delhi Services, leaders in Group C, have begun their final league match with extreme caution. Asked to bat first, they have reached 13 for 0 in 13.4 overs. If Services lose this match outright, they leave their fate in the hand of other results. Ideally they will like three points from this match, but even one point will do them a lot of good
10.30am - Things begin to happen in Cuttack After a solid start, UP have lost both the openers at the same score: 59. It's a green track in Cuttack, Odisha have won the toss, and they will want to max that advantage
Meanwhile, Amol Karhadkar, who has been watching Zaheer Khan closely, sends this: "After bowling a short four-over spell, Zaheer Khan changes end for a second spell"
10.25am - Sandeep Warrier keeps on striking Kerala's Sandeep Warrier, who has been the central point of Kerala's resurgence this year, has taken two early wickets in Vijayawada to reduce Andhra to 24 for 2. If Kerala win this game, Andhra are out of it, and Kerala give themselves a great chance. Long way to go still
10.23am - Amol Karhadkar in MumbaiSamit Gohel flicks Javed Khan through midwicket for a boundary to raise Gujarat's fifty. They are 51 for 1
10.15am - Pandey on fire And Pandey has struck one more blow. Captain Jaydev Shah gone too. Middle stump put of the ground. While walking back, Jaydev Shah stares at the pitch. Father Niranjan Shah watches on
10.10am - Spin on in Rajkot We were expecting this sooner or later, and spin has been introduced to the match as early as the eighth over, says Abhishek Purohit. Ankit Sharma to bowl left-arm spin now. But its the pace of the impressive Ishwar pandey that has got the big wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara, who tried to flick one but the ball stopped on him. Saurashtra 37 for 2 in the ninth over
9.55am - Zaheer has struck already Zaheer Khan struck form in the last game, and continues striking for Mumbai. Smit Patel trapped lbw. Gujarat 25 for 1
9.45am - Abhishek Purohit in RajkotAnand Rajan has got Shitanshu Kotak lbw after he was dropped by Naman Ojha off Ishwar Pandey in the first over of the match.
9.40am - Amol Karhadkar in Mumbai He has changed trains, caught the Harbour line, and has finally made it to DY Patil Stadium. Here's what he sees: "To be precise, five spectators in a stadium with a capacity of 55,000 as Dhawal Kulkarni starts the proceedings against U-19 star Smit Patel with a maiden. Two canges for Mumbai: Dhawal Kulkarni comes in for Ajit Agarkar while Nikhil Patil (Jr), a top-order batsman, replaces left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla."
9.30am - Saurashtra bat first In Rajkot, where a square turner is expected, Saurashtra have won the important toss and are batting first against MP. They need an outright win, a first-innings lead will do for MP
9.25am - Zaheer captains Mumbai As revealed by Amol Karhadkar last night, Zaheer Khan is captaining Mumbai for this big game. Ajit Agarkar is out with an injury. Zaheer has won the toss, and asked Gujarat to bat first. It's a game where a first-innings lead might be enough for either side
9.15am - Early start in east As usual, action has already begun in Cuttack where Odisha need an outright win against the table toppers, UP. We have been hearing of a green pitch. Odisha have won the toss, and inserted UP, who are 7 for 0 right now
And by the way, for all those who are asking, BCCI and the TV channel with rights to produce Indian cricket don't deem important Ranji Trophy's most exciting round. So we will get even BBL, but not Ranji Trophy on TV
9am This is a surreal weekend. A New Year's weekend. First-class cricketers in India, however, are away from families and friends - like they were over Christmas - to play the most important - at least the most exciting - round of Ranji Trophy. This is the last round, teams have a vague idea of what they need to do to progress further, but they all can't be sure. One thing I can assure is that results pitches will be made, support staff will be on the phone checking on what is happening in other matches.
S Rajesh has tried to draw up a basic outline of what teams from Group A, Group B and Group C need to do. Abhishek Purohit has already witnessed a dry pitch in Rajkot, where Saurashtra need an outright win and MP need three points. I know Tamil Nadu and Odisha are going for result pitches too.
This is exciting. Punjab and UP are through to the quarters, but every other place is open. The beauty of it all is that unlike in ICC events these matches will be played simultaneously, so no team has an unfair advantage.
Right, we will get all the possible news as soon as possible. Helping me with these updates will be Amol Karhadkar, Abhishek Purohit and Srinivasan Raju
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
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