Ranji Trophy 2003-04 December 1, 2003

Jaffer and Manhas slam hundreds

Mumbai236 for 3 (Jaffer 143) v Andhra
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Mumbai vindicated their decision to bat first as they finished the first day at Vijayawada in a comfortable position against Andhra. Wasim Jaffer carried on his sparkling form this season, and helped himself to another century. His innings contained 13 fours, but he was out at the fag end of the day. Bhavin Thakkar scored a patient 47, as Andhra tried eight bowlers.

Delhi 274 for 7 (Manhas 129, Varun Kumar 50*) v Punjab
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Mithun Manhas led from the front with a fine century, but Delhi lost wickets with regularity at the other end, and frittered away a chance to post a mammoth total at Chandigarh. After reducing Delhi to 37 for 4, Punjab's bowlers had partly justified their captain's decision to bowl first, but Manhas got support from Pradeep Chawla (39) and Varun Kumar to take them towards respectability. Gagandeep Singh scalped three victims, while Vineet Sharma and Amit Uniyal picked up two each.

Assam 33 for 1 trail Bengal 246 (Shukla 82, Haldipur 67) by 213 runs
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After opting to field first, Assam gained the upper hand by restricting Bengal to 246 on the first day at Kolkata. Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who is having a great time with the bat, top-scored with 82 while the other notable contribution came from Nikhil Haldipur. The Assam bowlers stuck to their task with Gautam Dutta and Arnald Konwar snapping up three wickets each.

Tamil Nadu 252 for 6 (Sharath 97*, Vidyut 50) v Gujarat
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Sridharan Sharath propelled Tamil Nadu to a decent score at stumps on the first day against Gujarat at Ahmedabad. He spent close to four hours in the middle and was still unbeaten at the end of the day. Vidyut Shivaramakrishnan's half-century was a valuable contribution which included six fours and a six.

Karnataka 64 for 3 trail Hyderabad 177 (Vinay Kumar 65) by 113 runs
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Hyderabad were shot out for 177 on the first day of their Elite Group match against Karnataka at the Gymkhana ground in Hyderabad. After Hyderabad decided to bat first, Vinay Kumar's half-century was the lone spark in a faltering effort as Narvanda Aiyappa derailed the innings with three wickets. Karnataka lost three wickets when they batted, but Barrington Rowland held the fort with a sedate 25 not out.

Uttar Pradesh 16 for 2 trail Railways 137 (Bangar 51) by 121 runs
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Sanjay Bangar's half-century prevented a complete fiasco as Railways caved in for a paltry 137 against UP at Varanasi. None of the other batsmen passed 20 with Ashish Zaidi, Praveen Gupta and S Shukla grabbing seven wickets between them. UP lost two early wickets in their reply, and an early finish is surely on the cards.

Kerala 207 for 7 (Hemanth Kumar 66) v Baroda
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Baroda gained the upper hand as Kerala gave a tame display on the first day at Vadodara. Barring Hemanth Kumar, who made a gritty 66, the rest found no answers to Rakesh Patel (2 for 68) and Tushar Arothe (3 for 48). Irfan Pathan Sr and Shekhar Joshi picked up a wicket each as Kerala rued their decision to bat first in the morning.

Plate Championship 2nd Round

Orissa 160 for 4 (Parida 81) lead Maharashtra 77 (Mohanty 5-24) by 83 runs
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To be shot out for 77 on the first morning after winning the toss and batting first is almost unthinkable. But that's what happened to Maharastra, who were without the controversial Abhijit Kale, as they collapsed in 35.1 overs with only three batsmen reaching double figures against Orissa at Cuttack. Debasis Mohanty, the former Indian swing bowler, tore through the soft underbelly of the batting order and grabbed five wickets. When Orissa batted, Rashmi Ranjan Parida anchored the innings with 81, and made a second consecutive victory of the season a distinct possibility.

Haryana 242 for 3 (Chetan Sharma 74, Sunny Singh 67) v Tripura
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Haryana opted to take first strike and made it count when they finished in a commanding position at stumps on the first day against Tripura at Rohtak. Chtean Sharma and Sunny Singh hit eight fours apiece, and laid the base for what could be a massive total.

Vidharbha 287 for 5 (Deshpande 126, Vivek Naidu 64*, Alind Naidu 50) v Madhya Pradesh
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Amit Deshpande's fine hundred and half-centuries by the two Naidus, Vivek and Alind, were the highlights of the first day's play between Vidharbha and MP at Indore. Deshpande's 204-ball innings contained 17 fours and a six.

Goa 3 for 0 trail Services 212 by 209 runs
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Goa's bowlers justified the decision to bowl first as Services were restricted to 212 on the first day at Panjim. Yashpal Singh top-scored for Services with 47, as most of the batsmen threw it away after getting good starts.

Jammu & Kashmir 56 for 5 trail Bihar 172 (Dhoni 64) by 116 runs
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Bihar collapsed to a small total, but hit back by picking up five wickets on the first day against J&K at Jammu. Only Mahendra Dhoni, the opener, provided much resistance in a meek batting display. But J&K were even worse, with Shahid Khan's 4 for 10 making them lose their way.

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