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November 8, 2003
L Balaji: decimated Karnataka on their home turf
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Mumbai v Baroda Baroda 213 all out (Mongia 74, Salvi 5-42)
A disciplined spell of seam bowling by Aavishkar Salvi helped reigning champions Mumbai bundle out Baroda for 213 on the first day of the Ranji Trophy at the Wankhede Stadium. Salvi was ably supported by Ramesh Powar, who disturbed the batsmen with his bounce off the wicket. All the Baroda batsmen, barring Nayan Mongia, were visibly rusty and played some irresponsible shots to throw away their wickets. It was Mongia's spirited 74 that prevented a batting debacle but Mumbai held all the aces at the end of the first day.
Uttar Pradesh v Delhi Delhi 267 for 2 (Gambhir 147, Oberoi 80)
Gautam Gambhir's classy 147, and a 231 runs opening partnership with Salil Oberoi (80) sent Uttar Pradesh on a leather hunt, as Delhi finished the first day on a commanding 267 for 2. Ajay Jadeja, playing for Delhi, made a comeback into domestic cricket after three years after being cleared of his match-fixing charges. Gambhir hit 17 boundaries as Delhi laid the foundation for a massive total at the Green Park stadium at Kanpur.
Gujarat v Hyderabad Hyderabad 240 for 7 (Nandkishore 49, Timil Patel 3-43)
Vinay Kumar hit a battling 75 as Hyderabad struggled to 240 for 7 on the first day against Gujarat at Motera in Ahmedabad. A Nandkishore contributed with a useful 49 as the visitors reached a semblance of respectability. For Gujarat the two Patels shared the bowling honours with medium pacer Lalit and legspinner Timil taking three wickets each.
Kerala v Punjab Punjab 305 for 2 (Mongia 115*, Ricky 125)
Dinesh Mongia, Punjab's captain, and Ravneet Ricky enjoyed a run feast as Punjab ended the first day on a commanding 305 for 2 against Kerala at Palakkad. Ricky's 125 included 16 boundaries and a six while Mongia remained unbeaten on 115 off 165 balls as they bludgeoned a hapless attack into submission. Kerala's vice-captain, Sreekumar Nair, picked up both the wickets that fell in the day, but that was a stray oasis in an otherwise barren desert.
Rajasthan v Bengal Rajasthan 205 for 6 (Khoda 86, Paul 4-52)
Bengal opening bowler Shiv Shankar Paul exploited helpful conditions as Rajasthan were restricted to 205 for 6 on the first day of the Ranji Trophy match at Jaipur. Gagan Khoda hit a patient 86 and put on a useful 82 runs with Nikhil Doru for the third wicket, but that was the only partnership worthy of mention. Paul justified his captains decision to bowl first on a seaming track and pitched the ball in the right areas to be duly rewarded.
Karnataka v Tamil Nadu Karnataka 208 all out (Balaji 4-51, Ramkumar 4-42)
L.Balaji staked his claim for the tour of Australia with a fine four-wicket haul while left arm spinner Ramkumar claimed a hat trick as Karnataka were skittled out for 208 in the first day against Tamil Nadu. The story of the woeful batting is clearly told by the highest contributer to the total - extras, with 49. Sunil Joshi scored a quickfire 46 but that was the only ray of hope in an irresponsible batting display. Ramkumar polished off the last three batsmen for his hat trick and with Balaji giving a disciplined performance Tamil Nadu began their campaign in right earnest.
Railways v Andhra Pradesh Andhra 235 for 7 (MSK Prasad 61)
Railways stuck manfully to their task and restricted Andhra Pradesh to 235 for 7 on the first day at Delhi. After opting to bat on a docile track the Andhra top order gifted their wickets with only MSK Prasad saving the blushes with a fighting 61, helped by some plucky lower order hitting. Harvinder Singh took two wickets and was ably supported by all the bowlers, who hardly gave anything away.
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is on the staff of Wisden Cricinfo.
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