Ranji round-up, Plate Group, 4th round, 1st day December 14, 2004

A day for low totals

Cricinfo staff

Jharkhand 147 for 2 (Dhoni 113*) lead Orissa 110 (Rao 6-28) by 37 runs

An aggressive unbeaten 113 by Mahendra Dhoni put Jharkhand in command on the opening day of their encounter with Orissa at Jamshedpur. Orissa were dismissed for 110 after a six-wicket haul by Shekhar Rao, and 2 for 27 by Sumit Panda. Debasis Mohanty struck back at Jharkhand though, dismissing both openers for very little. From then on the bowlers had no answers to Dhoni's boundary-filled batting, and Jharkhand raced to 147 for 2. Just how dominant was Dhoni today? Of the the 105 runs he put on with Rajiv Kumar for the third wicket, Kumar's share was 15.

Himachal Pradesh 85 for 2 trail Jammu & Kashmir 95 (Bhatia 4-7) by 8 runs

Himachal Pradesh were poised to overtake Jammu and Kashmir's inadequate first-innings score of 93 and take complete control of the game at Dharamasala. Himachal, at 85 for 2, were led by Sandeep Sharma, who made 46 before Abid Nabi bowled him, while Sangram Singh remained unbeaten on 23. Earlier, Vishal Bhatia dismissed four lower-order batsmen, as Jammu and Kashmir lost their last five wickets for seven runs.

Saurashtra 146 for 6 lead Kerala 117 (Maniar 6-55) by 29 runs

Sandip Maniar picked up his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket to help Saurashtra bundle Kerala out for 117 at Palakkad. Kerala then fought back to have their opponents at 146 for 6. Maniar struck on the fourth ball of the morning, and then picked wickets regularly, not allowing the batsmen to build on their starts. He ended with 6 for 55. But, like Kerala (1 for 2 and 37 for 3), Saurashtra too had a rocky start (34 for 3). However, a patient 45 by Sagar Jogiyani and a couple of 20s by middle-order batsmen helped them take the lead.

Vidarbha 42 for 5 trail Haryana 154 by 112 runs

Haryana were skittled for 154 by Vidarbha at Nagpur, but struck back hard to have their opponents reeling at 42 for 5. A few Haryana batsmen got off to starts but could not push on from there as the bowlers plugged away and picked wickets at regular intervals. The highest stand of the innings was the 54 that Shafiq Khan (18) and Deepak Joon (29) put on for the seventh wicket. When Vidarbha came out, a torrid reception was in store. Joginder Sharma and Sachin Rana shared five wickets to reduce them to 18 for 5. Only Amit Deshpande survived, scoring a defiant 24.

Tripura 182 for 7 (Prasanna 82*, Sharma 4-61) v Services

Ramaswamy Prasanna held Tripura together with an unbeaten 84 as they scraped to 182 for 7 at Agartala. Arun Sharma led the way for Services with 4 for 61, and had the batsmen in serious trouble at 98 for 6. But Rajib Dutta hung around, and added 47 with Prasanna before departing. Services were denied a further breakthrough because Tushar Saha, unbeaten on 14, added another 37 runs with Prasanna.

Rajasthan 43 for 0 trail Goa 198 (Mathur 6-40) by 155 runs

After dismissing Goa for 198, Rajasthan made steady progress at Jaipur, reaching 43 without loss. Sumit Mathur notched up his best figures in first-class cricket with 6 for 40 to send Goa tumbling. Among his victims was Swapnil Asnodkar, the captain, who scored 59, and Amit Dani (38). By the end of the day Rajasthan were 155 runs behind, but with all their wickets intact.