Jaffer gets Mumbai off to an emphatic start
Mumbai began their defence of the Ranji Trophy on an emphatic note as Wasim Jaffer's cracking 157 took them to 261 for 3 at the end of the first day against Railways. Electing to bat first at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi, Mumbai lost Vinayak Mane in just the third over of the day. But Jaffer feasted on the bowling, hammering 20 fours and a six, and shared two crucial partnerships with Vinit Indulkar and Amol Muzumdar (62 not out) before he was out just before stumps were drawn. Exactly eight years to this day, Jaffer was in record-breaking form as he made a fantastic 314, his maiden century, against Saurashtra at Rajkot in just his second first-class game. Today's knock might have been just half of that score, but it was enough to get Mumbai off to a roaring start.
Only 43 overs were possible at Chennai as Hyderabad struggled to 83 for 5 after choosing to bat first against Tamil Nadu. Ramakrishnan Ramkumar, a left-arm spinner, was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 25 in his 16 overs.
Delhi took control at Ahmedabad as Gujarat were bundled out for 214 with Amit Bhandari finishing with 3 for 39. Gautam Gambhir then got Delhi off to a rollicking start, as they ended with 49 for 1.
At Indore, Venugopal Rao, who was picked in the Board President's squad to play South Africa, began the season with an unbeaten 112 against Madhya Pradesh as Andhra Pradesh finished the first day on 266 for 6.
Gagandeep Singh and Rajesh Sharma helped Punjab restrict Uttar Pradesh to 239 for 8 at the end of the first day at Mohali. Both picked up three wickets apiece as Punjab made the most of fielding first in the opening game. R Prakash, the UP opener, made a painstaking 96, off 261 balls, and was unbeaten at the end of the day.
Arindam Das and Deep Dasgupta, the Bengal openers, got their team off to a great start against Karnataka in Kolkata. Das began the season with 111 while Dasgupta fell just two short of a hundred as the two added 199 for the first wicket. However, Dodda Ganesh, the former Indian medium pacer, led the Karnataka fightback as Bengal finished the day on 275 for 6. Sourav Ganguly, strangely not captaining the side, was unbeaten on 12.
Assam struggled to 209 for 6 against Baroda at Guwahati. Rakesh Patel, the medium pacer, finished with 3 for 59 as Baroda held the edge when stumps were drawn.