Badrinath and Badani propel TN to commanding total
Tamil Nadu 261 for 2 (Badrinath 113*, Badani 91*) v Delhi
An unbeaten third-wicket partnership of 193 between Subramaniam Badrinath and Hemang Badani took Tamil Nadu to an imposing 261 for 2 at stumps on the first day's play against Delhi at Chennai. Badrinath, the TN captain, brought up his seventh first-class hundred late into the day, while Badani, who only recently relinquished the captaincy, followed up a big hundred in his last game with a composed 91 today. Coming together with TN's score on 68 for 2 following the dismissal of Sridharan Sriram - bowled by Chaitanya Nanda for 43 - Badrinath and Badani defied the Delhi attack for the rest of the day to put TN in the driving seat.
Gujarat 6 for 0 trail Karnataka 163 (Chipli 76, Trivedi 4-49, Majmudar 4-34) by 157 runs
Siddharth Trivedi and Hitesh Majmudar, the Gujarat fast bowlers, shared the spoils of a poor Karnataka innings at Ahmedabad before Gujarat's openers took their side to six without loss at stumps. Both Trivedi and Majmudar were in good form on the opening day, striking key blows to reign in Karnataka's in-form batting order. Only Bharat Chipli, with a commanding 76 off 93 deliveries, and Stuart Binny (45), son of Roger Binny the former Indian allrounder, stood out for Karnataka. Subtract Chipli's counterattack, and this substandard total would have been a lot worse.
Hyderabad 28 for 1 trail Baroda 201 (Yusuf Pathan 72, Williams 63, Absolem 4-51) by 201 runs
Alfred Absolem's maiden four-wicket haul reduced the strong Baroda batting order to 229 on the opening day at Vadodara before Hyderabad negotiated the remaining overs of the day to remain on 28 for 1. With names like Satyajit Parab, Jacob Martin and Kiran Powar all coming a cropper, it was left to Connor Williams, Baroda's veteran opener, and Yusuf Pathan, with only 13 matches under his belt, to provide the damage control. Williams was aided well by Pinal Shah (41), Baroda's young wicketkeeper, in a 99-run stand following Parab's dismissal for 5, but following the loss of four quick wickets, Baroda were left in tatters. It was then that Pathan, 23, stepped up and produced a fine innings that took his side past 200. Once he departed, bowled by the hard-working Kaushik Reddy (3 for 58), Baroda's tail folded and Hyderabad could look back at a fine day at the office.
Mumbai 20 for 2 trail Maharashtra 213 (Bahutule 45*, R Verma 4-54) by 193 runs
Rajesh Verma achieved his first bowling performance of note for Mumbai as Maharashtra were bowled out for 213 on the opening day of the final-round Ranji Elite Group matches at the Wankhede Stadium. Maharashtra struck back, however, picking up Mumbai's openers to leave them stuttering on 20 for 2, still 193 runs in arrears. Verma, 24, picked up three quick wickets in the morning session before snapping a 64-run eight-wicket stand by having Suyash Burkul leg before for 29. Sairaj Bahutule, forced to retire hurt when on 44, returned to the wicket towards the end of Maharashtra's innings but could only add a further one run to his name as Nilesh Kulkarni, Mumbai's veteran left-arm spinner, cleaned up the tail.
Services 226 for 5 (S Upadhaya 92, Sarabjit Singh 78*) v Haryana
S Upadhaya fell eight runs short of a deserved maiden hundred, but his 173-run partnership with Sarabjit Singh was enough to overcome an early collapse and take Services to 226 for 5 at stumps against Haryana. Precariously placed at 43 for 4 following a fine opening spell from Joginder Sharma and Sachin Rana, Services were given a splendid recovery from Upadhaya and Sarabjit as the Haryana bowling lost much of its first-session bite. Upadhaya, whose previous best effort was 37, ground out 206 deliveries in compiling an invaluable 92, while Sarabjit was still at the crease having faced 219 balls. Rana, with 3 for 44 off 25 overs, was the most successful bowler for Haryana.
Uttar Pradesh 217 for 5 (Pandey 57*, Raina 43) v Andhra
Gyanendra Pandey and Suresh Raina contributed fighting innings to take Uttar Pradesh to 207 for 5 against Andhra at Anantapur. While Raina overcame two early jolts to add 78 with Mohammad Kaif, his captain, Pandey overcame the loss of both batsmen at the hands of D Kalyankrishna and I Raju in hitting an unbeaten half-century before stumps. With less than seven overs remaining in the day, Pandey departed from his calm manner to loft Raju over the ropes off successive deliveries and bring up his fifty in the process. He has so far added 89 runs with Amir Khan, UP's wicketkeeper-batsman.
Railways 191 for 5 (V Saxena 65) v Bengal
Vineet Saxena's dogged half-century took Railways to 191 for 5 at stumps on the first day of their Elite Group A match at Kolkata. Saxena faced 251 deliveries and hit seven boundaries in a 286-minute stay at the wicket before he became Ranadeb Bose's only wicket of the day. Choosing to bat, Railways meandered along at just over 2 runs an over and will need to step it up as the game progresses. For Bengal, Shib Paul was the most successful bowler with 2 for 39 from 23 overs.