Winning starts for Bengal and Jharkhand
Rajasthan suffered their second four-wicket defeat in successive matches as Railways triumphed in a high-scoring match at Jaipur. Gagan Khoda, the opener, scored a scintillating unbeaten 166 off 151 balls with 18 fours and five sixes to lift Rajasthan to 293 for 3 after they were put in to bat. Railways started badly, losing Amit Pagnis for a duck in the first over, but Tejinder Pal Singh and Jai Prakash Yadav put the run-chase back on track with a 170-run stand in just 27 overs. Tejinder went on to make 107, and though Railways lost a few wickets towards the end, they still achieved victory fairly comfortably, with eight balls to spare.
A patient 63 by Jyoti Yadav was the difference between the teams as Uttar Pradesh sneaked a two-wicket win in a low-scoring scrap against Vidarbha at the KL Saini Ground in Jaipur. After choosing to bat, Vidarbha were bundled out for 145, with five batsmen failing to get off the mark. Uttar Pradesh were coasting at 79 for 1, but suddenly collapsed, losing seven wickets for 59. Samir Khare, a legbreak bowler, and Madhusudan Acharya, the offspinner, shared those scalps, but UP ultimately managed to squeeze through.
Bengal began their Ranji Trophy one-day campaign in style, thrashing Tripura by seven wickets in Dhanbad, and taking a bonus point in the process as well. Tripura chose to bat after winning the toss, but apart from Manoj Singh, who made 58, no other batsman made a significant contribution as the side folded for 157. Bengal romped home in less than 33 overs, with most of the top order making useful scores.
Jharkhand recorded a win in their first match of the tournament, beating Orissa by 39 runs at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Dhanbad. After being put in, Jharkhand overcame a poor start - they lost their openers for only 12 - to post a reasonable 232 for 8, thanks primarily to CM Jha, who made 64. Orissa lost their first wicket off the second ball and were always struggling, despite N Behera's 56. They were finally bowled out for 193, with 7.4 of their 50 overs still remaining.
A strong allround performance by Rajagopal Sathish helped Tamil Nadu crush Goa by six wickets and 23.1 overs to spare at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. After losing the toss, TN kept pegging away, not allowing the batsmen to form partnerships and dismissed Goa for 172. Only Sagun Kamat offered resistance with 64. For Tamil Nadu, Sathish picked up 3 for 23 and MR Srinivas chipped in with 2 for 27. In their chase TN had stumbled to 55 for 3 before Sathish blazed to 91 off just 67 balls. His knock included 15 fours and two sixes and he saw TN through to 173 for 4.
Andhra Pradesh clinched a low-scoring thriller, beating Hyderabad by one run at Gymkhana Ground in Hyderabad. Set 206 to win, Hyderabad started disastrously, losing their first four wickets for 29 runs courtesy D Kalyankrishna (4 for 29). Devishetty Vinay Kumar (74) and Ibrahim Khaleel (54) revived the chase with a 123-run partnership but the runs were coming at a slow pace. Amol Shinde and Pagadala Niranjan tried to up the momentum with breezy cameos but Hyderabad only managed to finish on 204 for 8, one run short of a tie. After being sent in to bat, AP struggled to force the pace, losing wickets at regular intervals. Ambati Rayudu (50) and Gnaneswara Rao (49) took the score to 205 and eventually, it was just enough.
Half-centuries from Robin Uthappa, Barrington Rowland and C Raghu helped Karnataka coast to 264 for 4, overhauling Kerala's total with six wickets in hand. After losing the toss, Kerala recovered from 66 for 5 to post 263 thanks to S Suresh's 84 before VG Nair boosted the score at the death, smashing 44 off 35 balls. In reply, Karnataka lost Bharat Chipli for 21 but Uthappa (55), Rowland (51) and Raghu (72 not out) ensured that Karnataka reached their target without any hiccups.