Rakesh Patel destroys Karnataka for 85
Karnataka were in for a rude shock in their Ranji Trophy opener at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara, being bundled out for 85 after an inspired opening spell by seamers, Rakesh Patel and Irfan Pathan Sr. Karnataka's decision to bat first backfired with Patel scything through the top order with 5 for 85, while Pathan chipped in with three wickets in 15 miserly overs.
The duo shared the first six wickets to fall with six of the Karnataka batsmen failing to get past double figures. Baroda too got off to a shaky start - NC Aiyappa accounted for both openers with the score on 24. Ajit Bhoite, promoted to No.3, counterattacked with a fluent 62-ball 48 as Baroda went about wiping out the deficit. Seamer B Akhil struck two vital blows at the end of the day but Baroda, 28 runs ahead with six wickets in hand, were very much the side in command.
Punjab 75 for 3 trail Bengal 156 (Dasgupta 78) by 81 runs
Gagandeep Singh, Punjab's opening bowler, instigated a manic opening hour at the PCA Stadium in Mohali, tearing Bengal's top order apart. Gagandeep's opening burst left Bengal reeling at 18 for 5 - including Sourav Ganguly falling for 6 - and it was only because of the former Indian wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta that they averted a humiliation. Dasgupta's 73-run partnership with Laxmi Ratan Shukla revived them somewhat but lack of lower-order support didn't help matters. Dasgupta, who led the side to the runner-up spot last season, battled for close to four hours, managing ten fours in his rescue mission. Bengal's bowlers struck three vital blows before the day was out, restricting Punjab to 75 for 3.
Saurashtra 298 for 7 (Shah 124) v Uttar Pradesh
Jaydev Shah's composed hundred helped Saurashtra recover from a shaky position, recovering from a jittery 7 for 2 to a competitive 298 for 7 at the end of the first day's play at the Ordinance Equipment Factory Ground at Kanpur. Having being promoted from the Plate Group last season, Saurashtra had one of the toughest games first up, taking on defending champions Uttar Pradesh on their home turf. Shalabh Srivastava, UP's opening bowler, pegged them back with two wickets within the first six overs but a couple of handy partnerships rescued them.
Shitanshu Kotak and Cheteshwar Pujara - one 34 years old with 14 seasons of first-class behind him, the other 18 in his second domestic year - reversed the tide with a 130-run stand. Kotak's dismissal brought in Shah, son of current board secretary Niranjan, who solidified their position with a 159-ball 124, one that included 22 hits to the fence. His dismissal in the third session, off Rudra Pratap Singh, was followed by two more as UP came back into the contest.
Hyderabad 254 for 3 (Anirudh 100*, Teja 84) v Maharashtra
A fine century from Anirudh Singh, his third in first-class cricket, and a promising debut from Ravi Teja, the 19-year-old opener, got Hyderabad's campaign off to a fine start against Maharashtra at Chatrapati Shivaji Stadium in Karad. Choosing to bat first on a ground hosting its first match in six years, Hyderabad ended the day on a comfortable 254 for 3. Teja kickstarted the innings with a breezy 84, comprising 13 fours, repaying the faith that the selectors had shown in him, throwing him into the deep end after a string of impressive performances at the Under-22 level. His 121-run stand with Anirudh laid the platform before VVS Laxman consolidated their position with a solid 31. Anirudh was unbeaten when play was called off - 36 minutes after tea owing to bad light and a slight drizzle - but his even 100, in 197 deliveries with 12 fours, had put them in control.
Gujarat 43 for 2 trail Rajasthan 204 (Solanki 58, Makda 5-51) by 161 runs
A five wicket haul from Ashraf Makda, the left-arm opening bowler, helped Gujarat gain the upper hand on the first day against Rajasthan at Ahmedabad. Justifying his captain's decision to field first, Makda and his partners halted Rajasthan's fine start, restricting them to 204. Vikram Solanki, one of Rajasthan's foreign imports, had a good start to his campaign, managing a 95-ball 58, but Makda bowled him, changing the complexion of the game. Nikhil Doru offered some middle-order resistance, with a little help from Kabir Ali, the other import from Worcestershire, but a quick three-wicket haul from offspinner Kirat Damani cleaned up the tail. Gujarat suffered two early jolts and ended the day on 43 for 2.
Haryana 8 for 0 trail Andhra 202 (SK Varma 105*, Sharma 4-54, Rana 3-27) by 194 runs
Joginder Sharma's 4 for 54 with his medium-pace enabled Haryana to bowl out Andhra for 202 in 71 overs at the Bansi Lal Stadium in Rohtak. Joginder and Sachin Rana, who conceded only 27 in 11.5 overs, reduced Andhra to 33 for 4. Satya Kumar Varma, coming at No.3, was the only batsman who managed to resist the Haryana attack and remain unbeaten at 105. On a day when no-one else crossed 25, Varma attempted to push the score forward along with the tail, adding 38 with Syed Sahabuddin and 50 with Lakshman Kishore, but Sharma broke both partnerships before they could do any serious damage. Haryana's openers batted out the last six overs adding 8.