Bangar and Sangram Singh prosper
Railways 115 for 4 (TP Singh 65) lead Vidarbha 106 (Bangar 6-41) by 9 runs
Sanjay Bangar returned career-best figures of 6 for 41 after to dismiss Vidarbha for 106 before Tejinder Pal Singh steered Railways into the lead on day one at Nagpur. Bangar, at the age of 34 and after 13 years on the circuit, rocked Vidarbha's middle order with his medium pace variations. Amit Deshpande, the top-scorer with 23, was trapped lbw before Bangar snared three more victims in his next six overs. In reply, Railways stuttered at the start but Tejinder buckled down for a 106-ball 65 to help them take the lead just ahead of stumps.
Himachal Pradesh 337 for 2 (Sangram Singh 132*, Bisla 86*, Sandeep Sharma 65) v Jammu & Kashmir
Led by Sangram Singhs' superb unbeaten 132, a hungry Himachal Pradesh top order powered on the ignominy against Jammu & Kashmir and finished the first day on 337 for 2. Sandeep Sharma, the captain, got the ball rolling with a polished 65 after his opening partner Manish Gupta was forced to retire hurt early on, but it was the unbeaten 191-run stand for the third wicket that really punished the hosts. Taking the innings by the reins, Sangram smashed 132 from 128 balls, with 16 fours and two sixes, and was ably partnered by Maninder Bisla, who carted 86 from 114 balls. Neither batsman had really gotten going this season - Sangram's highest was 37 and Bisla had just one fifty - but the duo stepped it up in style and promised plenty more on day two.
Orissa 265 for 6 (Behera 77, Mohanty 44) v Tripura
Niranjan Behera's 77 and a solid lower-order rally helped Orissa overcome a jittery start and post 265 for 6 on the first day's play against Tripura at Agartala. Reduced to 60 for 3 by Vineet Jain, Tripura's opening bowler, Orissa regained ground thanks to Behera's 207-ball effort - a career-best knock, incidentally - and handy contributions from captain Pravanjan Mullick (39) and Rashmi Das (27). Behera and Rashmi both departed with the score on 189, but Debasis Mohanty (44 not-out) - who hit 67 in the last match against Jharkhand - and Halhadar Das (25 not out) added a vital 76 to varnish their efforts.
Jharkhand 15 for 0 trail Services 216 (Yashpal Singh 103, Mohanty 57, Shahid Khan 4-31) by 201 runs
Yashpal Singh, Services' middle-order batsman, continued his good form with a crucial 103 out of a total of 216 against Jharkhand on day one at Jamshedpur's Keenan Stadium. A feeble top and middle order crumbled against the spin trio of Sunny Gupta, Shahbaz Nadeem and Shahid Khan, but Yashpal, his side's highest run-scorer this season by far, held the innings together. He watched batsmen come and go - three fell between overs 31 and 34 - but in Ashish Mohanty, who cracked 57 from No. 8, he found an able ally and the two added 123. Shahid wrapped up matters with 4 for 31 before Jharkhand's openers played out eight overs to finish the day on 15 for no loss.
Kerala 204 for 8 (Nair 65, Suresh 58) v Goa
Half-centuries to Somasetty Suresh and Sreekumar Nair formed the crux of Kerala's first-day effort against Goa at Margoa, with the tourists finishing on 204 for 8. Hurt at the top of the innings by Saurabh Bandekar and Anil Naik, Kerala owed much to Suresh's dour 58 and Nair's gritty 65 and an 88-run stand for the fourth wicket. Once both departed, there was another mini-collapse with three wickets falling in the last seven overs of the day.
Assam 117 for 4 (J Arunkumar 44*) v Madhya Pradesh
It was slow moving on the first day's play between Assam and Madhya Pradesh at Dibrugarh, with Assam inching along to 117 for 4 from 65.4 overs. Jagadeesh Arunkumar, the captain, top-scored with an unbeaten 44. The only wicket-takers for MP were the opening bowlers, Sanjay Pandey and Taduri Prakash Sudhindra, with two each. Rahul Bakshi, the wicketkeeper, had three catches to his name.