Ranji Trophy 2013-14, Group B, 1st round, 1st day October 27, 2013

In-form Aparajith hits another century

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tamil Nadu 220 for 3 (Aparajith 109*, Badrinath 81) v Services

After a dismal 2012-13 season, Tamil Nadu began the season confidently with a century from the in-form B Aparajith and a big contribution from perennial run-scorer S Badrinath against Services in Delhi.

Services were the fairytale team of the previous season, and began strongly, dismissing the established opening pair of Abhinav Mukund and M Vijay cheaply. However, Aparajith and Badrinath then put on 168 for the third wicket to put Tamil Nadu in a position of strength. Badrinath missed out on his century, bowled by medium-pacer Shadab Nazar for 81, but Aparajith went on to make his third first-class century in four matches.

Aparajith had a stellar Duleep Trophy, scoring 212 against West Zone and 109 against Central Zone. He has now converted four of his five 50-plus scores into hundreds. With another prolific domestic scorer, Dinesh Karthik, keeping Aparajith company, Services' bowlers could have Monday-morning blues tomorrow.

Madhya Pradesh 282 for 3 (Choudhary 127*, Mishra 97) v Railways

It was a similar tale of batsmen dominating in Indore, where Madhya Pradesh opener Satyam Choudhary struck the first century of the Ranji season. The bigger story though was the 97 hit by Mohnish Mishra, who was returning from a one-year ban for bringing the game into disrepute through "loose talk and unsubstantiated bragging". Mishra was one of the five players suspended by the BCCI after a sting operation by India TV into corruption in cricket.

While it was a solid return for Mishra, he couldn't get the satisfaction of completing a century in his comeback match, as he was caught-behind three short of his sixth first-class hundred. It was a perfect day for the 22-year-old Choudhary, though, who had a horrid run last season, when he could only muster 217 runs in 11 innings at an average of 19.72. He ended the day unbeaten on 127, and dreaming of overtaking his entire previous season haul in a single innings.

Saurashtra 226 for 2 (Jogiyani 114*, Kotak 65) v Rajasthan

Rajasthan got the prized wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara early but had precious little else to celebrate as Saurashtra's batsmen enjoyed themselves yet again in Rajkot. Shitanshu Kotak in his final first-class match of a two-decade career, produced another of his slow-and-steady innings, making 65, while his opening partner Sagar Jogiyani went on to make a century.

Kotak and Jogiyani put on 136 for the first wicket at a rate of little above two an over as Rajasthan's bowlers were made to toil after Saurashtra won the toss and unsurprisingly chose to bat. In his 65th first-class match, Jogiyani completed his fifth century to ensure Saurashtra weren't too badly affected by the loss of Pujara for a low score. One thing Railways will be happy about is that the man who hit a triple-century against them last season, Ravindra Jadeja, is tied up on national duties.

There was no play in the match between Bengal and Baroda due to heavy rains.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Himanshu on October 28, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    The format of Ranji is tilted heavily in favor of batsmen, who would take minimal chances and go on to make big hundreds even if it ensures a draw. All the teams play for a "first innings lead' rather than going for win. That is the reason there is no fun in watching Ranji trophy and even though it remains India's premier first class tournament, very few players make it to the Indian team and succeed at test levels. In the current crop of international players, only Pujara is one who got his chances purely on basis of Ranji performances and went on to do well at international level.

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    Badrinath is no doubt a prolific scorer in domestic cricket and like Dinesh Karthik he has scored tons of runs. Though he had a moderate success against international teams in domestic grounds, he faied miserably in alien grounds which had lot of pace like West Indies. Regarding Aparajith it is too early to make any comments. We have to see how he copes pace in foreign soil like South Africa et.

  • Suresh on October 28, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    IPL should not be a yard stick for selection,

    If The chances given to Rohit was given to Badri, he would have done much better then Rohit,

    It is really amazing to see some one are given 100's of chances to prove their worth,

    but for some one like badri or many others the door opens only for 2 games and closed for ever.

    Even take the case of Unmukt, he is already a national star but Aparijith, he was given only one A game and he scored 70 odd runs but will never be considered for long time

  • ESPN on October 27, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    Badrinath had his chances... International cricket is more demanding....in IPL he struggled too...

  • Arun on October 27, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Hope he is not the next Badrinath. Would like to see him playing for the national team soon, unlike the unlucky Badri....

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    B Aparjith is next badrinath.

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    baba aparajit, mohit sharma, abhinav mukund, sahawaz nadeem, parvez rasool should prepare for national cap

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