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November 3, 2011
Tripura, who had a torrid time last season, found the going difficult against Himachal Pradesh, who were relegated from the Elite division last season. Tripura chose to bowl, but centuries from Abhinav Bali and Paras Dogra got Himachal to 347 for 2 at the Maharaja Bir Bikram College Stadium in Agartala. Paul Valthaty, who impressed during this year's IPL, has moved to Himachal from Mumbai in search of first-class cricket, but only managed 13 on his Ranji debut. His dismissal was followed by a 241-run partnership between Bali and Dogra. Bali was dismissed for 122 but Dogra stayed unbeaten on 174. Himachal's run-rate of 3.85 means they are in a position to dictate terms in the match.
Services were the only team in the Plate division to enjoy a good first outing with the ball, reducing Andhra to 206 for 7 at the Model Sports Complex in Delhi, with seamers Nishan Singh and Suraj Yadav taking five wickets between them. Andhra had one big partnership, with Bodapati Sumanth and AG Pradeep putting together 135 for the fourth wicket, but on either side of that stand wickets fell in a heap. Yadav picked up two wickets within the first five overs, and then Nishan struck to leave Andhra 35 for 3. Sumanth, who topped the run-charts in the Plate League last year, scored 70 off 208 balls and was eventually dismissed by legspinner Mohammad Khalid in the 76th over of the day. A couple of quick wickets fell but Pradeep stayed firm and reached 80. In the 82nd over, Nishan trapped Pradeep lbw to make it Services' day.
Vidarbha got to 274 for 4 against Kerala at Jamtha thanks to an unbeaten half-century from Shalabh Shrivastava and contributions from the rest of the top order. Each of Vidarbha's top three failed to convert starts leaving them 117 for 3. Shrivastava was able to make use of the base and reached 84 not out and shared an unbeaten 90-run partnership with Ranjit Paradkar. Sreesanth, the seamer who was left out of India's squad for the first Test against West Indies, was expensive, going at 5.60 in his 15 overs.
Half-centuries from four batsmen put Maharashtra in a strong position in their match against Goa in Porvorim. Maharashtra were put in to bat and lost two early wickets before a 119-run partnership between Sangram Atitkar and Nikhil Paradkar, both of whom reached half-centuries. The pair were dismissed in quick succession but Ankit Bawne and Rohit Motwani both got unbeaten half-centuries to take Maharashtra to 286 for 4 by the close of play. Goa used as many as seven bowlers in the day, with offspinner Amit Yadav running in for 23 overs without finding success.
Ravi Teja and Akshath Reddy scored half-centuries to get Hyderabad off to a good start against Jharkhand at Uppal. Hyderabad's season last year had started in horrific fashion: they were bowled out for 21 by Rajasthan. But this time, their batsmen made sure they began solidly. The start was delayed due to overnight rain and only 41 overs could be bowled in the day, in which Hyderabad reached 129 for 1. Reddy scored 61 but was run out near the end of the day, while Teja remained unbeaten on 59.
Dheeraj Jadhav's 135 not out helped Assam get to 297 for 4 against Jammu & Kashmir at the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium in Srinagar. Assam were relegated from the Elite division last year, while J & K had a poor season in the Plate division, losing four of their five games. J & K were in the game for the first 30 overs of the day. Fast bowler Abid Nabi struck in the fifth over and J & K reduced the visitors to 95 for 3 by the end of the 30th. Jadhav then had a 96-run partnership with Tarjinder Singh, and an unbeaten 106-run stand with Gokul Sharma to put Assam in control.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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