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November 2, 2012
Gujarat 327 for 4 (Parthiv 162) v Madhya Pradesh
Parthiv Patel's massive century led Gujarat to a commanding score on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy match against Madhya Pradesh in Indore. Coming in with his side in trouble at 30 for 2, Parthiv batted aggressively and formed the mainstay of substantial partnerships for subsequent wickets.
Parthiv added 133 with Niraj Patel, 87 with Venugopal Rao and 48 with Manprit Juneja before falling to Jalaj Saxena in the 81st over. He had batted 205 balls for 162 runs and hit 26 fours. Juneja remained unbeaten on 42 at stumps, as Gujarat ended on 327 for 4. Anand Rajan took 2 for 67 for Madhya Pradesh.
Hyderabad 244 for 7 (Reddy 63) v Punjab
All five of Hyderabad's top-order batsmen made starts but only Akshath Reddy converted it into a half-century, as the hosts Punjab struck at regular intervals to take the upper hand on the first day in Mohali. Medium-pacers Manpreet Gony and Amitoze Singh took three wickets each while conceding less than three runs per over.
Punjab had a solid start after winning the toss, with their openers adding 77 before Ravi Teja was dismissed by Amitoze. Sandeep Sharma then dismissed his fellow Under-19 World Cup winner Hanuma Vihari to break a second-wicket stand of 59. Gony had Reddy caught behind in the next over, reducing Hyderabad to 138 for 3, after which Amitoze struck with consecutive deliveries, dismissing VVS Laxman and Syed Quadi in the 62nd over.
So while Punjab had a satisfactory day overall, their captain didn't fare as well. Harbhajan Singh, who was left-out of India's Test squad, took 0 for 39 in 20 overs.
Bengal 187 for 4 (Das 95, Pankaj Singh 3-30) v Rajasthan v Rajasthan
The poor light in Kolkata allowed only 59 overs to be bowled on the opening day between the hosts Bengal and the champions Rajasthan at Eden Gardens. During that time, Bengal laid the platform for a solid first-innings score, but their advantage was weakened by two late wickets.
The hosts lost Jayojit Basu, dismissed for 6 for Pankaj Singh, early after choosing to bat, but the other opener Subhomoy Das anchored the innings. He added 68 runs with Writam Porel for the second wicket, and 95 with his captain Manoj Tiwary for the third. Bengal had progressed to 169 for 2 when Tiwary was dismissed by Madhur Khatri for 47. Seven runs later, they lost Das for 95, unlucky to be given lbw to a delivery from Pankaj that was missing leg stump. Pankaj took 3 for 30 and was economical too, conceding only 1.76 runs an over.
Mumbai 344 for 4 (Tendulkar 137, Rahane 104*) v Railways
The start of the Ranji Trophy has rarely been under such scrutiny. The return of India's star players to their domestic sides has been the biggest draw for fans, but not too far behind are those players possibly competing for a place in the Test squad during a long home season. At the Wankhede Stadium, Sachin Tendulkar batted with comfort, assuredness and ultimately supreme confidence to give a disappointingly small crowd of a few hundred spectators the performance they'd come to watch. Click here to read the full report.
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Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough