Table-toppers Punjab dominate again
Punjab 125 for 5 (Jiwanjot 61) lead Saurashtra 90 (Sandeep 7-25) by 35 runs
Group-leaders Punjab showed the form that has already given them a massive 11-point lead in Group A to roll over second-placed Saurashtra for 90, and take the first-innings lead in Mohali. Saurashtra missed the services of their biggest name, Cheteshwar Pujara, as they dramatically slid from a comfortable 73 for 1 to 90 all out. The last seven wickets lasted only 32 deliveries as India Under-19 fast bowler Sandeep Sharma ripped through the batting, finishing with 7 for 25, the best figures of the season so far. Punjab then consolidated the advantage by reaching 125 for 5 by stumps, guided largely by the in-form opener Jiwanjot Singh's 61. They could have been in a stronger position but lost three wickets for one run towards the close of play.
Mumbai 325 for 2 (Shah 154*, Rohit 102*, Tare 62) v Hyderabad
Mumbai dominated the opening day against Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, with Hiken Shah continuing his prolific run and Rohit Sharma slamming another Ranji hundred. Hyderabad revamped their line-up, dropping three players including the captain in the previous match DB Ravi Teja, but it was to no avail as their bowlers - three of whom had only two first-class caps between them - had little success after the early dismissal of Kaustubh Pawar. Aditya Tare and Shah first put on 121 for the second wicket before Tare was run-out. After that Shah, who began the season with a 140 against defending champions Rajasthan, and Rohit, who has an astounding Ranji Trophy record, put on an unbroken 203-run stand to demoralise Hyderabad, who are still missing their marquee player VVS Laxman.
Railways 145 for 2 (Paunikar 85) lead Gujarat 117 (Parthiv 55, Bangar 5-12) by 28 runs
Gujarat were bowled out for 117 by Railways in Bhubaneshwar after their top order failed for the second match in succession. Parthiv Patel, who has failed to make a half-century only once in seven first-class innings this domestic season, hit nine fours in a 60-ball 55 as everyone else in the top order failed spectacularly - the rest of the top six made 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4. When Parthiv became the sixth man to be dismissed, with the score at 66, he had made all but 11 runs for the team till then. There was no rescue from the lower order, unlike against Bengal earlier this week, as Sanjay Bangar took five wickets in 8.5 overs. Railways then built up their advantage by reaching 145 for 2 by stumps, with opener Amit Pauniker backing up his career-best 166 against Punjab with an 85.
Madhya Pradesh 322 for 5 (Ojha 99, Bundela 61, Birla 50) v Bengal
Naman Ojha was stumped on 99 but he put Madhya Pradesh on course for a tall total against Bengal. Devendra Bundela, playing his 100th Ranji match, chipped in with 61, and Udit Birla hit a brisk half-century to make it MP's day in Indore. Bengal were missing quick bowler Ashok Dinda, who is with the Indian Test squad, but struck twice early through Shami Ahmed. Ojha and Bundela steadied MP with a 127-run third-wicket stand, and the middle order built on that to blunt the Bengal attack.