Another century for Aparajith
Tamil Nadu 294 for 3 (Badrinath 126*, Aparajith 118) v Madhya Pradesh
Nineteen-year-old B Aparajith struck another hundred, his fourth in five matches, and along with Tamil Nadu veteran S Badrinath, took the team to a commanding position on the first day against Madhya Pradesh in Indore. While Aparajith fell for 118 ten balls before stumps, Badrinath was unbeaten on a patient 126 after Tamil Nadu were put in to bat.
Openers Arun Karthik and Abhinav Mukund provided a steady start till the 12th over when medium-pacer Amarjeet Singh broke the partnership by having Mukund caught by Udit Birla for 13. Karthik was joined by Badrinath but their stand didn't survive for too long either as Salman Baig bowled Karthik for 31, which included five fours.
Badrinath and Aparajith then started the partnership which buried all hopes of any more success for the MP bowlers, until the penultimate over of the day. The duo put on 240 runs for the third wicket, with Badrinath, who struck 16 fours being a bit slower than Aparajith, who hit 14 fours and two sixes. Tamil Nadu scored at just over three-and-a-half runs per over and Aparajith brought up his fifth first-class hundred, while it was number 30 for Badrinath.
Ishwar Pandey gave MP the only other success of the day when he got Aparajith caught behind after an innings that lasted nearly five hours. Dinesh Karthik survived six deliveries after that as Tamil Nadu ended the day at 294 for 3.
Saurashtra 88 for 4 (Vasavada 44*, Anureet 3-24) v Railways
Saurashtra were in deep trouble as lost their top four batsmen in quick succession after rain and fog delayed the start of their match against Railways at the Jamia Milia Cricket Ground in Delhi.
Medium-pacer Anureet Singh took the first three wickets within nine overs of the match and Krishnakant Upadhyay took the fourth wicket to leave Saurashtra reeling at 24 for 4 after 13.4 overs. The opening stand was broken with the wicket of Sagar Jogiyani who was caught for six. Anureet struck twice in the ninth over, when he had Chirag Pathak caught for 12 and Sheldon Jackson caught behind for duck three balls later.
Just when Saurashtra thought they had a partnership going, Upadhyay dismissed Bhushan Chauhan for a 23-ball duck. They were finally given respite with Aarpit Vasavada and Jaydev Shah seeing their side till stumps with a 64-run stand, surviving 32.2 overs. Vasavada was unbeaten on 44 and Shah not out on a patient 25 from 97 to take the total to 88 for 4.
Rajasthan 222 for 6 (Saxena 110*, Bist 44, Lahiri 2-24) v Bengal
Opener Vineet Saxena saved Rajasthan from an embarrassing collapse with a fighting hundred against Bengal in Jaipur. Out of the eight batsmen who batted on the first day, only three got in double digits and Saxena remained unbeaten on 110.
Ashok Dinda broke the opening stand in the very first over with the wicket of Sourabh Chouhan for a duck. Saxena and Robin Bist had a strong partnership going as they scored 96 runs, out of which Bist scored 44 with six fours. But offspinner Saurashish Lahiri ended the stand and Shib Paul added to Rajasthan's troubles with two quick wickets. He bowled Ashok Menaria and Hrishikesh Kanitkar within eight runs scored by Rajasthan to leave them at 124 for 4.
Rajesh Bishnoi and Saxena revived the innings for 11 overs with 48 runs but Bishnoi was caught behind for 25 and another 11 overs later, Dishant Yagnik became Lahiri's second wicket when he was bowled for 6. Saxena kept going at the other end and brought up 13th first-class century to take Rajasthan to 222 for 6 with Ramesh Powar at the other end.
Uttar Pradesh 291 for 9 (Raina 123, Bhatt 5-48, Patel 4-74) v Baroda
Left out of India's Test squad, Suresh Raina nudged the national selectors with an attacking century on the opening day of Uttar Pradesh's second-round match against Baroda at Moti Bagh. Raina's 123, off 154 balls, helped UP to 291 on an evenly-matched day. Baroda struck with quick wickets on the final session and had all but wrapped up the innings before stumps.
Read the full report here.