Ranji Trophy 2013-14, Group B, 3rd round, 1st day November 21, 2013

Laxmi Shukla 155 in Bengal 303

ESPNcricinfo staff

Saurashtra 0 for 0 trail Bengal 303 (L Shukla 155) by 303 runs

Bengal captain Laxmi Shukla scored more than half his team's runs on day one in Kolkata, hitting 155 as Saurashtra bowled the hosts out for 303. Saurashtra had to bat one over before stumps, and their openers safely negotiated that.

The visitors had chosen to bowl and enjoyed early success, reducing Bengal to 20 for 2 within the first 10 overs. Just when it seemed like opener Rohan Bannerjee and keeper Wriddhiman Saha had steadied the innings, adding 50 together, Saurashtra picked up three wickets in three overs. Bengal went from 70 for 2 to 77 for 5, but Shukla stayed firm amid the carnage. He went about constructing his century at good pace, eventually finishing with a strike rate of 95 - his 155 was dotted with 24 fours and three sixes. He received some support from Subhomoy Das - the pair strung together a 138-run stand. However, once they were separated, Saurashtra did not allow any other big partnerships to develop and wrapped up the innings soon after the 300-run mark had been passed, their bowlers having shared the wickets around. Shukla was the ninth man out.

Railways 223 for 7 (Bhille 60, S Shukla 54, Pankaj 3-69) v Rajasthan

Railways failed to build on a century second-wicket stand between Nitin Bhille and Shivakant Shukla, ending day one in Jaipur against Rajasthan on 223 for 7 after a mini-slide.

Rajasthan struck early after electing to bowl, but Bhille and Shukla dug in after that. They added 117 over 54 overs, and both completed half-centuries. But their dismissals in successive overs, to seamers Deepak Chahar and Rituraj Singh, destabilised Railways. They lost five wickets for 45 runs in all, before a half-century stand between Mahesh Rawat and Murali Kartik arrested the slump. Kartik too could not kick on and Rajasthan struck a couple more blows before stumps. Seamer Pankaj Singh was the most effective of their bowlers, claiming 3 for 69 in 24 overs.

Madhya Pradesh 236 for 9 (Ojha 63, Yadav 4-61) v Services

Madhya Pradesh went to stumps on 236 for 9 against Services, in Delhi, with none of their batsmen making the most of the starts they got. Much of the damage for Services was done by new-ball bowler Suraj Yadav, who ended the day with 4 for 61.

MP had chosen to bat and seemed to have got off to a solid start at 105 for 1 with Satyam Choudhary - their double-centurion from the opening round - and Naman Ojha well set. But both batsmen were out on the same score, and Yadav proceeded to carve up the middle order. Three more wickets fell in quick succession - including captain Devendra Bundela to a run-out - as the hosts wrested the advantage. The lower order was also guilty of wasting starts.

Tamil Nadu 258 for 7 (Prasanna 104*, Aparajith 60, Crist 54*) v Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh's RP Singh and debutant Amit Mishra combined to reduce the big-name Tamil Nadu batting to 20 for 4. That too, after Tamil Nadu chose to bat. However, a century from the visitors' least-heralded specialist batsman, R Prasanna, and a half-century from their most promising youngster, B Aparajith, helped inject some competitiveness to the total.

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