Baroda ahead after 20-wicket day
Baroda 152 and 9 for 0 (Chauhan 58, Saxena 6-42) lead Madhya Pradesh 60 (Ketul 4-9, Yusuf 4-17) by 101 runs
On a frenetic first day at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara were bundled out for 152 before they shot out Madhya Pradesh for 60 to take the advantage. It didn't seem like such an overwhelmingly bowlers' day was on the cards when Baroda chose to bat, and their openers put on 60 runs. Even after Saurabh Wakaskar was dismissed, Baroda progressed to 90 for 1 before the innings crumbled against the offspin of Jalaj Saxena. The only batsman outside the top three to make it past 7 was the captain, Yusuf Pathan, who reached 12 before being caught behind. Six batsmen made 2 or less as Baroda tumbled to a low score, despite Abhimanyu Chauhan's half-century.
That was only the start of the drama for the day, though, as MP's batsmen were even more clueless against spin. Left-arm spinner Ketul Patel, playing his first match of the season, sliced through the top order before Yusuf polished off the lower middle order. Between them, they took 8 for 26 in 15.2 overs as MP folded for the lowest total of the season to hand back the initiative to Baroda.
One high-profile occasion on which Baroda had a similar minefield of a pitch was in the 2010-11 semi-final against Karnataka, a match which ended well within two days.
Rajasthan 0 for 1 trail Uttar Pradesh 226 (Choudhary 4-45) by 226 runs
On a relatively more steady day in Jaipur, Uttar Pradesh were bowled out for 226 by Rajasthan. The home side's trio of fast bowlers - Aniket Choudhary, Pankaj Singh and Deepak Chahar - shared the wickets as none of the UP batsmen could go on to make a substantial score. Mohammad Kaif, captaining in the absence of Piyush Chawla who missed the match due to his wedding, fell for 5 as his search for the season's first half-century continued. UP could have fallen for a much smaller total had it not been for No. 10 Imtiaz Ahmed's unbeaten 43 which lifted them beyond 200 from 159 for 8.
Tamil Nadu 268 for 2 (Abhinav 103*, Vijay 62, Badrinath 56) v Saurashtra
When a green pitch was rolled out at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, the intention was to create conditions for a result, more so for the hosts Tamil Nadu, who are searching for their first win of the season. L Balaji lost the toss, though, and Tamil Nadu were put in to bat in overcast conditions in Chennai. However, they were able to avert a top-order wobble and post a commanding 268 for 2. M Vijay made a fluent fifty while his opening partner Abhinav Mukund was the mainstay with an unbeaten century. Read the full report here.
Bengal 242 for 3 (Arindam 139*, Banerjee 42) v Services
Arindam Das made full use of a placid pitch as his unbeaten 139 helped Bengal reach 242 for three against Services in a Group B encounter at the Air-force ground in Palam. It turned out to be a good toss to lose for Bengal captain Laxmi Shukla, who was playing his 100th Ranji game - a first for a Bengal cricketer, as veteran opener Arindam batted with a lot of composure to score his 10th first-class hundred. Arindam faced 260 deliveries during and hit 11 boundaries - all confident strokes - and a six off offspinner Koteshwar Rao. Read the full report here.