Ranji Trophy 2014-15 February 6, 2015

Ojha sparkles, but Dogra ton steadies Himachal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Himachal Pradesh 269 for 5 (P Dogra 101*, Bipul 83*, P Ojha 3-89) v Hyderabad
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File photo: Pragyan Ojha struck thrice in an over after on his return to competitive cricket © BCCI

Pragyan Ojha picked up three wickets in an over on his return to domestic cricket after his bowling action was cleared by the BCCI. But Himachal Pradesh were propped up by Paras Dogra, who brought up his fourth ton of the season at the Uppal stadium.

Himachal, after they were put in, were 46 for 2 in the 13th over. Ojha, playing his first competitive game in two months, had Raghav Dhawan lbw for 53, then removed Rashmi Parida and Nikhil Gangta for ducks in successive balls and reduced Himachal to 101 for 5.

Dogra, however, stitched a 168-run partnership with Bipul Sharma for the sixth wicket to stabilise Himachal's innings. Both batsmen remained unbeaten at close.

Andhra 408 (Bharat 226*, Sriram 108*) v Goa
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Srikar Bharat and Murumulla Sriram reeled off career-best first-class scores while boosting Andhra to 408 for 1, at a run-rate of 4.53, on the first day of their group C game against Goa in Ongole.

Bharat, 21, batted through the day and converted his second century into a maiden double-ton. He is unbeaten on 226 off only 240 balls, with 29 fours and five sixes, welcome returns considering he had entered the game on the back of three ducks in six innings. Sriram, 22, recorded his second century as well and is on 108 off 189 balls, including 15 fours and one six.

Only one of the six bowlers used by Goa could manage an economy rate under four - offspiner Amogh Desai, who also picked up the only wicket to fall Prasanth Kumar in the 33rd over.

Assam 197 for 4 (Jadhav 73*) v Kerala
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Assam made slow, yet assured, progress against Goa led by their captain Dheeraj Jadhav's unbeaten half-century. He had retired hurt on 0, but returned to form the backbone of the visitors' batting in Tellicherry.

Electing to bat, Assam's caution almost backfired on them when they could not manage substantial partnerships. They were 45 for 2 when Jadhav came back out and stabilised the innings.

Jadhav had opened the batting in the first half of the season before dropping down to the middle order. But KB Arun Karthik said Jadhav was moved back to the opening slot to give him some time in the middle before the knockouts.

Kerala's bowlers were highly economical but they were assisted by the style of play adopted by the batsmen. Opener Kunal Saikia spent more than three hours at the crease for 38. Arun Karthik explained it was a consequence of wanting to bat for lengthy periods without giving away wickets cheaply.

Jharkhand 102 for 2 (Kishan 47) trail Services 230 (Sethi 61, Punia 57, Rituraj 3-46, Aaron 3-46) by 128 runs
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A 102-run stand for the eighth wicket between Hardik Sethi and Deepak Punia helped Services to safety after a wobbly start in Jamshedpur.

Only three of the top-six managed double-figures as seamers Varun Aaron and Rituraj Singh reduced the score to 87 for 6. Sethi was at the crease when it slipped further to 116 for 7, but found excellent support from No. 9 Punia, who went on to record his third first-class fifty.

Jharkhand's steady reply was led by Ishan Kishan, who was run out for 47 off 63 balls with a little more than four overs left in the day.

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