Tiwary, Menaria score tons on batsmen's day
On a day dominated by batsmen in the Ranji Trophy, Tamil Nadu managed to bowl Delhi out for 212 at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Seamers L Balaji and Jagannathan Kaushik used what was a surprisingly green surface to take six wickets between them and restrict Delhi, who had chosen to bat. The ball nipped around in the morning, and Balaji and Yo Mahesh took a couple of early wickets. Unmukt Chand stayed firm and was the top-scorer in the innings, getting 86. Chand had managed to get Delhi to 157 for 3 with the help of Yogesh Nagar, who scored 59, but a couple of quick strikes from Kaushik derailed the innings. Balaji came back to get rid of the tail with the help of left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas. Delhi were missing allrounder Rajat Bhatia, who had to sit out after injuring himself while playing with his pet dog.
Centuries from Rahul Dewan and Nitin Saini gave Haryana a firm base of 281 for 3 against Baroda on the first day at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara. Baroda put Haryana in but had to wait till the 77th over to break Dewan and Saini's 239-run opening partnership. Saini scored 112, including 15 fours and a six. Baroda were given some relief at the end of the day when Saini's wicket was followed by two more quick strikes. But Dewan was still at the crease at stumps on 131 not out.
Bengal had two centurions too - Arindam Das and Manoj Tiwary - and reached 318 for 3 against Madhya Pradesh at the Jadavpur University Complex in Kolkata, with Sourav Ganguly batting on 37 at stumps. Das and Tiwary came together with the score on 49 for 2 and put together a 209-run partnership to justify Bengal's decision to bat. Das scored 105 off 225 balls while Tiwary was the aggressor, reaching 136 not out off 201 balls by the end of the day. Tiwary had a reprieve on 68 when he was dropped by Mohnish Mishra at leg slip off the bowling of offspinner Jalaj Saxena. Das' dismissal brought Ganguly to the crease for his second match of the season and he stroked six boundaries.
It was a similar story at the Veer Surendra Sai Stadium in Sambalpur where Orissa chose to bat and reached 295 for 3 against Uttar Pradesh thanks to Biplab Samantray's 110 not out. Orissa were given a firm base by Natraj Behera and Niranjan Behera, who both scored half-centuries and Samantray built on it. Samantray came in with the score on 101 for 2, after Natraj Behera had been dismissed for 53 and built an 87-run stand with Niranajan Behera. After Niranjan was dismissed Abhilash Mallick gave Samantray company in a 107-run partnership.
Sagar Jogiyani was one of seven centurions on the first day of the third round of matches in the Elite division. His 126 not out helped take Saurashtra to 280 for 4 after they were put in to bat by Punjab in Mohali. Chirag Pathak hit four boundaries in a run-a-ball 22 before he was dismissed in the 7th over. It was the only success Punjab were going to have in a while as Jogiyani and Bhushan Chauhan put together 169 runs for the second wicket. Punjab fought back with Chauhan being dismissed for 68 in the 61st over and Manpreet Gony taking wickets with the first and second balls of the 66th. That flutter did not lead to a collapse though as Jogiyani put together an unbeaten 56-run stand with Shitanshu Kotak and ended the day 126 not out. Harbhajan Singh went wicketless in the 20 overs he bowled on the day.
Ashok Menaria got his highest first-class score to help Rajasthan reach 257 for 2 against Railways at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Rajasthan elected to bat but were rocked by the loss of two early wickets. Aakash Chopra was dismissed for a duck off the fourth ball of the game and Vineet Saxena followed seven overs later to leave Rajasthan 17 for 2. Menaria and Robin Bist then put together an unbeaten 240-run partnership. Bist was cautious and reached 85 not out off 271 balls by stumps, while Menaria played a few more stokes and reached 142 not out. Both batsmen could have been dismissed early in their innings: Menaria was bowled on 11 off a no-ball by seamer JP Yadav, while Bist was put down by wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat when on 10. Menaria had another life when on 136, after being dropped by Shivakant Shukla at second slip.
For a full report on the first day's play of the Mumbai v Karnataka game, click here.