Ranji Trophy Elite 2011-12, 7th round, 1st day December 21, 2011

Saurashtra ahead after 18 wickets fall

ESPNcricinfo staff

Group A

Eighteen wickets tumbled on the opening day between Railways and Saurashtra in Delhi, and at the end of it Saurashtra were well placed to take the first-innings lead. On a sharply turning track, Saurashtra were shot out for 175 after choosing to bat, with Ashish Yadav taking 4 for 35 for Railways. The visitors had made a steady start, with the openers adding 59, before ten wickets fell for 112 runs. Wicketkeeper Sheldon Jackson top-scored with 39.

When they batted, Railways crashed to 71 for 8. They had got to 18 without damage before losing four wickets for no runs. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who bowled unchanged from the Pavilion end after replacing seamer Sandip Maniar in the fourth over of the innings, took three of those wickets and finished the day with 6 for 22. Mahesh Rawat was the only Railways batsman to show some application, using his feet well and stepping down the track several times to kill the spin. He remained not out on 31 at stumps.

First-class cricket returned to Shimoga after 32 years, and Stuart Binny marked the occasion with his second rescue job in as many games. His unbeaten 86 airlifted Karnataka from 171 for 6, after their top order fell apart against Uttar Pradesh in relatively easy batting conditions. Binny, aided by Sunil Raju, steered them to 300 for 7, leaving the game even after a see-saw day. Read the whole report here.

Thirty-one years after his namesake took five wickets on first-class debut for Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium, medium-pacer Balwinder Sandhu repeated the feat and dealt a blow to Punjab's hopes of securing a quarter-final berth. Sandhu struck with his third delivery in first-class cricket and, along with Kshemal Waingankar, ensured Mumbai did not suffer from the absence of the experienced Aavishkar Salvi, who left the field clutching his side in his second over. Read the whole report here.

A solid performance from Rajasthan's top order gave them a strong platform for a formidable first-innings total against Orissa in Jaipur. After getting sent in to bat, Rajasthan lost Aakash Chopra early but Vineet Saxena, who is coming off a hundred against Saurashtra, and Hrishikesh Kanitkar made half-centuries and added 139 runs for the second wicket. Both batsmen were dismissed in successive overs with the score on 158, but Robin Bist and Rashmi Parida steered Rajasthan to 209 for 3 at stumps.

Group B

Ashok Dinda's five-wicket haul helped Bengal curb Baroda's strong start and reduce them to 284 for 9 in Vadodara. Baroda only need first-innings points to secure a quarter-final berth and they were on course for a formidable total after being asked to bat. After they lost Anupam Gupta early, Aditya Waghmode and Rakesh Solanki scored half-centuries to lead Baroda to 145 for 1.

Dinda dismissed both set batsmen and cut through the middle order, reducing the home team to 222 for 6. He then broke a 56-run partnership for the seventh wicket before Sourav Ganguly struck twice in the only over he bowled to leave Baroda on 278 for 9. Three wickets had fallen for no runs. Dinda ended the day with figures of 5 for 96.

Gujarat's bowlers made short work of Haryana's batting line-up, dismissing them for 207 in Surat. Medium-pacer Mehul Patel took 4 for 59, and he was supported by Ishwar Chaudhary and Ashraf Madka, who took 3 for 50 and 2 for 23.

Haryana had made a steady start after choosing to bat but lost their way from 59 for 1. Sunny Singh top scored with 69 but had no support from his team-mates, none of whom passed 30. Gujarat then lost their captain Parthiv Patel off the first ball of their innings, but Priyank Panchal and Niraj Patel steered them to 46 for 1 by stumps.

Both teams squaring off in Chennai are already in the quarter-finals and it was Tamil Nadu that had the better of the first day against Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh had chosen to bowl, a decision that did not pay off - though the opening pair of T Sudhindra and Ishwar Pandey extracted a bit of movement off the pitch - as all the Tamil Nadu top-order batsmen got starts and three of them converted it into half-centuries to help them reach 294 for 4 at stumps.

M Vijay and Kaushik Gandhi made 83 and 80, while Dinesh Karthik was unbeaten on 60. Vijay and Karthik were both in positive in their approach as Tamil Nadu had at least a half-century stand for each of the first four wickets, ensuring MP's successes were few and far between. Vijay crafted some crackring drives, while Karthik peppered the straight boundary. S Badrinath, who was playing his 100th first-class game, meanwhile, hit the only six of the day before falling for 32 at the stroke of tea. The visitors used as many as eight bowlers and Amarjeet Singh had the best figures - 2 for 79.