Haryana make merry, Services slip
Haryana 331 for 3 (Saini 125, Sunny Singh 126*) v Jharkhand
Haryana enjoyed their opening day against Jharkhand at Rohtak, where maiden century from Nitin Saini and a fourth from Sunny Singh piled up an imposing 331 for 3 by stumps. Saini and Rahul Dewan (45) put on 87 for the first wicket before Kuldeep Sharma struck twice. Then it was over to the two centurions, who put on 201. Saini, 20, had a previous best of 35 but went past that significantly, in just his fourth match, making 125. Sunny was unbeaten on 126 from 156 balls, with 13 fours and three sixes.
Goa 260 for 8 (Asnodkar 93, Mahajan 3-48) v Jammu & Kashmir
Goa's captain, Swapnil Asnodkar, carried on his early-season Ranji form with 93 on day one at Margao, but it was primarily a one-man show against Jammu & Kashmir. Asnodkar's 179-ball effort, with the help of 13 boundaries, was the top score in an innings of 260 for 8 by stumps. Goa's middle order failed to fire and if not for Saurabh Bandekar (30), Robin D'Souza (30*) and Ryan Ninan (21*) it would have been an even more disappointing outing. Runs came at a trickle, and Pranav Mahajan's 3 for 48 were the best figures for J&K.
Himachal Pradesh 317 for 7 (Mukesh Sharma 78*, Singh 72, Dogra 45) v Kerala
Himachal Pradesh made good progress on the opening day of their match against Kerala at Dharamsala, reaching 317 for 7 by stumps. There were no centuries, but innings of 78 not out from Mukesh Sharma, 72 from opener Sangram Singh, and two scores in the forties from Paras Dogra and Ajay Mannu ensured a good day's play. As many as eight bowlers were used by Kerala, with Tinu Yohannan, the former India fast bowler, taking the first and last two wickets to fall.
Madhya Pradesh 4 for 1 trail Bengal 210 (Kundu 66, Golwalkar 3-29) by 210 runs
Eleven wickets fell at Indore. The hosts, Madhya Pradesh, fielded first and did well to dismiss Bengal for 210 in 80.4 overs, but then lost Himalaya Sagar for a second-ball duck by stumps. Sanjay Pandey and Shantanu Pitre did early damage with the new ball, restricting Bengal to 80 for 5. Contributions from wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (38) and Ritam Kundu (66) added a semblance of respectability to Bengal's score, before legspinner Yogesh Golwalkar - who has played for Middlesex - cut them off en route to 3 for 29. Ashok Dinda gave Bengal some hope with the wicket of Sagar in his only over. Bengal fielded four debutants: Iaresh Saxena, Arindam Ghosh, Avik Chowdhury and Srivats Goswami, the Under-19 wicketkeeper.
Services 43 for 5 trail Vidarbha 151 (Rakesh Kumar 5-45) by 108 runs
The trend of wickets taking precedent over runs continued at Palam, where Vidarbha overcame a poor batting performance by leaving Services floundering at 43 for 5. Services, who chose to field first, knocked over Vidarbha for 151 in 58.4 overs. Left-arm medium opening bowler Rakesh Kumar, in his fourth first-class game, picked up a career-best 5 for 45. Rakesh took five of the first six wickets to fall with the score 86 and was ably supported by Pankaj Kumar (2 for 36) and Shuvra Karmakar (3 for 38). Shalabh Shrivastava's unbeaten 42 was the best score. In reply, Services batted as poorly, losing two wickets with the score at 4. It went downhill from there, with Yashpal Singh's 24 the only double-digit score so far.
Assam 45 for 2 trail Tripura 215 (Dutta 54, Konwar 5-59) by 170 runs
Assam, having dismissed Tripura for 215, lost to wickets for 45 by stumps at Agartala. R Malli started well with the new ball, taking two quick wickets, but it was offspinner Arnald Konwar's 5 for 59 which did the real damage. Konwar took two in the middle order and three down the way, helping Tripura justify their decision to field. Only Rajesh Banik (48) and wicketkeeper Rajib Dutta (54) made anything substantial. Vineet Jain nipped out Assam's openers to finish the first day with 2 for 25.