Goa ride on Pinto's maiden century
A combination of rain and bad light curtailed play on day one in five of the six third round Plate League matches. In the one match that did see a complete 90-over day's play, Goa's Reagan Pinto scored his maiden first-class century, taking his team to 315 for 4 against Jharkhand in Porvorim. Goa's problem this season has been their first innings scores. They managed to draw both their first two matches, but conceded first-innings leads and as a consequence have just two points. Goa's captain Sagun Kamat decided to bat first and would have feared another poor total after he was dismissed with the score on 4. Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan and Vaibhav Naik put on 87 for the second wicket to set a solid platform and then Pinto and Ajay Ratra capitalised. Ratra, whose 204 not out in Goa's last match against Rajasthan took him to the top of this season's run charts, got 54 off 62 balls, while Pinto hit 12 fours in his 105.
Tripura crumbled to 122 for 6 as Hyderabad seamer Pagadala Naidu took 4 for 25 in his second first-class match. Play on day one at the Gymkhana Ground in Hyderabad was reduced to 54 overs, but that was enough for the home team to take an advantage into day two. Tripura's batting has really struggled this season: their highest score has been 255 and have been bowled out twice for less than a hundred. Things were no different on Wednesday as Naidu took three quick wickets to have Tripura wobbling at 42 for 3. Opener Rajib Saha waged a lone battle, getting 71, but wickets kept falling at the other end and when Saha fell to left-arm spinner Lalith Mohan, Tripura, who have no points so far this season, were staring at another batting failure.
Only four overs were bowled at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur in the Group A top-of-the-table match between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, as rain washed out play. MP put Rajasthan - who have scored 400-plus totals in each of the two innings they have played this season -into bat and Akash Chopra and Vineet Saxena reached 4 for 0 before play was stopped. Madhya Pradesh have made just one change to the side that beat Goa in their last encounter, bringing in seamer Anand Rajan for Ishwar Pandey. Rajasthan offspinner Madhur Khatri and legspinner Vivek Yadav come in for their first game of the season, replacing left-arm spinner Gajendra Singh and seamer Raman Chahar.
Kerala seamers Sony Cheruvathur and Prasanth Parameswaran struck three times each to reduce Vidarbha to 134 for 7 before bad light stopped play on day one in Malappuram. Vidarbha, who were bowled out for 61 in the second innings of their previous match against Maharashtra, continued to struggle with the bat and lost their first four wickets for 21, with Cheruvathur and Parameswaran taking two scalps each. Opener Akshay Kolhar held firm through the early collapse and got to his second half-century of the season, putting together a 67-run stand for the fifth wicket with Himanshu Joshi. The two then fell in the space of ten overs and Ranjit Paradkar fell to left-arm spinner Sreekumar Nair before the umpires called off play after 61 overs.
Maharashtra's batsmen were cooling their heels until tea, as rain delayed play in Visakhapatnam, but were then faced with a storm from the Andhra Pradesh bowlers to be reduced to 66 for 4 at the end of day one. Andhra's leading wicket-taker this season, P Vijaykumar, dismissed Ameya Shrikhande in the second over of the match, and then seamer Gnaneswara Rao got Sangram Atitkar and Ankit Bawne out for ducks. Maharashtra still have their season's leading run-getter Harshad Khadiwale at the wicket on 39 but need a recovery act tomorrow if they are to maintain their 100% winning record.
Fading light was again a problem in the Group B bottom-of-the-table clash between Services and Jammu & Kashmir at the Harbax Singh Stadium in Delhi where just 43 overs of play was possible. Services ended the day at 119 for 2 after electing to bat. Tahir Khan's first first-class innings for two years didn't last long as he was out caught behind to Samiullah Beigh. J&K seamer Raman Dutta dismissed Sumit Singh before Jasvir Singh and Sarabjit Singh put up an unbeaten 50-run stand.