Pankaj's eight destroy Tripura
Tripura's season so far has been nothing short of a nightmare, and the rut continued as they were bowled out for 95 by Rajasthan, their third total of under a hundred in four matches, at the International Cricket Ground in Kota. Rajasthan were already ahead by the end of the day, reaching 99 for 3, with opener Aakash Chopra not out on 47. Only three batsmen reached double figures for the bottom-of-the-table Tripura as Rajasthan seamer Pankaj Singh helped himself to career-best figures of 8 for 32. Panjak's haul meant he overtook his new-ball partner Deepak Chahar, who took two in the innings, to become the season's leading wicket-taker. It was carnage from the first over as Tripura opener Rajib Saha was bowled first ball by Pankaj. Chahar got the next two, before Pankaj ran through the batting line-up. Rajasthan are joint top of the Group A table with Madhya Pradesh and Hyderabad and will be hoping to open up a lead with a victory.
Goa batsman Reagan Pinto scored his second first-class century to help his side build towards a big first-innings total against Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Pinto scored his maiden ton in Goa's last match against Jharkhand and continued his form, reaching 106 not out, to help the visitors recover from 50 for 2 to reach 334 for 5 by the end of the first day. Goa captain Ajay Ratra, the leading run-getter in the Plate League this season, got 51 in the match between the third and fourth-placed sides in Group A.
Madhya Pradesh's fast bowlers made short work of Jharkhand, and their batsmen ensured they had taken the lead by stumps on the first day in Indore. TP Sudhindra ran through the Jharkhand top order after they had chosen to bat, reducing them to 40 for 3. Ishank Jaggi and Keshav Kumar tried to stem the fall of wickets with a 47-run stand, but seamer Amit Sharma had Jaggi caught behind for 29 - which was to be the top score for Jharkhand - and also trapped wicketkeeper Shiv Gautam leg before. Medium-pacer Anand Rajan then cleaned up the lower order, finishing with 4 for 31, as Jharkhand were blown away for 131. Naman Ojha, the Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper, led MP's response with a quick 44 as the hosts raced to an opening stand of 72 by the 13th over. Seamer Varun Aaron dismissed the openers, and Monish Mishra fell just before stumps, but captain Devendra Bundela was unbeaten on 34 as MP finished the day on 135 for 3.
Jammu & Kashmir's batting continued to struggle as they folded for 253 against Andhra at the Gandhi Memorial Science College Ground in Jammu. J & K have failed to pass the 300-run mark since their first game of the season and it has been the main reason for their bottom-of-the-table position. Wicketkeeper Arshad Bhatt made 66 at No.3 and got the hosts to 128 for 2 before he became the second J & K batsman to be run out. From then on, wickets fell at regular intervals, with only allrounder Hardeep Singh able to stand up to Andhra's bowling with his unbeaten 60. Andhra seamer Syed Sahabuddin and part-time offspinner Venugopal Rao took three wickets each as the visitors look for their first win of the season after drawing their first three games.
Vidarbha and Services finished the first day more or less on par at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, as the visitors reached 206 for 5 at stumps. Opener Pratik Desai and Soumyaranjan Swain got half-centuries for Services, but they were never able to build significant partnerships with the fifth-wicket stand of 56 between Swain and Soomik Chatarjee being the highest. Offspinner Akshay Wakhare got two wickets for Vidarbha as the side, who are second-last in the Group B table, look for their first win of the season. Services are in third position with eight points.
Only 62 overs were bowled at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi and Maharashtra reached 150 for 3 against Kerala after being put in to bat. It was steady progress for the visitors as all of their top three got starts. Opener Nikhil Paradkar missed out on a half-century, out for 45 to left-arm spinner Sreekumar Nair. Sangram Atitkar was batting on 38 at the end of the first day's play and Maharashtra have a solid base from where they can reach a strong total. Four points separate Maharashtra and Kerala at the top of the table, but the hosts are yet to win this season, having got three points for first-innings lead from each of their prior games.