Bowlers put Tamil Nadu on top
Tamil Nadu 78 for 2 (Badrinath 41*, B Kumar 2-20) trail Uttar Pradesh 150 (Balaji 4-38, Amarnath 4-53) by 72 runs
There were four wickets apiece for L Balaji and P Amarnath - and five catches behind the stumps for wicketkeeper-captain Dinesh Karthik - as Tamil Nadu bundled out last year's finalists, Uttar Pradesh, for 150 after fielding first in Ghaziabad. The visitors ended the day at 78 for 2, and will fancy their chances of taking a considerable lead.
Uttar Pradesh's openers played out the early overs, but Tanmay Srivastava was caught by Karthik off C Ganapathy for 29. No. 3 Prashant Gupta was only the second of three batsmen in the innings to pass 20. He was bowled by Balaji - UP were 70 for 3 - and Amarnath struck in successive overs to leave them at 85 for 5. Piyush Chawla provided some resistance with his 28 not out. He added 26 with wicketkeeper Amir Khan and 30 for the eighth wicket with Imtiyaz Ahmed. Karthik pouched his fifth when Ahmed was caught behind off Balaji, who trapped the last two batsmen leg-before in the same over - the 57th of the innings.
TN did not get off to the best of starts - Abhinav Mukund was dismissed first-ball -and Bhuvneshwar Kumar made it 41 for 2 when he removed Arun Karthik, Mukund's opening partner. S Badrinath scored an unbeaten 41, with captain Karthik was on 19 not out, to take their team to safety.
Mumbai 279 for 2 (Rahane 151*, Muzumdar 78*) v Delhi
Delhi's defence of the Ranji Trophy had not got off to the best of starts, and there was not much for them to cheer on the first day of their third-round game at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Group A leaders Mumbai showed no signs of slipping up, with an unbroken 207-run stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Amol Muzumdar putting them in control.
Mumbai made a slow start after choosing to bat, and lost Sahil Kukreja in the 15th over. Captain Wasim Jaffer then added 49 for the second wicket with Rahane. Jaffer fell for 29, and at 72 for 2 the match was evenly poised. However, Rahane scored his second century in the tournament, and Muzumdar his second half-century, to help Mumbai wrest the initiative. Rahane finished the day at 151, and needs 22 more to get his career-best first-class score; Muzumdar needs the same number of runs for his 24th first-class ton. Delhi were without left-armer Ashish Nehra, who strained a hamstring during their previous game.
Gujarat 235 for 1 (Modi 118*, Niraj 60*) v Hyderabad
Gujarat, who were trounced by Mumbai in the second round, began confidently in Ahmedabad, scoring 235 for 1 in 90 overs on the first day. Choosing to bat at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Gujarat made a sluggish but steady start, with their openers putting on 108 in 43.4 overs. Priyank Kirit Panchal was the first to go, dismissed by medium pacer Syed Quadri for 48 - he played 145 deliveries. Nilesh Modi and Niraj Patel ensured Gujarat didn't lose a wicket for the rest of the day. Modi made an unbeaten 118, with nine fours, and Niraj was gave him company till stumps, not out on 60.
Orissa 235 for 6 (SS Das 74, Pati 72, Halhadar 43*) v Rajasthan
Orissa scored the same number of runs as Gujarat, but lost five more wickets on the first day against Rajasthan at the Veer Surendra Sai Stadium in Sambalpur. Orissa's openers, captain Shiv Sunder Das and Bikas Pati, added 125 in 32.3 overs, but they failed to build on the start. Pati was out leg-before to Rajasthan captain Venugopal Rao, who bowled Paresh Patel in the same over. Sumit Mathur dismissed Subit Biswal for 3 to Orissa at 130 for 3. Das and Niranjan Behera led a brief recovery, adding 33 in 11 overs, before Mathur got Das out for 74. Behera and Halhadar Das ensured there was no collapse with a 64-run stand, but a double-strike from legspinner Vivek Yadav in the 81st over brought Rajasthan back into the contest. Halhadar was unbeaten on 45 at stumps.
Baroda 1 for 0 trail Railways 224 (Sharma 79, Rawat 67, Pathan 4-42, Veragi 3-51) by 223 runs
Irfan Pathan took 4 for 42 and his new-ball partner Salim Veragi finished with 3 for 51 as Railways were restricted to 224 in their first innings at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Railways chose to bat, but were rocked early on. They capitulated to 45 for 5: Veragi removed the openers within the first ten overs, and dismissed Sanjib Sanyal for 1, while Pathan had two lbws scalps.
A 146-run stand between Karan Sharma and wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat restored respectability to Railway's score. Sharma's 79 was his fourth score over 50 in nine first-class games, and Rawat made 67. A third lbw from Pathan took care of Rawat, and he got his fourth wicket - this time a caught behind - to get rid of Raja Ali. Harvinder Singh was run out, and left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar took the remaining two wickets in a Railways innings that lasted 81.5 overs. Baroda's openers then saw off the solitary over before close.
Punjab 291 for 5 (Ravi Inder 114, Sohal 103, Jadeja 3-49) v Saurashtra
A late fightback from Saurashtra kept Punjab to 291 for 5 after Ravi Inder Singh and Sunny Sohal scored centuries in Rajkot. Punjab, who chose to bat, lost Ravneet Ricky with 51 on the board, but the other top-order batsmen didn't miss out. Sunny Sohal made his third ton in as many games, and Ravi Inder got his second first-class hundred to put their team at a commanding 216 for 1.
The previous two games in Rajkot had seen teams batting first pile up totals in excess of 550. Punjab looked set to become the third, but Ravindra Jadeja struck thrice with his left-arm spin in his 15 overs. He removed both the centurions and Pankaj Dharmani, who made 25. Offspinner Kamlesh Makvana added a second wicket, to that of Ricky's, when he had Uday Kaul caught behind in the 90th over of the day.
Karnataka 277 for 7 (Uthappa 133) v Andhra
Rahul Dravid walked in to the roars of a nearly packed stadium - and his untimely exit left the crowds stunned - but it was Robin Uthappa, the Karnataka captain, who took the applause with his second century of the season at the Gangothri Glades Cricket Ground in Mysore. Uthappa ensured the first two sessions went his team's way, but a late fightback from the Andhra bowlers helped them claim a share of the opening day honours. (Read the full report.)