Ranji Trophy Super League, 5th round, 1st day

Pathan brothers star for Baroda

Cricinfo staff

November 29, 2008

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Baroda 88 for 3 (YK Pathan 39*) trail Maharashtra 228 (Jadhav 80, IK Pathan 5-54) by 140 runs
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Back in action for Baroda, Yusuf and Irfan Pathan did their job with bat and ball, but Maharashtra fought well to keep the match in balance © AFP
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Irfan Pathan took a five-wicket haul, and his elder brother Yusuf scored a quickfire unbeaten 39, but the honours were largely shared between Baroda and Maharashtra in Vadodara. Baroda, boosted by the return of their India internationals - the Pathan brothers and Munaf Patel - seized the advantage early after putting the opposition in.

Maharashtra quickly slipped to 76 for 5. Munaf grabbed the first two wickets, and Irfan followed up with three as Maharashtra's batsmen failed to deliver once again. The only significant resistance came from Kedar Jadhav. He had useful stands with wicketkeeper Rohit Motwani and Digambar Waghmare. Jadhav, though, fell for 80, stumped off left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar. Soon after Jadhav's wicket, Irfan dismissed Waghmare and Samad Fallah to make it 175 for 9. However, Baroda failed to make the kill, with the final pair Mun Mangela and Wahid Sayyed adding 53 vital runs.

Fallah and Mangela then swung the match in Maharashtra's favour, taking three wickets in the first seven overs. However, Yusuf hit seven fours in his 30-ball 39 to ensure Baroda ended the day without any further damage. The other unbeaten batsman, Azharuddin Bilakhia, made a brisk 28 as Baroda scored 88 runs in their 16 overs.

Connor Williams, the Baroda captain, was out for a duck himself, but he underlined the need for a big total. "We need a big partnership now to put a decent first innings lead over Maharashtra," he told the Times of India. "We did well by restricting them to 228 runs. We now need to capitalise on our strengths. Yusuf is in great form and we hope he continues the way he batted on Saturday."

Irfan, was delighted to be among the wickets and was optimistic about a win. "A five-wicket haul is always a great thing as it boosts confidence. We all have done well in the match so far and some good batting performance will increase our chances of winning," he said.

Uttar Pradesh 275 for 8 (Raina 66, P Kumar 51*, Chawla 47, Sharma 3-59, Singh 3-60) v Railways
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Useful scores from the lower order boosted Uttar Pradesh to 275 for 8 at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. UP, placed third in Group B, chose to bat against fourth-ranked Railways who have played one less game. However, the batsmen failed to capitalise on a solid platform set by opener Shivakant Shukla and Suresh Raina, slipping from 91 for 1 to 125 for 5.

Tanmay Srivastava fell with the score on 15, edging Anureet Singh behind, but his opening partner Shukla played out 86 deliveries for 19. Shukla put on 76 with Raina, who hit eight fours in his 66. Legspinner Karan Sharma then trapped Shukla and Mohammad Kaif, the UP captain, leg-before off successive balls, and Anureet removed Raina and Parvinder Singh to leave the visitors in trouble.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Piyush Chawla fought back with a 66-run partnership and Chawla made 47 before he too was lbw to Sharma. Railways faced more resistance from Praveen Kumar, who scored 51 off 56 balls, while Bhuvneshwar and RP Singh put a price on their wickets. Praveen was unbeaten at stumps, and quick runs on the second day could take UP past 300.

Saurashtra 270 for 5 (Chauhan 111*, Pathak 88, Pankaj Singh 3-38) v Rajasthan
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Another run-feast seemed on the cards at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot, but bottom-placed Rajasthan did well to keep the hosts to 270 for 5 on the first day of their Group A encounter. Bhushan Chauhan scored his second century in as many innings, but his opening partner, Chirag Pathak, missed one by 12 runs.

Left-arm spinner Gajendra Singh got the first breakthrough for Rajasthan after the opening pair had added 154 runs. Shitanshu Kotak and Chauhan then made steady progress to push Saurashtra past the 200-mark, but they were done in by vital blows from Pankaj Singh.

He had three batsmen, including Kotak and Cheteshwar Pujara, the leading run-scorer of the tournament, caught behind by wicketkeeper Nikhil Doru. A stumping off Gajendra accounted for Ravindra Jadeja, leaving Saurashtra for 228 for 5. Sagar Jogiyani gave Chauhan support as the hosts went to stumps without losing another wicket. Pankaj finished the day with figures of 18-3-38-3.

Gujarat 291 for 5 (Thaker 151*, Parthiv 84, Popat 45) v Punjab
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Third-placed Gujarat were in a situation similar to Saurashtra's after the first day of their match against Punjab in Ahmedabad. However, unlike Saurashtra, Gujarat did not have a great start after they chose to bat at the Sardar Patel Stadium. The top three scored 1, 0 and 0, with Manpreet Gony striking twice.

Parthiv Patel, the Gujarat captain, and Bhavik Thaker led Gujarat's recovery. Sixty-four of Parthiv's 84 came in fours and he added 162 with Thaker, who went on to score his third century of the tournament. A 125-run stand between Thaker and Digant Popat followed but Popat fell in the final over of the day. Thaker remained unbeaten on 151 off 266 balls, with 21 fours and three sixes.

Thaker, who is currently second on the run-scoring charts behind Saurashtra's Cheteshwar Pujara, said the team had put behind the disappointing loss to Mumbai and was happy to contribute with the timely knock. "Yes, it was and given the situation that we were in, it was also a very important one," he told the Times of India.

"That one hour in the morning is very crucial because the ball tends to do few things. You need to concentrate hard and that's what we (Parthiv and Thaker) decided to do. But there is still some way to go, today is the first day and we need to put a decent score on the board to put Punjab under pressure."

Andhra v Tamil Nadu
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Tamil Nadu, who are one point behind leaders Karnataka with a game in hand, would have fancied their chances of full points in their Group B encounter against last-placed Andhra, but overnight rain reduced their prospects. No play was possible on the first day at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Vijaywada after the ground was deemed unfit for for play. The umpires held three inspections before calling it a day at 4pm.

Delhi 78 (Khatua 3-17, B Mohanty 3-25, D Mohanty 3-26) and 38 for 4 (Sehwag 27*, Khatua 2-10) lead Orissa 80 (Ishant 7-24, Awana 2-1) by 36 runs
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The trip to the Feroz Shah Kotla would have been worth it for every bowler who has toiled for years on the Indian domestic cricket. The pampered batsmen were left out on the street and they couldn't fend for themselves. On a lovely wintry day in Delhi, a wicket fell less than every three overs on average on a pitch that assisted swing and seam movement. Six batsmen succumbed to away movement and edged to the wicketkeeper, 12 were bowled by straighter ones and incoming deliveries, the top score of the day was only 32, and six Delhi batsmen walked out for the second time on the same day. Click here for the full report.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Tournament Results
Mumbai v U. Pradesh at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Jan 12-16, 2009
Mumbai won by 243 runs
Mumbai v Saurashtra at Chennai - Jan 4-7, 2009
Match drawn
Tamil Nadu v U. Pradesh at Nagpur - Jan 4-7, 2009
Match drawn
Gujarat v U. Pradesh at Vadodara - Dec 26-29, 2008
Match drawn
Mumbai v H. Pradesh at Ahmedabad - Dec 26-29, 2008
Mumbai won by 9 wickets
Saurashtra v Karnataka at Mumbai (BS) - Dec 26-29, 2008
Saurashtra won by 5 wickets
Tamil Nadu v Bengal at Bangalore - Dec 26-29, 2008
Tamil Nadu won by 8 wickets
More results »
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