Kulkarni buoys Mumbai with all-round effort
Orissa 3 for 3 (Kulkarni 2-3) trail Mumbai 180 (Samant 46, B Mohanty 5-50, DS Mohanty 3-28) by 177 runs
Dhawal Kulkarni's late fightback with the bat and early strikes with the ball revived Mumbai after the visitors started poorly at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.
After captain Wasim Jaffer took a brave decision of batting first on a green top, Mumbai fell prey to the Mohantys - Debasis and Basanth - who snared eight wickets, with Basanth taking five. They slumped to 22 for 3, before Amol Muzumdar and wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant steadied the innings. They pushed the score to 110, but the Mohantys struck again. Muzumdar, Samant and Rohit Sharma were dismissed in successive overs by Basanth, and they were down to 145 for 8 after Debasis removed Vinayak Mane and Ankeet Chavan. Kulkarni then scored 26 at No. 10 to boost his team to 180, but offspinner Niranjan Behera - the seventh bowler to be used by Orissa - took the final two wickets quickly to end the innings.
In his first season in the Ranji Trophy, Kulkarni has made it a habit to strike in his first over of an innings - he has done it five times so far. The sixth took place in Cuttack, with Orissa's openers - Bikas Pati and Behera - out for ducks. Kulkarni's new-ball partner Kshemal Waingankar followed suit, striking with his second ball to leave the hosts in a precarious position overnight.
Baroda 124 for 5 (YK Pathan 31*, Amarnath 3-39) lead Tamil Nadu 117 (Veragi 5-24, Argal 3-39) by seven runs
There was no Irfan Pathan, but Baroda's medium-pacers dismissed Tamil Nadu for 117 on the first day at the Moti Bagh Stadium to boosts their team's chances of making it to the semi-finals. A tough tie was in the offing for the fifth-placed team - the top three make it to the quarter-finals - against the Group B leaders; however, Salim Veragi and Ajitesh Argal skittled out Tamil Nadu, who chose to bat, for a low score on a lively track to give their team the advantage. The last three wickets for the visitors fell without any runs being added - a hat-trick for Veragi, who completed his maiden five-for in first-class cricket.
Three quick strikes from P Amarnath brought Tamil Nadu right back into the contest. Baroda were in trouble at 67 for 5, and things could have been worse if Tamil Nadu captain Dinesh Karthik had hung on to a catch off Pinal Shah with the score at 93. Shah made the most of that drop and added an unbroken 57-run stand with Yusuf Pathan to give Baroda the first-innings lead.
Saurashtra 234 for 9 (Chauhan 61, Jadeja 56, Awana 4-57) v Delhi
Medium-pacer Parvinder Awana took four wickets, and was involved in the run-out of Cheteshwar Pujara, the leading run-getter in the tournament this season, as Delhi restricted Saurashtra to 234 for 9 on the first day at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot.
Delhi desperately need a win to catch up with the leading pack of Mumbai, Saurashtra and Gujarat, and their bowlers did well after the hosts chose to bat. When Pujara fell, Saurashtra were at 73 for 3. Bhushan Chauhan and Ravindra Jadeja doubled that score, but legspinner Chetanya Nanda struck to break the partnership. Chauhan scored 61 off 153 balls, and Jadeja was removed for 56 by Awana soon after. With Saurashtra's last pair standing, Awana will fancy his chances of grabbing his maiden five-for.
Hyderabad 246 for 7 (Suman 131, Shinde 57, Ladda 4-51) v Punjab
Opener TS Suman's century gave Hyderabad a solid start in their Group A match against Punjab, but a late fightback from the visitors had the game evenly poised at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Suman, who was lucky to see an edge dropped in the slips when on 6, got support from No. 5 Amol Shinde, who chipped in with a 57. Suman's cover-drives and pulls were the stand-out strokes and his placement and shot selection was also spot-on. However, his dismissal for 131 triggered a collapse, with four wickets falling for 26 runs. Legspinner Sarabjit Ladda took 4 for 51 - his second four-wicket haul in six first-class matches.
Maharashtra 13 for 1 trail Railways 212 (Goud 75, Sanyal 70, Fallah 5-49) by 199 runs
Railways, who are still in the reckoning for a quarter-final place from Group B, were one of four teams to be dismissed on the first day in the sixth round of matches. Left-armer Samad Fallah took five, and he was well supported by fellow medium-pacers Mun Mangela and Aditya Dole as Railways were dismissed for 212.
Railways, who were asked to bat by the hosts in Nasik, were propped up by seventies from Yere Goud, who recently played his 100th Ranji Trophy game, and Sanjib Sanyal. Wickets, though, tumbled at the start and end of their innings: the last six crashed in the space of 25 runs. Railways got one breakthrough, that of Rohan Bhosale, before close, and will look to dismiss Maharashtra cheaply on the second day.
Gujarat 111 for 3 (NK Patel 51*) trail Rajasthan 136 (Singh 4-31, Trivedi 3-27) by 25 runs
It was another dismal batting performance from Rajasthan in Jaipur. They were bundled out for 136, and an unbeaten half-century from Niraj Patel put Gujarat on course to take the first-innings lead.
Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel decided to let his bowlers make first use of the pitch, and the move paid off. Rajasthan managed to survive 14.1 over without losing a wicket, but Gujarat's bowlers chipped away once the first breakthrough was achieved. Only four batsmen made it to double-figures, with opener Vineet Saxena top scoring with 39. Medium-pacers Amit Singh and Siddharth Trivedi shared seven wickets between them, and part-timer Priyank Kirit Panchal chipped in with two in five overs.
Gujarat were reduced to 58 for 3 in reply, but Niraj and Bhavik Thaker, Gujarat's leading run-getter this season, ensured they lost no more wickets before stumps.
Karnataka 277 for 6 (Uthappa 65, Raghu 64, Chawla 2-59, Praveen 2-61) v Uttar Pradesh
One hundred and thirteen: That was the tangible cost of the chances Uttar Pradesh missed on a day in which they failed to hold on to three of the seven catches that came their way. But while UP fielders were intent on letting Karnataka run away with the game, the hosts were in benevolent mood too: some unnecessary shots let UP back in, two of them by the openers who were both dropped during their pieces. Whereupon UP pulled the plug on the scoring, and slowly made their way back to the end the first day on even terms, despite a half-century from the third beneficiary, C Raghu. (Read the full report.)