Ranji Trophy Super League, 5th round, 1st day December 1, 2009

Bangar hands Railways pole position

Cricinfo staff

Group A

Railways 61 for 1 trail Gujarat 91 (Bangar 3-17, Saxena 3-19) by 30 runs

A horrendous batting display from Gujarat meant Railways held sway during their encounter in Valsad. Asked to bat first, the Gujarat batsmen struggled with the pace of right-arm seamer Santosh Saxena from the start. The baton was picked up by Shailender Gehlot who picked up two wickets, before Sanjay Bangar steamrolled them by the 59th over with three strikes. Four ducks did not make for good reading as opener Timil Patel top scored with 31. In reply, Railways lost the lone wicket of Faiz Fazal but surely are heading for first-innings points with Bangar looking solid during his unbeaten 31. Already having slipped out of contention for a quarter-final berth, this performance from Gujarat have certainly done them no favours.

Punjab 37 for 2 trail Himachal Pradesh 197 (Indulkar 60, Gony 5-47, Ablish 3-57) by 160 runs

Manpreet Gony maintained his good form from the last match and picked up a five-for to shoot out Himachal Pradesh in Mohali. Punjab's pace trio of Gony, Love Ablish and Harmeet Singh were once again at the forefront and justified capatain pankaj Dharmani's decision to field first. Ablish took out the top three HP batsmen to leave the visitors stuttering at 33 for 3. Gony made full use of the platform to rock the4 visitors further before a seventh-wicket partnership of 87 between VA Indulkar and Kuldeep Diwan (56) brought about some calm. But once Gony sent Indulkar on his way, Harmeet joined his fast-bowling partner to bowl out HP in 58 overs. However, Punjab lost their openers during the reply, with wicketkeeper Uday Kaul and Taruwar Kohli seeing them through to the end of play.

Tamil Nadu 323 for 5 (Karthik 118*, Anirudha 53, Ganapthy 52*) v Orissa

Arun Karthik's unbeaten century formed the cornerstone of Tamil Nadu's 300-plus score against Orissa in Sambalpur. His third first-class hundred helped the table-toppers maintain their supremacy as most of the Orissa bowlers were made to toil hard. Choosing to bat, Tamil Nadu were boosted by S Anirudha's second fifty on the trot. But the day belonged to the 23-year-old Karthik as he displayed great determination, hitting 16 fours during his 230-ball stay. Debasis Mohanty and Dhiraj Singh tried their best with two wickets each, but Orissa were pushed back by the 103-run stand between Karthik and Chandrasekar Ganapathy, who scored an unbeaten half-century.

Click here for Siddarth Ravindran's report from the Hyderabad-Mumbai match.

Group B

Maharashtra 292 (Gaikwad 63, Praveen 6-68) v Uttar Pradesh

Praveen Kumar's six-wicket haul helped Uttar Pradesh bowl out Maharashtra on the first day at the Poona Club Ground. Once fellow-seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Maharashtra captain Harshad Khadiwale, Praveen ran through the batting lineup to justify captain Mohammad Kaif's decision to bowl first. RP Singh also chipped in with two wickets to further dent Maharashtra, who have certainly been the whipping boys of the tournament so far. Sangram Dilp Atitkar (55) and Kedar Jadhav (49) added 106 for the third wicket after the hosts had lost two early wickets. Ganesh Gaikwad though, finished as their top scorer, adding a crucial 107 for the seventh wicket with wicketkeeper Rohit Motwani, who hit 57.

Karnataka 335 for 3 (Satish 94*, Pandey 93*, Uthappa 58) v Baroda

A strong batting performance, led by unbeaten nineties from Ganesh Satish and Manish Pandey gave table-toppers Karnataka opening day honours against Baroda at the Moti Bagh Stadium. Put in by the home team, Karnataka were given a solid start by captain Robin Uthappa's 20th first-class half-century, before Satish and Pandey stole the show with a fourth-wicket stand of 175. While Satish hit 11 fours during his patient knock, Pandey smashed 10 fours and two sixes during his 147-ball innings. The 43 extras also did not help Baroda's cause, as both unbeaten batsmen will look to close in on well-deserved hundreds tomorrow and further strengthen the visitors.

Delhi 22 for 0 trail Saurashtra 328 (Pathak 138, Pujara 83, Sangwan 3-71) by 306 runs

Saurashtra lost their last seven wickets for 67 runs to undo the good work done by centurion Chirag Pathak, and give the hosts the upper hand in Delhi. Delhi's decision to bowl first was not successful immediately as Pathak and Sagar Jogiyani added 64 at close to a run-a-ball before Parvinder Awana struck. Pawan Suyal then picked up two wickets in an over to put the visitors in a tight spot. However, Delhi failed to capitalise on the opening, as Pathak joined forces with Cheteshwar Pujara to add 160 for the fourth wicket. Pathak's dazzling 164-ball innings, included 21 fours and a six. However, Rajat Bhatia sent back both batsmen in successive overs to trigger a collapse. Pradeep Sangwan picked up three wickets, as the tail crumbled without offering any resistance. The Delhi openers saw off the eight overs remaining in the day without much trouble.