Odedra hands Saurashtra lead in dramatic day
Saurashtra 127 (Munaf 5-48) and 4 for 0 lead Baroda 124 (Odedra 5-28) by seven runs
Saurashtra gained a narrow first-innings lead against Baroda in a dramatic day in which 20 wickets fell at the Moti Bagh Stadium. Munaf Patel took five wickets in the morning to bowl out Saurashtra for 127 in just 35 overs; run-machine Cheteshwar Pujara can only make 9. Even that total was reached due to a 26 from No. 8 Rakesh Dhurv after Saurashtra were 99 for 9. The final wicket stand proved invaluable after Baroda lost the initiative when their batting folded for 124. Baroda lost a wicket off the first ball of the reply, but things seemed to be back on track when they reached 78 for 4. Medium-pacer Jayesh Odedra, however, took five of the final six Baroda wickets to give Saurashtra the first-innings honours.
Delhi 344 for 4 (Manhas 166*, Bhatia 99) v Maharashtra
Experienced Delhi players, Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia, combined for a 256-run fourth-wicket stand to demoralise Maharashtra at the Roshanara Club ground. Maharashtra's decision to field seemed to be paid dividends when Delhi were reduced to 88 for 3, with captain Virat Kohli dismissed for 4. However, Manhas went on to his 17th first-class century and Bhatia missed out on triple figures by one run to put Delhi in control. Maharashtra are staring at chasing a giant first-innings score but at least had the relief of snapping the mammoth stand in the penultimate over of the day.
Uttar Pradesh 0 for 0 trail Bengal 193 (Ganguly 66, Chawla 4-66) by 193 runs
Sourav Ganguly's 66 was not enough to stop Bengal from being rolled over for 193 by Uttar Pradesh's strong bowling attack at Green Park in Kanpur. Bengal slipped to 20 for 3 after being sent in when captain Manoj Tiwary was run out for 1. Ganguly and opener Arindam Das put on a patient 81-run stand to revive Bengal before legspinner Piyush Chawla removed both batsmen. Rohan Gavaskar (20) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (39) were the only other batsmen to reach double-digits as Bengal struggled to string together partnerships. Chawla finished with four wickets and new-ball bowler Praveen Kumar scalped three.
Railways 211 for 5 (Goud 70*, Fazal 69) v Hyderabad
Railways made slow progress after being sent in by Hyderabad at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Half-centuries from Yere Goud and opener Faiz Fazal led the Railways batting effort against a revamped Hyderabad bowling attack. Fazal made most of the early runs, dominating stands with opener V Cheluvaraj and Sanjay Bangar. The returning Alfred Absolem and MP Arjun took two wickets apiece, and Fazal was run out by Amol Shinde to leave Railways struggling at 128 for 5. Goud then revived the batting with a dour unbeaten 70 and in the company of M Suresh, who battled nearly three hours for his 24, to add an unbroken 83 runs for the sixth wicket.
Orissa 232 for 7 (Behera 72, Pati 52, Ablish 5-86) v Punjab
Orissa lost regular wickets after being asked to bat by Punjab to finish the first day at 232 for 7. They made a quick start with the openers adding 56 in 8.3 overs before captain Shiv Sundar Das was dismissed. The run-rate eased up after that but his opening partner Bikas Pati made a 63-ball 52 before popping a catch back to fast bowler Manpreet Gony. No. 3 Niranjan Behera then held the innings together with a cautious 72, but no one else made a substantial score. Medium-pacer Love Ablish's impressive season continued as he finished with five scalps to move into joint fourth-spot in the wicket-takers' chart.
Gujarat 144 for 5 (Parthiv 57) v Himachal Pradesh
Only 59 overs of play was possible in Surat, in which bottom-of-the-table Himachal Pradesh took five Gujarat wickets. It looked to be Gujarat's day when they moved to 130 for 2, thanks to captain Parthiv Patel's 57, but three wickets for no addition of runs in the space of seven deliveries left HP the happier side. Wicketkeeper Ajay Mannu snapped four catches on the day, and fast bowler Vikramjeet Malik - HP's most impressive performer this season - captured three wickets.
Click to read Nagraj Gollapudi's bulletin of the first day's play between Mumbai and Tamil Nadu.