Ganguly, Saha centuries revive Bengal
Bengal 265 for 4 (Ganguly 110*, Saha 106*) v Delhi
Centuries from Sourav Ganguly and Wriddhiman Saha lifted Bengal out of danger after they had slumped to 43 for 4 on the opening day at the Jadavpur University Ground. Opting to bat in their final group match, Bengal were hit early by Delhi's seam attack. Pradeep Sangwan got his name in the wickets column first by getting Arindam Das to nick one through the wicketkeeper for 4 and Ishant Sharma dismissed Rohan Banerjee for 5 in similar manner. From 12 for 2 in 7.2 overs Bengal slipped further with Parwinder Awana scalping Dibyendu Chakraborty and Manoj Tiwary.
But Ganguly called on his massive experience and with Saha forged a 222-run stand to carry Bengal to 265 for 4 at stumps. Delhi's only mistake on the day was when Ankur Jhulka grassed Ganguly on 54, and the former India captain made the visitors pay in kind. Ganguly's 110 spanned 158 deliveries and included 11 fours and a pair of sixes while Saha's runs came off 206 balls with 16 fours. Later, the senior pro lavished praise on the youngster's performance, even conceding that he rated the latter's effort better than his own.
Karnataka 80 for 2 trail Saurashtra 216 (Jobanputra 53*, Aravind 4-84) by 136 runs
Karnataka capped an eventful day in the field by finishing the first day in Rajkot trailing Saurashtra by 136 runs. It could have been a lot more pleasing for them after they had the hosts pinned down at 115 for 8, but a half-century from Sandeep Jobanputra, batting at No. 10, got the score to 216. Nevertheless, it was Karnataka's day. Their seam bowlers chipped away and never allowed the main batsmen to dominate, with Sreesanth Aravind netting the best figures of 4 for 84. In the 19 overs they faced, Karnataka eased to 80 for 2 with Ganesh Satish hitting an unbeaten 45 from 41 balls.
Baroda 11 for 0 trail Maharashtra 288 (Khadiwale 111, Atitkar 50) by 277 runs
Maharashtra's captain waged a lone battle but it didn't quite do enough to post an imposing total against Baroda in Pune. Irfan Pathan opted to field and along with his fellow medium-pacers, especially himself and Murtuja Vahora, chipped away at Maharashtra. Khadiwale, opening the innings, was forced to retire hurt when 12, with the score 18 for 0, and came back at 105 for 3. His century was the best score by some distance - Sangram Dilp Atitkar, the No. 3, contributed 50 - and he was able to lead two partnerships. With Rohit Motwani he put on 53 and 52 with Kiran Adhav for the seventh wicket. In reply, Baroda were 11 for 0 after two overs.
Mumbai 352 for 3 (Rohit 145*, Marathe 105, Rahane 56) v Gujarat
An in-form Wasim Jaffer failed to cash in on a good batting track, but Rohit Sharma - in his second match this season - and Sushant Marathe - in his second match ever - crossed three figures to drive Mumbai to a big score against Gujarat at the Brabourne Stadium. On a day when India's ODI batsmen took Sri Lanka to the cleaners, Rohit did his chances of a comeback no harm, displaying the kind of authority and shot-selection that pitch-forked him into national reckoning early. Just why Parthiv Patel opted to field on the surface where India amassed a bucket of runs against Sri Lanka in the third Test recently is anybody's guess. At stumps, Mumbai were setting pretty at 352 for 3, with Rohit on 145 from 152 balls, inclusive of 20 fours and three sixes, an utter contrast to the opener Marathe's 268-ball 105. Their approaches were vastly different, largely owing to Rohit's experience, but the pair outdid whatever Gujarat threw their way. Ajinkya Rahane's 56 was sandwiched between the two centuries, while Jaffer was seamer Ishwar Choudhary's second wicket.
Hyderabad 269 for 4 (Rayudu 106, Singh 75) v Tamil Nadu
Ambati Rayudu's first century since returning to his state's Ranji side from the now defunct ICL helped Hyderabad to a formidable 269 for 4 against Tamil Nadu at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Tamil Nadu began their day by dismissing Shashank Nag first ball of the match and then getting his fellow opener Abhinav Kumar for 16 to leave the hosts 31 for 2. But then Rayudu joined up with his captain Anirudh Singh a 166-run alliance, out of which he made 106. Singh's dismissal for a 170-ball 75 was followed by a sedate period in which Hyderabad scored 72 runs in 32.1 overs.
Railways 191 for 6 (Fazal 87, Rahul Sharma 5-58) v Punjab
Rain arrived to disrupt play for nearly three and a half hours at the Karnail Singh Stadium, but in the 59 overs of play possible Punjab claimed an edge over hosts Railways. This was thanks to a maiden five-wicket haul from young legspinner Rahul Sharma, in his seventh first-class game. Railways opted to bat and were given a century opening stand thanks to Faiz Fazal's 88-ball 87, but Sharma turned the game around by taking the first three wickets. After that his fellow legspinner Sarabjit Ladda took out the in-form TP Singh. Sharma continued to play away and added Yere Goud for a duck en route to figures of 5 for 58.
Orissa 55 for 2 trail Himachal Pradesh 125 (Dhiraj Singh 4-29) by 70 runs
Orissa's decision to field turned out to be a pretty good one on day one in chilly Dharamsala. Their seam bowlers, led by Basanth Mohanty, chipped away at the top and middle orders and Dhiraj Singh, bowling his slow left-armers, took care of the rest with 4 for 29. Basanth bowled Bhavik Thakker for 0 in the second over of the day and later added Mukesh Sharma and Paras Dogra after Alok Sahoo got Hemant Dogra and Vinit Indulkar. Himachal Pradesh lost their last six wickets for 32 runs, including the final three on the ultimate score of 125. Mohinderraj Sharma took out Orissa's openers before the close and the deficit had been whittled down to 70.