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December 24, 2009
Mumbai 238 for 5 (Rahane 116*, Agarkar 78, Rana 3-41) v Haryana
Mumbai were pushed to the brink by Haryana's seamers but fought back admirably, thanks to Ajinkya Rahane and Ajit Agarkar who took them to 238 for 5 at stumps on the first day in Rohtak. Mumbai's decision to bat first seemed to have backfired when Joginder Sharma and Sanjay Budhwar reduced them to 17 for 2. Wasim Jaffer briefly resisted before Sachin Rana broke Mumbai's backbone, picking up wickets off successive deliveries. Life came a full circle for Rohit Sharma, who followed his majestic triple-hundred in the last league game with a first-ball duck. Mumbai seemed down and out, but Rahane and Agarkar counter-punched with a 174-run stand in 58.1 overs. Agarkar cracked nine fours and a six before Rana made him his third scalp of the day. Rahane however stood firm, carrying on after reaching a well-deserved century, including 14 fours. Ramesh Powar gave him resolute company, blocking out 29 deliveries without scoring.
Tamil Nadu 278 for 4 (Arun Karthik 78, Mukund 73, Vijay 51) v Delhi
Tamil Nadu's batsmen gave them the early ascendancy against Delhi at the Palam A Ground. The hosts' decision to field first was countered admirably by openers Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay who both made fifties and put on a century partnership. Vijay was the first to fall, dismissed by Mithun Manhas after striking nine fours during his 51. Arun Karthik, who came in at one-drop, took over the mantle from his captain and guided his side's progress through the day. Mukund was sent back by Vikas Mishra after the visitors crossed 150. S Badrinath's aggressive innings was nipped in the bud before Srikkanth Anirudha continued the good work with Karthik. The latter's wicket in the closing stages gave the hosts some consolation but they still have a long way to go, given the good form of the Tamil Nadu lower order.
Assam 17 for 1 (Gupta 1-1) v Uttar Pradesh 213 (Kaif 56, Konwar 5-79)
Offspinner Arlen Konwar continued his dream-run at this year's Ranji trophy, picking up 5 for 79 as Assam held sway against Uttar Pradesh in Guwahati. The visitors' decision to bat first was initially vindicated by their top-order with the first two wickets adding 96 runs. Shivakant Shukla provided the early impetus with a stroke-filled 47 before Mohammad Kaif anchored proceedings with a sedate half-century. Konwar however, changed the complexion of the game completely with his fine spell. He signaled his intentions early in his spell, getting rid of Tanmay Srivastava and Shukla to spoil the good work done by the top-order before coming back to dismiss Parvinder Gupta and trigger a massive middle-order collapse from which the visitors never recovered. Sairaj Bahutule got rid of Kaif and the tail, leaving Amir Khan stranded on 23. Dheeraj Jadhav injured himself on the field and did not come out to open Assam's innings which faced an early setback when Amit Sinha fell with stumps in sight.
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