Orissa take control against Baroda
Orissa's batsmen consolidated the advantage over Baroda provided by the bowlers on the first day at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. Half-centuries from opener Natraj Behera and 19-year-old debutant Govind Podder pushed Orissa to 182 for 3 by stumps. Orissa sauntered along at less than three an over but still finished the day 34 runs ahead of Baroda's first-innings effort. Their only moments of concern when 22-year-old medium-pacer Ajitesh Argal, a member of the Under-19 side that won the World Cup in 2008, nipped out two early wickets. A 104-run second-wicket stand between Behera and Podder then put Orissa within touching distance of a lead. In the morning, Baroda's Rakesh Solanki continued a remarkable solo effort, moving from his overnight 44 to end up unbeaten on 87, dragging Baroda from 99 for 9 to 148. He put on 53 for the final wicket with Bhargav Bhatt, who made 6. The second highest contributor in the Baroda innings was Argal, who made 12, coming in at No. 10.
At the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu's strong batting helped tighten their grip over Assam. Opener S Anirudha, son of former Indian captain Kris Srikkanth, compiled an unbeaten 87 and Ranji run-machine S Badrinath made 83 as Tamil Nadu ended the day at 300 for 4, ahead by 116 runs. Anirudha was forced to retire hurt when on 71, with the total at 133 for 2, but he returned at Badrinath's exit which left Tamil Nadu at 281 for 4. He has a poor conversion rate in first-class cricket, having seven half-centuries and only one hundred, a statistic he will hope to improve when he resumes on Wednesday. The other main contributor was former ICL player R Sathish, who remained unbeaten on 74.
Iqbal Abdulla's career-best score combined with two crucial wickets late in the day from Ramesh Powar put Mumbai in total command at the halfway mark against Saurashtra, who trail by a massive 486 runs at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. Taking advantage of an inexperienced bowling attack along with some overly defensive strategies employed by Saurashtra captain Jaydev Shah, Abdulla helped himself to his maiden century, and, if not for the declaration, was comfortably marching towards a double-century.
For more on this match, click here.
Delhi seized control over its territory on Tuesday, playing the second day of their Ranji Trophy-opener as if it were the first. Clouds gathered around the Feroz Shah Kotla, their bowlers ran in and made the ball seam, swing and cut. They scythed through the Bengal middle order, and the visitors ended up on with a shrunken 473 all out after starting the day on 313-2. A flashy show of intent from Virat Kohli (51* off 78, 9x4) ensured that Delhi go in at 89-1. After a tepid first day, the game is finally afoot.
For more on this match, click here.
Uttar Pradesh trailed Punjab by 67 runs with five wickets in hand at the close of play on the second day at the Bhamashah Stadium in Meerut. Punjab were only able to add nine to their overnight score, as Praveen Kumar and RP Singh snapped up the remaining four wickets to keep limit them to 288. Praveen finished with 5 for 72, his 13th first-class five-for. Mohammad Kaif's painstaking 58 from 176 led UP's reply, but it was case of missed opportunities for the visitors, as four of their top five batsman got starts, but failed to convert them into big scores.
Gujarat piled up 379 against Railways, aided by Siddharth Trivedi's career best 65, before reducing the home side to 64 for 3 at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Trivedi came to the crease with the score 298 for 8, and promptly set about the Railways bowling. His 65 came from just 57 deliveries, and included 11 fours. He added 78 with Sahil Yadav for the ninth-wicket to give Gujarat the momentum in the match. Trivdei followed up his heroics with the bat by snaring Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Bangar as Railways stumbled to 20 for 3. TP Sing and Yere Goud then prevented any further damage with a 44-run stand.
Haryana crawled to 316 against Himachal Pradesh at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala. Hemang Badani led the way with 65, an innings that contained nine fours and a six, but it was slow going for the batsman, who faced 183 balls. Six bowlers shared the wickets, with part-time left-arm spinner Mukesh Sharma's 2 for 8 from six overs the best of the bunch. Sanjay Budhwar reduced HP to 36 for 2, but opener Bhavin Thakkar (58) and captain Paras Dogra (12) made sure there would be no more hiccups.