Parthiv Patel, the captain, and Chirag Gandhi - key to Gujarat's Ranji Trophy triumph last season - held their composure to complete a nervy four-wicket win over Kerala in Nadiad. Chasing 105, Gujarat slumped to 80 for 5 before Parthiv, who walked in at No. 6, allayed fears of a shock loss by remaining unbeaten on 18. The spin pair of Akshay Chandran and Jalaj Saxena picked up two wickets each for Kerala.
That Kerala couldn't defend much more was due to the efforts of Siddarth Desai, who picked six wickets to dismantle them for 203 in the second innings. Piyush Chawla, turning out as a professional for Gujarat this season, took three wickets to take his match haul to 8 for 135. Priyank Panchal, the highest run-getter last season, started the new season with scores of 18 and 30.
Kerala, who beat Jharkhand in their opener, now have one win in two matches. They next play Rajasthan at home. Gujarat, meanwhile, will clash against Jammu & Kashmir in the third round starting October 24.
On his 23rd birthday, in just his second first-class match, Nazim Siddiqui scored his maiden first-class ton as Jharkhand put in a spirited showing to save the game following on. After Siddiqui's effort, the baton was picked up by the more experienced Ishank Jaggi, who hit a 16th first-class ton - an unbeaten effort - to see his side through to safety. Rajasthan tried everything possible to take the game away - everyone except the keeper bowled in the innings - but could claim only five wickets in the 76.5 overs played on the day before a draw was declared.
Siddiqui, the opener, was batting on 71 overnight and went on to score exactly 100 as his team battled. Briefly around the time when he was out - Jharkhand lost a wicket quickly on either side of his - Rajasthan must have maintained hope of taking full points from the game, but then they ran into Jaggi. He was well supported by the lower-middle order of Ishan Kishan and Kaushal Singh, both of whom batted out a sizeable chunk of balls for their 30-somethings to help carry their team to the finish. They got a point for their efforts, while Rajasthan got three for the first-innings lead they had secured.