The fast bowler, who had been left out from India's squad for the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand, marked his return to the Ranji Trophy with a match-haul of six wickets against Chhattisgarh. However, Vidarbha had to settle for one only point after conceding the first-innings lead in Nagpur.
Umesh had both the Chhattisgarh openers Sahil Gupta and Abhimanyu Chauhan caught at short leg with chest-high short balls. He then had centurion Ashutosh Singh flapping another short ball to mid-on. He followed it with three wickets in the second innings, including that of Chauhan, whose middle stump was floored by a sharp nip-backer.
Playing his first match of the Ranji Trophy season, the Karnataka batsman was bowled for 23, adding to the hosts' slide in their first innings against Hyderabad in Shimoga. Nair, however, stepped up in the second dig, making 134 off 229 balls, before he was the last man dismissed. This was his fifth fifty-plus score and second hundred in 32 innings since his triple-ton against England in Chennai in December 2016. It set up Karnataka's 59-run win and fetched him the Man-of-the-Match award.
"Throughout the year I have been playing well but was not able to convert the starts," Nair said. "But now once I get set I am able to make big scores. The team was under pressure and my job was to get them to a good total. If I can do that then the personal score will take care of itself. I was looking to occupy the crease and bat through."
After an unsuccessful stint in the middle order with India's ODI side, Rahul returned to the top of the order for Karnataka. But he did not find much success with his state side either, getting bowled for 4 in the first innings. He had a better start in the second innings, reaching 23 before he was bowled again
Binny had a more eventful match, hitting twin fifties. He first top-scored in the first innings for Karnataka with 61 off 88 balls, including eight fours. In the second, he arrived at 57 for 4 and contributed 72 in a 160-run partnership with Nair. He also pitched in with the key wicket of Hyderabad captain Ambati Rayudu (31) to help seal Karnataka's second win in two matches.
Vijay, who missed Tamil Nadu's previous match against Tripura because of a neck spasm, recovered for the clash against Mumbai, but managed only 11 before nicking behind left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil.
The Tamil Nadu captain did not fire against Mumbai either, getting cleaned up by rookie seamer Akash Parkar for 9.
After claiming three wickets in the first innings, including that of centurion Prithvi Shaw, Ashwin was carted for 37 runs off 40 balls by Shreyas Iyer in the second. Ashwin later switched his angle to around the wicket to deny Iyer swinging room, but the Mumbai batsman showed his smarts and bunted the ball into the gaps to keep the offspinner at bay.
Ashwin's 26 overs in the second innings yielded no wickets and he went for over four runs an over, with Akhil Herwadkar - who made a hundred of his own - too playing him with ease.
The Gujarat captain scored only 25 in side's first-innings total of 455, which set the foundation for their second outright victory in two matches, against Jammu & Kashmir. He had a bigger role to play behind the stumps, effecting five dismissals, of which four were stumpings.
As the Uttar Pradesh's most experienced batsman, the onus was on Raina to steer their 324 chase against Maharashtra in Lucknow, but he was undone for the second time by offspinner Chirag Khurana, for 5, leaving his team at 105 for 4. The hosts, ultimately, came up short by 32 runs - their second loss of the season. Raina had fared worse in the first innings: he was dismissed for a two-ball duck.