Significant contributions by opening batsman Rowland Barrington (71) and former Indian player Sunil Joshi (83) enabled Karnataka State Cricket Association to score 322 for seven off 99 overs at stumps on the first day of their MRF Buchi Babu invitation cricket tournament first round game against Tamil Nadu Cricket Association XI at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Thursday.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, KSCA XI lost Mithun Beerala (6) at 14. Shyam Ponappa (12) was second out at 42. Then commenced KSCA's recovery. First, Barrington and former India player Vijay Bhardwaj (22) added 66 runs for the third wicket off 21.2 overs. Then Deepak Chougule joined Barrington and the two shared a fourth wicket stand of 32 runs off 10 overs before the opener was out. He faced 169 balls and hit six fours.

Chougule and Joshi then added 56 runs for the fifth wicket off 9.3 overs before the former was out for a patient 21. The recovery process was maintained with Joshi and RC Shanbal figuring in a sixth wicket association of 73 runs off 22 overs before the former was out. The left handed Joshi, batting in his usual aggressive vein, faced just 92 balls and hit 12 fours and three sixes.

Skipper Anil Kumble joined Shanbal and the two completed KSCA's recovery by adding 49 runs for the seventh wicket off 14.3 overs. Shortly before close, Kumble was out for 24 off 40 balls with two fours and a six. At stumps, Shanbal was batting on a watchful 43. He has so far faced 121 balls and hit four of them to the ropes. Keeping him company is David Johnson (2). Off spinner Dhandapani was the pick among the bowlers, picking up three for 97 off 28 overs.

* ONGC and CAB involved in a close battle

Cricket Association of Bengal and Oil and Natural Gas Commission shared the honours of the first day in the MRF Buchi Babu invitation cricket tournament first round tie played at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College Ground in Chennai on Thursday. ONGC were bowled out for 188 and at close of play, CAB found themselves in trouble losing their first five wickets in making 118 runs. The hero of the day's play was the off spinner from Bengal, Saurasish Lahiri who took five for 57.

ONGC won the toss and elected to bat. Opening batsman Gagan Khoda (1) failed, falling to Sib Sankar Paul. Sandeep Sharma made a patient 29 before being caught behind off the bowling of Paul. International Virender Sehwag struck half a dozen boundaries in scoring 26 runs before falling to the off spin of Lahiri. Rizwan Shamsad (30) and Amit Sharma (32) were the only batsmen who got amongst the runs as Lahiri ran through the batting line up picking up five wickets.

The ONGC innings folded up at 188 in the 55th over when the last batsman Feroz Gayas (3) was bowled by Lahiri. While Lahiri was clearly the bowling hero, he was well supported by Paul who had three for 36.

ONGC hit back, reducing CAB to 36/3 in the 22nd over. Skipper Rohan Gavaskar and Ritesh Jaswal (22) put together a rescue act and added 63 runs for the fourth wicket. Gavaskar played an attractive knock of 44 off 64 balls, which included two sixes and three fours. He was caught and bowled by off spinner Sarandeep Singh who finished the day with 2/35 off nine overs. At close, Saikat Mukherjee (13) and Sanjib Sanyal (3) were at the crease.

* Babloo Kumar and Aashish Kapoor spin HCA out for 256

The spin duo of Babloo Kumar (6/68) and Aashish Kapoor (4/68) did all the damage for MRF in their match against Hyderabad Cricket Association, bowling them out for 256 in the MRF Buchi Babu invitation cricket tournament first round tie at the Southern Railway Stadium in Chennai, on Thursday.

HCA won the toss and elected to bat. Opening batsmen Aravind Shetty (33) and skipper Nandakishore (44) got their team off to a good start against some erratic bowling from T Kumaran and MR Shrinivas. The experienced off spin of Kapoor and Babloo Kumar, the young left-arm spinner from Punjab, weaved a web around the HCA batsmen.

HCA were reduced to 124/5 in the 44th over when Arjun Yadav (6) was caught by Kapoor in the slips off the bowling of Kumar. MRF struck two more quick blows to reduce HCA to 140/7 in 46 overs. MRF were on the ascendancy as the two spinners kept applying the pressure from both ends.

Ibrahim Khaleel and Shivaji Yadav struck brilliant half centuries to rescue the HCA innings. The two batsmen put together 102 runs for the eighth wicket off 25 overs. Khaleel made 50 runs off 101 balls with the help of a six and five boundaries. Yadav scored an explosive 56 off 78 balls, which included seven hits past the ropes. The HCA innings came to a close in the 75th over.

MRF in their first innings were 65/2 off 20 overs at close of play. Aashish Kapoor (9) struck two boundaries and was caught by Noel David at covers off the bowling of Vishnuvardan. Skipper Sridharan Sriram scored 24 runs off 25 balls with the help of four boundaries before being bowled by Shivaji Yadav. Tanveer Jabbar with a patient 9 off 64 balls and Rajat Bhatia (23 off 26 balls) were at the crease when stumps were drawn.