Orissa 148 for 5 (Behera 74, Biswal 54, Gagandeep 4-18) lead Punjab 60 (B Mohanty 7-27) by 88 runs
Medium-pacer Basanth Mohanty put Orissa in a commanding position on the first day of the Group A match against Punjab in Bhubaneswar. He took 7 for 27 in 9.2 overs, the best figures so far this season, as Punjab were bundled out for 60 before lunch. Orissa finished the day leading by 88, with five wickets still remaining in their first innings.
After Orissa chose to bowl, Basanth ran through the line-up with Debasis Mohanty, who took 2 for 18 off his ten overs. Sukanta Khatua took the other wicket in the innings, which lasted 25.2 overs. Pankaj Dharmani, Punjab's captain and wicketkeeper, was the only batsman to reach double figures and was unbeaten on 23 as his team collapsed around him.
Orissa lost a wicket in their first over, and Gagandeep Singh had both the openers out with the score on 19. A 127-run stand between Niranjan Behera and Subit Biswal helped Orissa build a lead. However, both failed to convert half-centuries into hundreds. Gagandeep took 4 for 18 in 16 overs, with nine maidens.
Hyderabad 273 for 3 (Laxman 96*, Pai 85, Suman 50) v Rajasthan
VVS Laxman, returning after India duties to captain Hyderabad, carried his splendid form from the Australia Tests, scoring an unbeaten 96 on the first day against Rajasthan at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Hyderabad decided to bat at the toss, and were provided a brisk start from Ravi Teja, who made a 40-ball 32.
Teja's opening partner, T Suman, scored a 100-ball 50 and Anoop Pai continued his good run this season, missing a century by 15 runs. Pai and Laxman added 135 for the third wicket. Pai was dismissed in the 78th over, but Laxman was unbeaten at stumps, four short of a hundred.
Railways 8 for 1 trail Andhra 208 (Suresh 51*, Rao 50, Sharma 4-37, Kartik 3-72) by 200 runs
Andhra, at the bottom of Group B, did not have a great start to the fourth-round game in Delhi. Batting first at the Karnail Singh Stadium, they were bowled out for 208 by Railways. Legspinner Karan Sharma took 4 for 37, and left-arm spinner Murali Kartik had three scalps as the hosts seized the initiative.
After a slow start for Andhra - the first wicket put on 28 in 16.3 overs - Karan Sharma dismissed the openers. ASK Varma and B Sumanth were then out in successive overs from Kartik and Kulamani Parida. Gnaneswara Rao, the Andhra captain, scored 50, but there was not much support from the other middle-order batsmen. When he fell, Andhra were at 163 for 7, but No. 8 M Suresh's unbeaten 51 ensured went past 200.
Railways played cautiously in the ten overs they faced in the day. Sanjay Bangar, their captain, was out for a 16-ball duck, lbw to D Kalyankrishna, but was a tad unlucky as the ball appeared to be drifting down leg.
Uttar Pradesh 86 for 1 (SS Shukla 45*, Parvinder 35*) trail Maharashtra 221 (Jadhav 93*, Khadiwale 56, RP Singh 3-49) by 135 runs
Maharashtra were one of the four teams whose first innings came to an end on the first day of the fourth-round matches. Choosing to bat at the Green Park in Kanpur, which held the recent India-England ODI, the visitors were undone by a team effort from Uttar Pradesh's bowlers.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar prised out two early wickets, RP Singh - returning to the team apart being dropped from India's ODI squad - removed three middle-order batsmen, and the spinners - Praveen Gupta and Piyush Chawla - took care of the tail.
Maharashtra lasted only 53.2 overs, but scored at a healthy run-rate of 4.14, which was partly due to the brisk approach of the two batsmen who scored the bulk of the runs. Harshad Khadiwale's 56 came off 62 balls, and Kedar Jadhav, who was left stranded on 93 not out, hit 12 fours and three sixes off the 102 balls he faced.
Uttar Pradesh went about steadily during their reply. Tanmay Srivastava was out for 4, but Shivakant Shukla and Parvinder Singh put on an unbroken 74-run stand to take them to 86 for 1 at stumps.
Gujarat 310 for 7 (Thaker 121*, Parthiv 55) v Delhi
Gujarat were also in danger of being dismissed for a low score on the first day in Valsad, but Bhavik Thaker's unbeaten century, supported by Parthiv Patel's 55, helped them to 310 for 7 against Delhi.
Delhi have had a sluggish start to the season, but a turnaround looked on the cards when they reduced the hosts to 28 for 3. Opening bowlers Sumit Narwal and Parvinder Awana dismissed the top three before Parthiv, the Gujarat captain, and Thaker put on 94 runs for the fourth wicket. Left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan removed Parthiv, but Thaker put on useful stands with the other batsmen, none of whom went past 30. He scored his second century of the tournament, with ten fours and two sixes in his 202-ball innings.
Saurashtra 285 for 1 (Pathak 145*, Chauhan 104) v Mumbai
Nine centuries had been scored in three matches this season at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot, and there were two more on the first day of the fourth as Saurashtra's openers laid a solid platform for the team against Group A leaders Mumbai.
Chirag Pathak and Bhushan Chauhan put on 275 runs, the highest opening stand for Saurashtra. The previous best, of 227, had also come against Mumbai, at the same ground in 1996-97. There was no success for Mumbai till the 82nd over, when Chauhan was caught behind off part-time bowler Amol Muzumdar for 104. Pathak, who survived a stumping chance on 96, was not out on 145 at stumps. "The ball was coming easily onto the bat. So we told each other that we would play the ball on its merit," Pathak was quoted as saying in the Indian Express. Once we settled down, we started playing our strokes."
Mumbai did not make things any easier in the field; they bowled a total of 24 no-balls, with nine for legspinner Sairaj Bahutule. Chauhan, however, was involved in an on-field altercation with Mumbai medium-pacer Murtuza Hussain and both were fined 50% of their match fees.
Karnataka 63 for 3 trail Baroda 169 (Solanki 53, Raju 4-30) by 106 runs
Thirteen wickets fell on a spicy pitch before rain brought an early end to an interesting opening day's play at the RSI Ground in Bangalore. Baroda were rolled over for 169 as the offspinner Sunil Raju grabbed his best first-class figures. Karnataka wobbled at the start before Rahul Dravid and rain ensured they would end the day as the happier team. (Read the full report.)
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