Cheruvathur hat-trick sinks Gujarat
A round-up of the first day's play of the fifth-round matches of the Ranji Trophy Plate League, 2007-08
Kerala 58 for 3 trail Gujarat 154 (Parthiv 50, Cheruvathur 7-30) by 96 runs
Sony Cheruvathur became only the second Kerala bowler to pick up a hat-trick, running through Gujarat with a seven-wicket haul in Surat. Gujarat hit back after being shot out for 154 by reducing Kerala to 58 for 3 by stumps. Gujarat were sitting pretty at 72 for 0 before Cheruvathur, the medium-pacer, got into the act. He removed the debutant Rajesh Tabrar before his partner Tinu Yohannan prised out the other opener Parthiv Patel (50). Only Niraj Patel crossed 30 as Cheruvathur knived through Gujarat line-up before terminating the innings with a hat-trick in his 16th over. In the process he emulated Sreesanth, who was the first bowler from Kerala to manage a hat-trick. However, Gujarat waged a fightback through Mohnish Parmar, who grabbed two quick wickets after Siddharth Trivedi had removed Raiphi Gomez for a first-ball duck. Haryana 268 for 7 (Lavasa 76) v Madhya Pradesh
Powered by a 76 from the debutant Abir Lavasa, Haryana reached 268 for 7 by the end of the opening day against Madhya Pradesh in Rohtak. There were some useful contributions from the lower middle-order too - two batsmen went past 40 - but no-one converted it into a big score. A double-strike by medium-pacer Sanjay Pandey left Haryana in a wobble at 25 for 2 but Lavasa settled the nerves with a 92-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Sachin Rana. Ashutosh Jadhav struck two quick blows, removing Rana and Lavasa, but Haryana rallied through an unbeaten 47 from Sunil Viswanathan.
Railways 12 for 1 trail Jharkhand 183 (Hashmi 69*, Bangar 4-36) by 171 runs
Sanjay Bangar grabbed a four-for, which included his 200th first-class wicket, to help Railways restrict Jharkhand to 183 at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Amir Hashmi managed a career-best 69 to offer some resistance as Jharkhand recovered through a 108-run partnership between Hashmi and Ratan Kumar. The stand dragged them out of a shaky 52 for 5 to take them to 160 when Kumar fell, edging behind. Bangar then took three wickets in the 68th over to hasten the end. Railways responded with 12 for 1 by the end of the day.
Services 38 for 5 trail Vidarbha 163 by 125 runs
Fifteen wickets fell on a bowler-dominated day at Nagpur. Vidharbha hit back after being bowled out for 163, reducing Services to 38 for 5. Vidarbha collapsed after the opening partnership of 56 - incidentally the highest of the day - to a combination of seam and spin. Rakesh Sharma and Narender Kumar shared five wickets while the spinners Ashish Mohanty and Arun Sharma grabbed four wickets as the wickets fell in a heap. For Vidarbha, the seamers did the trick: Mohammad Hashim and Sandeep Singh bowled 17 overs and took all the five Services wickets to fall.
J&K 133 for 8 (Bandekar 4-46) v Goa
Charged by a four-wicket haul by Saurabh Bandekar, Goa restricted Jammu & Kashmir to 133 for 8 on a truncated opening day's play at Jammu. J&K had reached a comfortable 82 for 1 when Robin D'Souza effected a twin-strike to push them to 83 for 3. Bandekar prised out three more quick wickets and Shadab Jakati struck twice in succession to leave the hosts reeling at 118 for 8. The ninth-wicket pair of Manzoor Dar and Pranav Mahajan kept the Goa bowlers at bay for seven more overs before play was called off after only 53 overs.
Tripura 285 for 4 (Shetty 164*) v Assam
Nishit Shetty smashed a career-best 164 not out to propel Tripura to a healthy 285 for 4 against Assam at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. Tripura were in touch of bother at 32 for 3 before Shetty added 106 runs with Rajib Saha, who made his highest first-class score of 66, and a further 147 with Timir Chanda (36). Shetty struck 26 boundaries in his 232-ball knock as Tripura headed towards a big first-innings total.