A round-up of the first day's action of Group B matches in the Ranji Trophy
Odisha 177 for 6 (Mohit Sharma 4-37) lead Haryana 66 (Mohanty 5-24) by 111 runs Scorecard
Haryana's batsmen continued their horror run in the Ranji Trophy: two weeks after being shot out for 55 by Vidarbha, they crumbled to 66 all out against Odisha in Lahli. Astonishingly, they did put up a decent batting performance in between these two massive failures, posting 334 against England in a tour match.
Odisha coming off a washout against Tamil Nadu and a resounding defeat against Delhi, had just the day they needed to start getting their campaign back on track. Basant Mohanty, their senior quick bowler, did much of the damage, finishing with five wickets as only two Haryana batsmen managed to make it to double digits - Abhimanyu Khod (12) and Rahul Dalal (21).
Odisha capitalised on the advantage provided by their bowlers, reaching 177 for 6 with the help of 40s by their captain Natraj Behera and Biplab Samantray. Quick bowler Mohit Sharma turned in his best first-class figures of 4 for 37 to make sure Odisha didn't completely run away with the game.
Tamil Nadu 273 for 9 (Mahesh 81, Prasanna 56, Rangarajan 50*) v Maharashtra Scorecard
Tamil Nadu's formidable top five faltered badly against Maharashtra in Chennai, but the home side were rescued by a trio of half-centuries from the lower-order. Less than a week after a high-scoring draw against Karnataka at the same venue, Tamil Nadu lost M Vijay and S Badrinath for ducks, and their other two big-name players - Abhinav Mukund and Dinesh Karthik - also couldn't make much of a contribution.
Baba Aparajith, one of the heroes of India's Under-19 World Cup win, also fell cheaply, leaving Tamil Nadu at 87 for 5 in the first session. Fast bowler Shrikant Mundhe did the early damage, striking in each of his first three overs.
Maharashtra who had had to wait 118 overs to get five wickets in their previous Ranji match, had as many wickets within 31 overs this time. If they were thinking of rolling over Tamil Nadu early, they were thwarted by a 110-run sixth-wicket stand between R Prasanna and Yo Mahesh, who went on to his highest first-class score. No. 8 Malolan Rangarajan then lifted Tamil Nadu towards 250 with his maiden first-class half-century.
Uttar Pradesh 273 for 9 (Kaif 122, Sharath 5-60) v Karnataka Scorecard
Karnataka's bowling had as many as three debutants but they didn't fade against a strong Uttar Pradesh batting line-up that was fresh off making 669 for 7 against Maharashtra, and beating a full-strength Delhi outfit in the first round. Fast bowler HS Sharath had the best day of the trio, running through the middle order to finish with 5 for 60, to ensure Karnataka didn't miss the services of the injured Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun.
That UP didn't have too bad a day despite the failure of Suresh Raina was thanks to the experienced Mohammad Kaif, who gritted it out for a patient century even as the rest of the specialist batsmen stumbled. They were reduced to 40 for 4 after the first hour, but with several lower-middle order batsmen chipping in with 20s and 30s, Kaif put together a string of partnerships that gave the UP score some respectability.
Baroda 252 for 3 (Rayudu 83*, Chauhan 82*) v Delhi Scorecard
Delhi captain Shikhar Dhawan might begin to wonder whether his decision to field on a dead track was the correct one or not after Baroda reached 252 for 3 on the first day at the Feroz Shah Kotla with minimum difficulty.
Baroda, led by their stand-in captain Ambati Rayudu in place of the injured Yusuf Pathan, showed that the conditions weren't too tough at the Kotla. Rayudu ended the day on 83 and 25-year-old Abhimanyu Chauhan was with him on 82 to make it a long day for Delhi's bowlers.
For more, read the full report.