Kapoor, Gautam save Karnataka from early slides

A round-up of the first day of the Group A Ranji Trophy matches on December 7, 2014

Group A

Tamil Nadu 22 for 0 trail Karnataka 290 (Gautam 94, Kapoor 87, Kaushik 4-53, Mohammed 3-80) by 268 runs
Fifties from Kunal Kapoor and CM Gautam revived defending champions Karnataka after they were struggling at 97 for 5 because of the Tamil Nadu pacers at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. J Kaushik and M Mohammed posed plenty of problems for the hosts early on before Kapoor and Gautam put on 96 for the sixth wicket to steer them towards 200.
Put in to bat, the Karnataka openers were caught behind - Robin Uthappa (14) by L Balaji and Mayank Agarwal (9) by Kaushik in successive deliveries. Just when the score went past 50, Manish Pandey ran himself out for a brisk 24 by risking a second run after steering the ball to deep fine leg, and his dive could not undo Mohammed's accurate throw.
Kaushik dented them further with a double blow, getting rid of Karun Nair and Stuart Binny for single-digit scores, drawing edges off both batsmen. Kapoor resisted at the other end with a gritty 87, which featured 18 fours, and consolidated with Gautam. Karnataka were still going at four an over when Mohammed broke the crucial stand with an incoming delivery to rattle Kapoor's stumps. Gautam got steady company from Shreyas Gopal as they stitched a stand of 56 for the seventh wicket as the team score went towards 250, and Gautam's towards a hundred.
Mohammed broke that partnership as well, with Gopal's wicket for 24 and struck the stumps again when Vinay Kumar missed a slog in his next over. Batting with the tail, Gautam was only six runs away from his hundred when he handed a catch straight to M Rangarajan at cover for Balaji's second wicket. Kaushik wrapped up the innings for 290 to finish with 4 for 53; Mohammed took 3 for 80 and Balaji 2 for 50.
Tamil Nadu openers Kaushik Gandhi and Abhinav Mukund played out the 10 overs in the evening for 22 runs.
Jammu & Kashmir 88 for 1 (Khajuria 47*, Bandeep 34*) trail Mumbai 236 (Suryakumar 57, Raza 3-29, Dayal 3-51) by 148 runs
Domestic stalwarts Mumbai were troubled by both pace and spin as they were dismissed by Jammu & Kashmir for 236 at the Wankhede Stadium. Pacers Ram Dayal, Umar Nazir and Samiullah Beigh had reduced the hosts to 100 for 4 and then 158 for 6, despite an opening stand of fifty, before newly-appointed captain Suryakumar Yadav rescued them with a fifty. J&K scored 88 for 1 to reduce the lead to 148 by stumps.
Debutants Kevin Almeida and Bravish Shetty put on 51 for the first wicket after Mumbai chose to bat. But both fell in successive overs and Wasim Jaffer was bowled by Beigh for 15. Dayal rocked them further by sending Aditya Tare and Abhishek Nayak back for low single-digit scores to make the score 134 for 5. Suryakumar counterattacked with a 55-ball 57, with nine fours and a six. Dhawal Kulkarni fought back too by hammering four sixes and a four in his unbeaten 42 to lead the score past 200 as Parvez Rasool took two wickets and left-arm spinner Waseem Raza took 3 for 29.
J&K lost opener Adil Rishi in the fourth over before Shubham Khajuria (47*) and Bandeep Singh (34*) put on an unbeaten 82 for the second wicket.
Railways 21 for 0 trail Madhya Pradesh 181 (Jalaj 41, Rameez 41, Anureet 5-43) by 160 runs
Anureet Singh's 10th five-for in first-class cricket put Railways on top on the first day as Madhya Pradesh were wrapped up for 181 in Delhi. Anureet's five were complemented by three from Krishnakant Upadhyay which did not allow any MP batsman to score a fifty.
Jalaj Saxena and Rameez Khan top-scored for MP with 41 each after they were put in to bat. They were at a comfortable 70 for 1 before losing four wickets within nine runs as captain Devendra Bundela and Harpreet Singh fell for ducks. Rameez and Zafar Ali revived the innings briefly with a stand of 48 for the sixth wicket. However, Anureet took three more wickets after Rameez and Zafar fell and finished the innings in 79 overs.
Railways openers Asad Pathan and Abhishek Kaushik scored 21 runs together in the nine overs they faced before stumps to reduce the lead to 160.
Bengal 255 for 3 (Chatterjee 91*, Goswami 61*, Das 54) v Baroda
Sudip Chatterjee's composed, unbeaten 91 aided by vital contributions from opener Arindam Das and wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami helped Bengal kick off their Ranji Trophy season on a decent note. Read the full report here.