Panchal creates Gujarat history; UP tail wags

A round-up of the opening day of Group A matches in the final round of the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy

Priyank Kirit Panchal struck 15 fours for his 105, Punjab v Gujarat, Ranji Trophy 2015-16, Round 3, Group B, Mohali, October 15, 2015

File photo - Priyank Panchal followed up his double and triple-centuries with a hundred  •  ESPNcricinfo

Opener Priyank Panchal became the first batsman from Gujarat to aggregate 1000 runs or more in a Ranji season en route to his century against Tamil Nadu at the KSCA Stadium in Belagavi. Panchal reached the mark in his 11th innings, the fewest taken by a player since the 2000-01 season. It was Panchal's third hundred in as many matches, coming on the back of a double-century against Mumbai and a triple-century against Punjab.
Panchal held Gujarat's innings together until his dismissal as they put on 267 for 7 in 86 overs on the opening day. Panchal built small partnerships throughout his innings, but with none of his partners making a big score, he had scored 113 out of Gujarat's 216. After Panchal's dismissal, Gujarat captain Axar Patel stayed not out on 28 and had Chintan Gaja for company.
An unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 153 between No. 9 Saurabh Kumar (85*) and No. 7 Kuldeep Yadav (77*) lifted Uttar Pradesh from 207 for 7 to 360 for 7 against Baroda in Nasik. Several UP batsmen got off to starts, but none could convert them into big scores after they were put in by Baroda. Kuldeep and Saurabh pinged 19 fours between them and frustrated Baroda's bowlers for close to 36 overs as UP ended the day with a run rate of four. The duo are 51 short of equalling UP's record stand for the eighth wicket - 204 between Anand Shukla and Sagir Ahmed against Rajasthan in 1961-62. Baroda's pacers shared the wickets with Babashafi Pathan taking 3 for 84, and Sagar Mangalorkar and Rishi Arothe taking two wickets each.
Half-centuries from Uday Kaul and Mandeep Singh highlighted a slow day at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot as Punjab crawled to 216 for 4 against Mumbai. The duo got together with Punjab on 63 for 2, after Shardul Thakur dismissed the openers, and added 138 for the third wicket. Suryakumar Yadav, however, upset Punjab's plans by sending back both batsmen in the 82nd over of the day. Mandeep was caught for 78 that included 10 fours and two sixes, before Kaul was trapped lbw for 86 three balls later.
A 60-over day at the Palam Grounds in Delhi ended with Bengal on 185 for 4 after electing to bat against Madhya Pradesh. Bengal lost four wickets to MP's seamers with just 88 on the board, before Abhimanyu Easwaran and Shreevats Goswami struck fifties in an unbroken 97-run fifth-wicket stand. Easwaran was not out on 68 and Goswami on 52 at stumps. Chandrakant Sakure took two wickets, while the new-ball duo of Ishwar Pandey and Puneet Datey took a wicket apiece.