The fifth round of the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy underway on Thursday, with debutants stealing the show even as some established names shone with bat and ball.
Here's a look at the highlights from the first day's play.
Shahrukh Khan, a junior swimming champion and former winner of the junior CSK programme, is batting on 82 for Tamil Nadu against Kerala. He made his name during the TNPL this year as an opener, but the allrounder came in to bat at No.7, with Tamil Nadu at a shaky 81 for 5. They ended the day at a more comfortable at 249 for 6, though, with the 23-year-old debutant eyeing a century. Fun fact: He was named after the Bollywood actor who co-owns KKR. And he's entered his name for the IPL auction. So we could potentially have KKR, owned by Shah Rukh Khan, signing up Shahrukh Khan.
Ajay Rohera is another debutant in sight of a hundred. He's batting on 81 for Madhya Pradesh against Andhra, having opened the innings, and has already taken his team into the lead with nine wickets still standing.
Manipur's Mayank Raghav has scored a century on debut, and is batting on 109 with his team also having taken the lead against Nagaland, who were bowled out for 126.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir's Aakash Choudhary is having a good debut too. He came out to bat at No.11 and made an unbeaten 14 in 71-run stand with Irfan Pathan that took J&K to 290. He's also taken three wickets with his right-arm medium-pace, reducing Uttar Pradesh to 31 for 3.
The last debutant in focus hasn't yet had the chance to do anything. But lots of eyes will be trained on M Asaduddin when he comes out to bat for Goa tomorrow against Services. Comparisons with father Mohammad Azharuddin are inevitable. As are whispers about how exactly his move to Goa came about, given that at the start of the domestic season, there was considerable angst in the state about Asaduddin's status.
Paras Dogra smashed 253 at quicker than a run a ball for Puducherry against Sikkim. This is not only his highest score, but a record-breaking eighth double-hundred. No one in the Ranji Trophy has made more, and Dogra has now gone past Ajay Sharma, who had seven. Dogra's knock has taken Puducherry to an imposing first-day score of 418 for 4 in 90 overs.
Dogra's was the standout performance in the Plate Group, where professionals continued to drive teams. Meghalaya's Puneet Bisht and Yogesh Nagar made 154 and 91 against Uttarakhand, while Bihar's Ashutosh Aman took 4 for 26 against Arunachal Pradesh.
Andhra's Ricky Bhui is batting on 150 not out against Delhi, having carried his team to 266 for 7 almost single-handedly. This is Bhui's third century of the season in his fourth match.
Meanwhile, Piyush Chawla hit his sixth century in his 128th first-class match, and is still batting on 109 for Gujarat against Railways. Chawla came in at No.8 with Gujarat in some strife at 142 for 6, but he has carried them to a healthy 340 for 8 by stumps.
Among the two prominent domestic cricketers playing their farewell match, Gautam Gambhir hasn't batted yet. But Jaydev Shah continued his recent rich vein of form with 97 for Saurashtra against Karnataka. Jaydev walked in at 79 for 4, in the first session, and fell a little before stumps, missing out on an 11th first-class century. The innings, though, ensured his first-class average went past 30, and is now at 30.05. To keep it above 30, Jaydev needs to score at least 20 if he bats in the second innings and is dismissed. Saurashtra have ended the day on 288 for 9.
Avesh Khan destroyed Hyderabad with figures of 7 for 24 for Madhya Pradesh. Avesh took six of the first seven wickets to fall to have Hyderabad reeling at 37 for 7 at one stage, before Himalay Agarwal's 69* took them past three figures and to 124 all out. With Ajay Rohera enjoying a good debut, Madhya Pradesh have taken a commanding grip of the match already.
Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar took a second successive six-wicket haul, against J&K. He had taken 6 for 77 against Rajasthan in the last round, and followed it with 6 for 90 to keep J&K to 290 on Thursday. However, thanks to Aakash Choudhary's impressive debut, Uttar Pradesh are in trouble at 31 for 3.
It was a good day for A Choudharys in general - the left-arm quick Aniket Choudhary took 5 for 38 for Rajasthan against Assam.
Groups A and B:
Gujarat 340/8 (Panchal 69, Chawla 109*, Amit Mishra 4-78) v Railways in Valsad. Scorecard
Maharashtra 298/3 (Gugale 101, Khurana 71, Pande 68*, Ranjane 2-30) v Mumbai in Pune. Scorecard
Baroda 165/7 (Yusuf 46*, Kushwah 2-11) lead Chhattisgarh 129 (Swapnil 5-23) by 36 runs. Scorecard
Saurashtra 288/9 (Jaydev 97, Suchith 5-104) v Karnataka in Rajkot. Scorecard
Andhra 266/7 (Bhui 150*, Bhati 5-35) v Delhi in New Delhi. Scorecard
Himachal 244/5 (Gangta 58) v Punjab in Mohali. Scorecard
Tamil Nadu 249/6 (Indrajith 87, Shahrukh 82*) v Kerala in Chennai. Scorecard
MP 168/1 (Rohera 81*, Patidar 51*) lead Hyderabad 124 (Himalay 69*, Avesh 7-24) by 44 runs. Scorecard
Haryana 258/7 (Bishnoi 82, Rahul Dagar 114) v Tripura in Agartala. Scorecard
Goa 27/1 trail Services 184 (Ravi Chauhan 75, Prabhudessai 5-52) by 157 runs in Porvorim. Scorecard
Uttar Pradesh 31/3 (Choudhary 3-17) trail J&K 290 (Rasool 87, Irfan 91, Saurabh Kumar 6-90) by 259 runs in Jammu. Scorecard
Odisha 27/3 (Aaron 2-22) trail Jharkhand 172 (Basant Mohanty 5-44) by 145 runs in Ranchi. Scorecard
Rajasthan 153/2 (Lomror 77*) lead Assam 108 (Aniket Choudhary 5-38) by 45 runs in Jaipur. Scorecard
Puducherry 418/4 (Viknesh 78, Dogra 253) v Sikkim in Wayanad. Scorecard
Meghalaya 294/5 (Bisht 154, Nagar 91) v Uttarakhand in Dehradun. Scorecard
Manipur 173/3 (Raghav 109*) lead Nagaland 126 (Priyojit 3-20) by 47 runs in Sovima. Scorecard
Bihar 250/1 (Indrajit 127*, Babul 72*) lead Arunachal Pradesh 84 (Ashutosh Aman 4-26) by 166 runs in Patna. Scorecard
Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo