Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar marked his first Ranji Trophy appearance since Mumbai's final win in 2008-09 with a stroke-filled century in the company of Ajinkya Rahane as the home team gave Railways a tough day in the field at the Wankhede Stadium on day one of the new season.
In this marquee Group A match, Tendulkar walked to the crease in the second session after Rohit Sharma’s run out for 18, and with Rahane (105*) proceeded to put Railways on the back foot with a 200-run stand that by stumps had pushed Mumbai to 343 for 4.
Railways had until then done decently well to chip away wickets with Mumbai’s score at 45, 100 and 143 but that was to be their last success for 41.1 overs. Tendulkar (137 off 136 balls) and Rahane completely took over thereafter, keeping the fans enthralled with some attractive strokeplay. Tendulkar collected 21 fours and three sixes en route to a century off 103 balls in 139 minutes, before he was out on the stroke of stumps, uppercutting Anureet Singh to Parag Madkaikar at second slip. In the process, Tendulkar went past 4000 runs in the competition.
Rahane, given a life on 7, was most impressive off the back foot when playing down the ground. In the company of Tendulkar he too reached his century and Mumbai will look to the right-hander to convert his century, as well as the platform provided, into a really dominating score.
Mumbai: 344 for 4 in 90 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 137, Ajinkya Rahane 105*, Aditya Tare 47) v Railways
At Eden Gardens in Kolkata, hosts Bengal were taken to 187 for 4 by stumps in the 59 overs that were possible on day one against defending Ranji Trophy champions Rajasthan.
The bulk of that total was thanks to opener Subhomoy Das’ 95 on a day in which bad light hampered play twice. No other batsman made an impact for Bengal other than skipper Manoj Tiwary (42) and there was slight controversy after Das was adjudged lbw to Pankaj Singh five short of century. Replays showed the ball going down the leg side and most likely missing the stumps.
Das had been responsible for carrying Bengal after an early loss with just six runs on the board. He forged partnerships of 68 with Writam Porel (22) and 97 with Tiwary, before himself falling soon after his captain. For Rajasthan, Pankaj was the best bowler on view with 3 for 30 from 17 overs.
Bengal: 187 for 4 in 59 overs (Subhomoy Das 95, Manoj Tiwary 42; Pankaj Singh 3/30) v Rajasthan
Elsewhere in Group A, Punjab did well to keep a VVS Laxman-led Hyderabad to 244 for 7 on day one at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. Hyderabad began well through a 77-run opening stand between Akshath Reddy (63) and Dwarka Ravi Teja (36) but proceeded to fall from 136 for 1 to 169 for 5 as Amitoze Singh made inroads.
The 23-year-old medium-pacer dismissed Ravi Teja in his first spell, but it was the wickets of Laxman (23) and Syed Quadri (0) in successive balls during the 62nd over that stunned Hyderabad. Arjun Yadav (34) and wicketkeeper Ibraheem Khalil put on 52 before Manpreet Gony picked up wickets in his consecutive overs in the final half hour of play. Khaleel was unbeaten on 38 at stumps. Harbhajan Singh, captaining Punjab, had figures of 20-7-39-0.
Hyderabad 244 for 7 in 90 overs (Akshath Reddy 63, Ibraheem Khalil 38*; Amitoze Singh 3/33, Manpreet Gony 3/51) v Punjab
The first century of the new Ranji season was scored by Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, and it proved a crucial one for the visitors. From 30 for 2, Gujarat were carried to 327 for 5 on a greenish surface thanks to Patel’s stroke-filled 162 off 205 balls, with 26 fours. He was well supported by former India batsman Venugopal Rao (45) and at stumps the onus was on young Manprit Juneja (42*) to turn 327 into much more.
Gujarat 327 for 5 in 90 over (Parthiv Patel 162, Venugopal Rao 45, Manprit Juneja 42*) v Madhya Pradesh
Up north in Lahli, a devastating spell of fast bowling from Umesh Yadav skittled hosts Haryana for a paltry 55 in 37.1 overs before Vidharbha took a lead of 23 by the close of play. Sairaj Bahutule’s decision to field proved the correct one, thanks to Yadav’s 5 for 18 which began with an outstanding burst of 6-6-0-1.
Yadav and his new-ball partner Sandeep Singh (10.1-6-11-4) had last season’s semi-finalists on the mat at 42 for 5, which quickly became 55 all out as Yadav blew through the tail. Faiz Fazal took the remaining wicket. Priyank Tehlan was the only Haryana batsman to reach double figures, top-scoring with 18.
After that excellent showing in the field, Vidharbha reached stumps on 78 for 2 in 37 overs.
Vidharba 78 for 2 in 37 overs lead Haryana 55 in 37.1 overs (Umesh Yadav 5/18, Sandeep Singh 4/11) by 23 runs.
At the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara, centuries to Irfan Pathan and Aditya Waghmore took Baroda to 308 for 4 against Karnataka. Baroda had been hurt early at 40 for 2, and then 88 for 4 when skipper Yusuf Pathan fell for 24 to Stuart Binny, but Waghmore and Irfan combined for a 220-run partnership in 50.3 overs. For opener Waghmore it was a maiden first-class century while for Irfan it was his third.
Baroda 308 for 4 in 90 overs (Aditya Waghmore 121*, Irfan Pathan 105*) v Karnataka
On a rain-hit opening day at Cuttack, just 31 overs of play were possible. In that time, having been put in to bat by Odisha, Tamil Nadu made 66 for 2. Basanth Mohanty and Alok Mangaraj took a wicket each. Murali Vijay (15) and S Badrinath (11) were the wickets to fall, while Abhinav Mukund was batting on 21 and Under-19 World Cup star Baba Aparajith on 3.
Tamil Nadu 66 for 2 in 31 overs v Odisha
For a full report on the opening day’s play of the big Group B match in Ghaziabad where Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli all fell cheaply as Delhi were bowled out for 235 by Uttar Pradesh, read Nitin Chouhan’s report.
A 21st first-class century from Dheeraj Jadhav helped Assam to 220 for 5 at the close of play on day one at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. Jadhav backed his decision to bat with an unbeaten 127 off 280 balls but lacked support as Timir Chandra took all five wickets to fall.
Chandra struck twice with the new ball and then returned to nip out three more, including Gokul Sharma (41) who was the only other notable scorer. His fifth wicket of the day was that of 26-year-old Hokaito Zhimomi who today became the first player from Nagaland to play first-class cricket.
Assam 220 for 5 in 90 overs (Dheeraj Jhadav 127*, Gokul Sharma 41; Timir Chandra 5/60) v Tripura
At the highest venue of the round, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium at Nadaun in chilly Himachal Pradesh, the hosts had Kerala on the mat at 196 for 8 in 73.4 overs when stumps were drawn. All of Kerala’s batsman bar wicketkeeper Sanju Samson appeared to be suffering from a bout of vertigo. The 17-year-old, in just his third first-class match, scored an unbeaten 100 from 173 balls, with 11 fours and a couple sixes, to help avoid a total disaster. Just three others, including the No. 11 Prasanth Parameswaran (13*) reached double-figures. The last-wicket pair has so far put on 51. The wickets were shared between four of HP’s bowlers, with Rishi Dhawan returning the best figures of 3 for 56.
Kerala 198 for 8 in 73.4 overs (Sanju Samson 100*) v Himachal Pradesh
At Jammu, Jharkhand capped a good day’s work by reaching stumps at 81 for 1 after bowling out Jammu & Kashmir for 195. Shankar Rao (3 for 50) and Jharkhand captain Shahbaz Nadeem (3 for 50) shared six wickets as the home team failed to cross 200; Adil Rishi made 41 and Hardeep Singh 49. Manish Vardhan (32) and Rameez Nemat (42*) put on 81 before the former was dismissed by Parvez Rassol in the final over of the day. Jharkhand trail by 114 runs.
Jharkhand 81 for 1 in 29 overs (Rameez Nemat 42*) trail Jammu & Kashmir 195 in 56.5 overs (Hardeep Singh 49, Adil Rishi 41; Shahbaz Nadeem 3/50, Shankar Rao 3/50) by 119 runs
The weather had a say down south at Anantapur too, where in 28 overs Services had been reduced to 73 for 5 by Andhra’s bowlers. T Atchuta Rao and Duvvarapu Shivkumar took two wickets apiece and Syed Sabahuddin one as the visitors struggled on day one. Three batsmen made starts and two – Yashpal Singh and Soumyaranjan Swain – reached 20 but none was able to carry on.
Services 73 for 5 in 28 overs v Andhra