Tamil Nadu batsman M Vijay walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket during their Ranji Trophy semi-final match against Mumbai. (PTI)
Lahli: A manic opening day in chilly Lahli saw 18 wickets fall at the Bansi Lal Stadium, with Haryana stumbling to 82 for 8 in reply to defending champion Rajasthan's 89 all out.
Opting to field on a lively surface, Haryana were soon making inroads into Rajasthan's batting. Harshal Patel, the Gujarat import who rocked six-time title winners Karnataka in the quarter-finals, rocked Rajasthan's top order in an outstanding spell. The 21-year-old seamer, in his seventh first-class match, returned figures of 8 for 34 as Rajasthan's batsmen turned in a sloppy display.
Bowling at a brisk pace and repeatedly pitching the ball in a probing channel, Patel removed the experienced pair of Aakash Chopra (4) and Hrishikesh Kanitatkar (4) awith sharply moving deliveries and when the in-form Robin Bist (0) was undone by an inswinging delivery, Rajasthan were hemorrhaging at 17 for 3.
Mohit Sharma extracted Rashmi Ranjan Parida (1) with an away-swinger, and there was no let up for the batsmen. Only opener Vineet Saxena (32), Gajendra Singh (16) and Sumit Mathur (13 not out) reached double-figures as Rajasthan were shot out in the 37th over.
Needing something dramatic, the visitors were given just that by young Rituraj Singh who claimed 5 for 36 to reduce Haryana to 82 for 8 at stumps, just eight runs away from claiming the first-innings lead.
Bowling primarily outswingers, Rituraj sent back the openers Nitin Saini and Rahul Dewan, while from the other end the more experienced Pankaj Singh extracted Sunny Singh and Sachin Rana to bring Rajasthan right back in the match.
From 12 for 5, Haryana managed to forge small partnerships but the pressure told as they slumped to 40 for 7. A 33-run stand between Jayant Yadav, whose 23 was just the second score of more than 20, and Sharma came in very handy, but Haryana will come out very nervy on the second morning.
Brief score: Haryana 82 for 8 in 41 overs (Rituraj Singh 5/36) trail Rajasthan 89 all out in 36.1 overs (Vineet Saxena 32; Harshal Patel 8/34) by seven runs.
Prasanna, Mahesh boost TN after Sandhu strikes
Mumbai: A sparkling unbeaten 81 from Ramaswamy Prasanna and his 111-run partnership with Yo Mahesh lifted Tamil Nadu from 139 for 6 to 250 for 6 on day one at the Wankhede Stadium.
Five wickets either side of lunch, for the addition of just 32 runs, had dented Tamil Nadu's progress after a solid second-wicket stand but Prasanna and Mahesh came to their team's rescue. At stumps, Prasanna had extended his stay at the crease to 177 deliveries and 245 minutes while Mahesh had consumed 185 minutes and 142 balls for his 34. The seventh-wicket pair denied Mumbai any success for the second half of the afternoon session and also saw off the new ball.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu lost Abhinav Mukund for 4, bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni. A 99-run stand between Test discards Murali Vijay (47) and Subramanian Badrinath (56) followed, but young seamer Balwinder Sandhu returned to get rid of Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik in successive deliveries. Tamil Nadu then lost their third wicket with the score stuck on 107 when Kulkarni dismissed Vijay.
Two more wickets followed after lunch, but Prasanna and Mahesh combined to offer stubborn resistance.
Brief score: Tamil Nadu 250 for 6 in 90 overs (Ramaswamy Prasanna 81 not out, Subramanian Badrinath 56; Balwinder Sandhu 4/80) v Mumbai.