Cricbuzz Staff •
Deepak Hooda scored a 61-ball 50 in the first innings for Baroda © BCCI
The tight race that is Group A&B
Karnataka’s qualification chances have been severely dented by an all-round bowling show from Baroda. The visitors were kept to a lowly 112 in the first innings, conceded a massive 111-run lead and then were two-down without opening their account in the second innings. Karnataka eventually ended the the day 98 runs behind but with several doubts hanging over their progress to the next round.
Saurashtra recovered well after being reduced to 20 for 2 early in their decisive encounter against current table-toppers Vidarbha. Harvik Desai (75) and Sheldon Jackson (65) led the way by putting on a century stand as the hosts ended Day 1 on 218/5 after opting to bat in Rajkot.
Quite similarly, a century stand between Ankit Kalsi (89 not out) and Rishi Dhawan (58) pulled Himachal Pradesh out of early trouble in their game against Kerala, who are also in the race but with two points less at the start of this round.
Leading Punjab by two points in a tight race, Bengal could post only 187 in their first innings after opting to bat at home. They were served well by half-centuries from Sudip Chatterjee (52) and Shreevats Goswami (57) but Vinay Choudhary’s 6 for 62 gave Punjab the edge. The visitors made a good start with the bat again but Mukesh Kumar’s twin strikes left them needing to drop anchor and target the aim at the first-innings lead on priority when the second day begins.
Madhya Pradesh made a bright start, keeping their chances of making the quarterfinals alive by restricting Andhra to just 132 in their first innings. Ishawar Pandey led the way with a four-fer while Gaurav Yadav and Kumar Kartikeya shared three spoils each. However, a late collapse saw them end the day precariously placed with the scoreboard reading 24 for 3.
Maharashtra slumped to 70 all out in their first innings, having opted to bat against Railways in Delhi. If there was any consolation for the already-ousted team, it was Satyajeet Bachhav’s seven-wicket haul that tied down Railways to only 184 and not more.
Abhinav Mukund’s unbeaten 104 and skipper Baba Indrajith’s 86 meant hosts Tamil Nadu recovered well to post 215/3 on the opening day of their dead-rubber clash against Delhi in Chennai. Both teams are fighting only for pride.
Three innings in a day
A 20-wicket day in Agartala saw three innings on the opening day itself. A hopeful Tripura opted to bat against Rajasthan but Aniket Choudhary’s fifer pinned them for a meagre 35 in their first innings. Rajasthan themsleves saw batsmen getting starts but failed to capitalise, and posted 217 in reply. Tripura were left to play one over remaining in the day and, luckily for them, the openers saw them through without further damage.
Bad weather ruins Day 1 in Jammu, and Jhardkhand’s qualification plans
Persistent snow in north India meant bad weather forced the authorities to abandon the opening day of the game between hosts J&K and Jharkhand. With Rajasthan already through from Elite Group C and Uttar Pradesh shooting down Assam for 175, before posting 64/1 in their first innings, Jharkhand’s chances of progressing to the quarters are diminishing with every minute being lost to bad weather.
In a three-way tie for the only qualification spot from this group, Uttrakhand made perhaps the strongest start by posting 377 in their first innings, against Mizoram. While Bihar are looking at a probable lead, with their scorecard reading 107/5 after restricting Manipur to just 156 in their first innings, Puducherry’s bowlers had a tough day in the office as Nagaland marched to 387/5 before the stumps were drawn tad early. Meanwhile, in an inconsequential game between Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, Milind Kumar first took a fifer to keep AP to 159 and then hit an unbeaten fifty with the bat to resurrect Sikkim’s innings.