Rookie Krishnamurthy Siddharth hit his maiden first class hundred, an unbeaten 104, to guide Karnataka to 263 for 4 against Mumbai on day one of the Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match here on Tuesday.
In the absence of mainstays Karun Nair and Manish Pandey, 25-year-old Siddharth stood up and shouldered the responsibility to help Karnataka recover after the loss of their openers at the KSCA Stadium here.
Siddharth, who had a forgettable outing in the game against Vidarbha, made up that failure.
In his 184-ball stay at the wicket so far, the batsman has struck 13 boundaries and two sixes.
Electing to bat, the hosts lost both their openers Dega Nischal (27) and Shishir Bhavane (5) cheaply to Mumbai's right-arm medium pacer Shivam Dubey, who grabbed all four wickets that fell to end the day with fine figures of 4 for 32 Karnataka were struggling at 2 for 59 when one-down Mir Kaunain Abbas (64) and Siddharth (104 not out) rallied the innings.
The duo stitched an important 104-run stand for the third wicket to frustrate the visitors with Abbas hitting 10 fours in his 154-ball knock to play the ideal foil to Siddharth.
But when Karnataka looked poised for a big score, Dubey struck again for his third wicket as he removed a well-settled Abbas, who was caught by wicket-keeper Aditya Tare.
Stuart Binny (3) also did not last long as he became Dubey's fourth victim.
But then Siddharth found an able partner in Shreyas Gopal (47 not out) as the fifth wicket pair ensured that the hosts did not lose another wicket before the day's play ended.
The two have put on an unbroken 88-run stand.
For Mumbai apart from Shivam Dubey, the other bowlers had an off day.
At Belagavi: Karnataka 263/4 (Siddharth K V 104 not out, Shreyas Gopal 47 not out, Shivam Dube 4-32) against Mumbai.
At Raipur: Chhattisgarh 222/5 (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 79, Amandeep Khare 37 not out, Manjeet Chaudhary 3-65) versus Railways.
At Nadiad (Gujarat): Gujarat 269/6 (Manprit Juneja 66, Dhruv Rawal 63, Chetan Sakariya 3-51) versus Saurashtra.
At Nagpur: Vidarbha 268/1 (Wasim Jaffer 131 not out, Faiz Fazal 124 not out, Lukman Meriwala 1-30).
Aaron helps Jharkhand skittle Rajasthan
Speedster Varun Aaron grabbed a five-wicket haul as Jharkhand bundled out Rajasthan for 100 on the opening day of their Elite Group C Ranji Trophy game on Tuesday.
In response, Jharkhand were 92 for 5 at stumps, trailing Rajasthan by eight runs.
After Jharkhand opted to field, 29-year-old Aaron, an India discard, wreaked havoc as he returned with exceptional figures of 5-22 in 12 overs at the JSCA International Stadium Complex here.
Aaron had powered Jharkhand to a nine-wicket win in their last game against Haryana at Rohtak, when he bagged 6-32
in the second outing.
The right-arm fast bowler continued his brilliant form and was ably supported by medium pacers Ajay Yadav (3-35) and Rahul Shukla (1-22). Spinner Anukul Roy (1-8) also played his part to perfection.
Aaron's wickets included those of Rajasthan skipper Mahipal Lomror (20) and Rajesh Bishnoi (35).
Apart from these two, no other batsman contributed with the bat, as the visitors were eventually shot out in 42.2 overs.
Jharkhand also lost their four wickets early, but then Ishank Jaggi (44 batting) and Virat Singh (18) steadied the ship.
The duo compiled a crucial 58-run stand for the fifth wicket, which has taken Jharkhand on the cusp of a first innings lead.
At Ranchi: Rajasthan 100 all out (Rajesh Bishnoi 33, Varun Aaron 5-22, Ajay Yadav 3-35) against Jharkhand 92/5 (Ishank Jaggi 44 not out, Virat Singh 18, T M Ul Haq 4-29). Jharkhand trail by 8 runs.
At Guwahati: Assam 121 all out (Ranjeet Mali 28, Riyan Parag 24, Rajesh Mohanty 5-31) versus Odisha 86/3 (Anurag Sarangi 61 not out, Mukhtair Hussain 3-27). Odisha trail by 35 runs.
At Rohtak: Haryana 263/9 (Himanshu Rana 86, N R Saini 64; Krishna Das 5-69) versus Goa.
At Srinagar: Tripura 124 (Ninad Kadam 34, Smit Patel 21, Parvez Rasool 5-30) against Jammu and Kashmir 154/1 (Shubham Khajuria 52, Irfan Pathan 47 not out). Jammu and Kashmir lead by 30 runs.
At New Delhi (Palam): Services 256/8 (Devender Lohchab 71 not out, Nitin Tanwar 39, Shivam Mavi 3-44) versus Uttar Pradesh.
Bowlers help Tamil Nadu dominate Andhra Pradesh
A four-wicket haul by medium-pacer M Mohammed and two late strikes by spinner R Sai Kishore helped Tamil Nadu reduce Andhra to 198 for 8 at stumps on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Group B match at the CSR Sarma College Ground here Tuesday.
Sent into bat by the visiting team, Andhra lost the openers early as Mohammed and comeback man T Natarajan struck in the fifth and sixth overs.
Jyothisaikrishna (58) and Ricky Bhui (22) strung together a partnership of 40 runs for the third wicket to revive Andhra.
However, Mohammed removed Bhui and captain B Sumanth (1) to peg back the home team.
Jyothisaikrishna and Girinath Reddy (69 batting) were involved in a half century partnership before Mohammed got the wicket of the former.
Natarajan sent back Shiv Charan Singh for the addition of one run to leave Andhra at 142 for 6.
Reddy then added 53 runs with Shoaib Mohammed Khan (26) to lend respectability to the score.
Lanky Left-arm spinner Sai Kishore castled Khan and K V Shashikanth (0) off successive deliveries to hand the advantage to Tamil Nadu. He will look to complete a hat trick when he comes on to bowl again tomorrow.
Andhra 198 for 8 in 79 overs (Girinath Reddy 69 batting, Jyothisaikrishna 58, M Mohammed 4 for 60) Vs Tamil Nadu.
At Indore: Punjab 253 for 4 in 74 overs (Jiwanjot Singh 123 batting, Gurkeerat Mann 66) Vs Madhya Pradesh. Toss: Punjab.
At Hyderabad: Hyderabad 233 for 3 in 90 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 112 batting, Himalay Agarwal 66) Vs Delhi. Toss: Hyderabad.
Bhatia, Rawat tons rescue Uttarakhand
Rajat Bhatia and Saurabh Rawat led Uttarakhand's rearguard action with fighting centuries, taking their team to 290/5 against Sikkim in a top of the table Ranji Trophy Plate Group match here Tuesday.
Bhatia made 121 off 156 balls (15x4, 1x6) before becoming Ishwar Chaudhary's (3/81) third victim of the day.
Rawat remained unbeaten on 115 off 246 balls with the help of seven fours and three sixes as he along with the skipper shared 208 runs together to revive their innings from 38/4 in 12.5 overs.
Opting to field at their adopted home venue, KIIT Stadium, Sikkim got the early breakthrough with Chaudhary dismissing Uttarakhand opener Karanveer Kaushal (4) in the fifth over.
Bipul Sharma (1/67) then accounted for the experienced Vineet Saxena (19) followed by the wickets of Kartik Joshi (8) and Vaibhav Singh (5) as the Uttarakhand found themselves in a spot of bother in their first away match of the season.
Both the teams are one 13 points each with Sikkim leading the Plate table on net runrate.
In Shillong, Meghalaya's recruit from Delhi, Yogesh Nagar, cracked his second successive century in a 197-ball 166 (22x4, 2x6) while opener Raj Biswa also slammed a century (111 from 239 balls; 12x4) as the hosts notched up 338/5 against Nagaland.
Put in, Meghalaya were 26/2 inside 13 overs after losing JJ Lamare for a three-ball duck and Tarique Siddique for three.
Puneet Bisht then put on 40 runs for the third wicket with Biswa before being dismissed for 28.
Thereafter it was Nagar and Biswa who took control of the proceedings in a 231-run partnership to put Meghalaya in command.
The first day's play between hosts Puducherry and Bihar at the Siechem Ground was abandoned due to rain.
In Bhubaneshwar: Uttarakhand 290/5; 90 overs (Rajat Bhatia 121, Saurabh Rawat 115; Ishwar Chaudhary 3/81) vs Sikkim.
In Jorhat: Mizoram 219; 69.1 overs (Taruwar Kohli 100, Bishworjit 3/50). Manipur 54/3; 15 overs (Yashpal Singh 15 batting, Lalnunkima Varte 2/20).
In Shillong: Meghalaya 338/5; 90 overs (Yogesh Nagar 166, Raj Biswa 111) vs Nagaland.
Kerala take Day 1 honours, bowl out Bengal for 147
Bengal batsmen cut a sorry figure on home turf to be bowled out for 147, giving Kerala an upperhand in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the Eden Gardens here Tuesday.
Young Basil Thampi returned with career-best first class figures of 4 for 57 as Kerala's three-pronged pace attack shared nine wickets between them to dismiss the hosts in 56.2 overs after deciding to bowl on a greenish wicket.
Playing his first Ranji match of he season, M D Nidheesh (3/22) made a fine comeback, claiming the key wickets of Bengal top-scorer Anustup Majumdar (53) and skipper Manoj Tiwary (22).
Seven of Bengal batsmen failed to get to double digits scores and capped five ducks, including that of opener Koushik Ghosh and number three Sudeep Chatterjee.
Anustup Majumdar made a patient 53 from 97 balls with the help of six boundaries and one hit over the fence.
At stumps on day one, Kerala were 35 for the loss of one wicket with Jalaj Saxena (14 not out) and Rohan Prem (14 not out) holding the fort for the visitors.
Australia-bound India pacer Mohammed Shami bowled with raw pace and trapped opener Arun Karthik LBW with his second delivery.
When bad light stopped play, Kerala were still trailing Bengal by 112 runs.
In the top of the table clash, Group B leaders Kerala got off to a fine start with 25-year-old Thampi accounting for opener Ghosh, who was beaten by the pace and swing.
Sandeep Warrier (2/42) ensured that Bengal were three down by lunch and it was to skipper Tiwary to do the repair work.
Fresh from his double century against Madhya Pradesh in the last match, Tiwary played with caution but only to be dismissed by comeback man Nidheesh.
Fourth over into the second session, Tiwary lost his patience and went for across the line shot but the ball stayed low and caught him plumb in front of the middle-leg stump.
"Three of us really enjoyed bowling here. There was good carry and it boosted our confidence," Thampi told reporters after the day's proceedings.
"I think the wicket will remain the same. Our target will be to get a sizeable lead quickly. You never know, cricket is a funny game."
Having made a mark in the white ball cricket, Thampi, who had impressed in the IPL with his yorkers, said he is now getting his length right in red ball cricket.
"It was difficult in the last two seasons. But now I'm getting my length right and getting wickets," he said.
In the absence of promising Abhimanyu Easwaran, who is touring New Zealand with India A, Bengal batting lacked depth.
Writtick Chatterjee (1) and Vivek Singh (13) contributed little. Shami had a golden duck, while Ashok Dinda too failed to open his account as Bengal batting looked in a complete disarray at 115 for 8 in 46.5 overs.
It was Majumdar who waged a lone battle and completed his half-century in 90 balls to take the team past 140 before edging one to the slip.
"200 would have been a good total but five ducks on this wicket was a big setback," Majumdar said adding that they would have to bank on their pace duo of Shami and Dinda.
"It's a team game. Not everyone performs on a single day. Bowling is the key to our success now. There's still three innings left in the game.
"Target is to get early wickets tomorrow morning. We will have to bank on Shami and Dinda. We have to be patient," he added.
India pacer Shami bowled five overs in the day, which means he will now have 10-12 overs left in the first innings as per the condition set by the BCCI so as to keep him fresh for the next month's Test series in Australia.
Bengal have gone in with an all-out pace attack in Shami, Dinda, Mukesh Kumar and Ishan Porel with Majumdar giving a part-time spin option.
Bengal: 147 all out in 56.2 overs (Anustup Majumdar 53, Abhishek Raman 40; Basil Thampi 4/57, MD Nidheesh 3/22, Sandeep Warrier 2/42) vs Kerala 35/1 in 12 overs (Jalal Saxena 14 batting, Rohan Prem 14 batting; Mohammed Shami 1/19).
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