New Delhi: Ricky Bhui lifted the sagging spirits with an impressive counter-attacking 150 in Andhra's 266 for 7 as Delhi failed to drive home the advantage despite Subodh Bhati's maiden five-wicket haul on the first day of the Ranji Trophy encounter.
Bhui's seventh first-class hundred was scored in critical circumstances after Andhra were reeling at 48 for 4 as medium pacer Bhati (5/35 in 21 overs) made a successful comeback in longer format during Gautam Gambhir's farewell match.
The good work done by Bhati was undone by his seam bowling partner Simarjeet Singh (0/78 in 16 overs) as he sprayed all around with Bhui launching into him with a string of boundaries on both sides of the wicket.
The former India U-19 captain hit 19 boundaries and a six in 225 balls as Andhra's middle and lower-middle order comprising P Girinath Reddy (29), B Shiva Charan Singh (27) and out-of-favour India leg-spinner Karn Sharma (31) provided stiff resistance.
Bhui added 74 for the fifth wicket with Girinath, followed by another 66 with Shiva Charan and subsequently 77 for the seventh wicket with Karn.
Save Bhati, who bowled the perfect length over after over, the inexperienced attack didn't look menacing as Bhui played shots all round the wicket once he got set.
Debutant left-arm spinner Shivank Vashist (0/58 in 16 overs) was below par and could hardly trouble the batsmen.
Senior spinner Vikas Mishra (1/49 in 22 overs) was also flat and one dimensional, which increased the workload on Bhati.
"Yes, there was a lot of anger in me as to why I wasn't being tried in longer format. I had a point to prove and I am glad that I did it," an elated Bhati told reporters after the end of the day's play.
"My strength is to pitch it on right area and wait for the batsmen to make mistakes. I did just that and it paid off.
"If I would think about conditions and how the pitch would behave, I won't be able to deliver," said the lanky medium pacer, who is a regular feature in Delhi's shorter format assignments, having picked 36 List A and 22 T20 wickets.
Bhati did agree that Delhi frittered away the advantage.
"I would give credit to their centurion (Bhui). Even though we bowled well, he was batting brilliantly," he said.
Bhui, on his part, said that there were no demons on the wicket and the top order should have batted more responsibly.
"There wasn't much turn on offer and the wicket was good to bat on. My natural game is attacking one and I stuck to that. I believe some of the top order batsmen didn't play responsibly," Bhui said.
His one-time teammates Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav are senior India regulars while Ishan Kishan is featuring regularly for A teams. But Bhui has no regrets.
"After 2016 U-19 World Cup, I had a surgery and couldn't play that year. After that I have been consistent in domestic cricket. Also I am only 22, so I have time to make the grade," said Bhui.
On a different note, Gautam Gambhir had a quite day fielding mainly in the slip cordon for spinners and mid-on for the pacers.
There was a professional artist hired for painting the live proceedings of Gambhir's last match.
Brief Scores: Andhra 266/7 (Ricky Bhui 150 batting, Karn Sharma 31, Subodh Bhati 5/35 in 21 overs).
Swapnil Gugale ton helps Maharashtra dominate Mumbai
Maharashtra opener Swapnil Gugale hit a century as the hosts powered their way to 298 for 3 against Mumbai on the opening day of their elite Ranji Trophy Group A game Thursday.
Put in to bat at the MCA International Stadium in Gahunje on the outskirts of the city, Gugale (101) and his opening partner Chirag Khurana (71) laid a solid foundation with a 146-run stand.
The two batsmen, with their effective stroke play, made life difficult for Mumbai bowlers, who missed the experience of key pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Tushar Deshpande, both out with injuries.
The 27-year-old Gugale hit 15 fours in his 191-ball knock, while Khurana notched 12 in his 106-ball stay at the wicket.
After Khurana fell, one down Jay Pande (68 not out) joined Gugale as the two shared a 52-run stand.
But soon after completing his fourth first class century, Pune-born Gugale was cleaned up by right-arm medium pacer Shubham Ranjane (2-30).
Skipper Rahul Tripathi (25 not out) was holding the fort with Pande at stumps.
Meanwhile at Vadodara, Baroda bowled out Chhattisgarh for a paltry 129 and then overhauled the total to be 36 ahead by close.
At Rajkot, Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Shah, who is playing his last match, led from the front, scoring a valiant 97 as the hosts managed to post 288 for 9 against Karnataka.
At Valsad, Piyush Chawla slammed an unbeaten century to take hosts Gujarat to 340 for 8 against Railways.
Gujarat skipper Priyank Panchal also proved his mettle by scoring a valuable 69.
Brief scores: At Pune: Maharashtra (Swapnil Gugale 101, Chirag Khurana 71; Shubham Ranjane 2-30) versus Mumbai.
At Rajkot: Saurashtra 288/9 (Jaydev Shah 97, A V Vasavada 38; J Suchith 5-104) versus Karnataka.
At Vadodara: Chhattisgarh 129 all out (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 37, Vishal Singh 26; Swapnil Singh 5-23) versus Baroda 165/7 (Yusuf Pathan 46 not out, Mitesh Patel 36; Vishal Kushwah 2-11).
At Valsad: Gujarat 340/8 (Piyush Chawla 109 not out, Priyank Panchal 69; Amit Mishra 4-78) versus Railways.
B Indrajith, Shahrukh help Tamil Nadu recover from 31-4 to 249 for 6 vs Kerala
Half-centuries by skipper B Indrajith (87) and debutant M Shahrukh Khan (82 batting) helped Tamil Nadu recover from 31 for 4 to a respectable 249 for 6 in 90 overs on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'B' match here Thursday.
Electing to bat first, Tamil Nadu suffered an early jolt when the experienced Abhinav Mukund was leg-before wicket for a duck to Sandeep Warrier off the second ball of the match.
B Aparajith (3), who made a ton in the last match against Bengal, didn't last too long and was done in by a beautiful delivery from Warrier.
Opener Kaushik Gandhi (19) and Dinesh Karthik (4), who is back in the state squad after being part of the national T20 side in the series against Australia, were sent back by Basil Thampi to leave Tamil Nadu in a spot of bother.
Dinesh Karthik was caught brilliantly by K B Arun Karthick.
Indrajith first put on 50 runs for the fifth wicket with N Jagadeesan (21) to lead the home team's recovery.
Later, the captain added 103 runs for the sixth wicket with Shahrukh Khah. It was a phase in which the duo mixed caution and some aggressive play. The two countered the pacemen well and displayed some good footwork to take on the spinners.
Indrajith looked good to score a century before being bowled by Warrier.
Shahrukh, who remained not out on 82 (7X4, 1X6) and M Mohammed (25 batting) added 65 runs for the seventh wicket to help Tamil Nadu's cause.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu (B Indrajith 87, Shahrukh Khan 82 batting, Sandeep Warrier 3 for 42) vs Kerala. (Toss: TN).
At Mohali: Himachal Pradesh 244 for 5 in 90 overs (R R Dhawan 61, N R Gangta 58, A Kalsi 50 not out) vs Punjab. (Toss: Punjab).
At Indore: Hyderabad 124 all out in 35.3 overs (Himalay Agarwal 69 not out, Avesh Khan 7 for 24) vs Madhya Pradesh 168 for 1 in 46 overs (Ajay Rohera 81 batting, Rajat Patidar 51 batting). (Toss: MP).
Bihar shot out Arunachal Pradesh for 84; Paras Dogra slams 253
Left-arm spinner Ashutosh Aman foxed the lower order with a four-wicket haul as Bihar shot out Arunachal Pradesh for 84 in their Ranji Trophy Plate Group match here Thursday.
In reply, opener Indrajit Kumar's unbeaten 127 helped Bihar take a 166-run lead at stumps on the first day.
Electing to bowl, Bihar medium pacers Vivek Kumar (3/26) and Rehan Khan (2/17) gave early breakthroughs before Ashutosh ran through the lower order at the Moin-ul-Haq Stadium.
Only two of Arunachal Pradesh batsmen, opener Techi Doria (33) and Neelam Obi (21) could get to double digits as the visitors folded their first innings in 39.5 overs.
At the Krishnagiri Stadium in Wayanad, veteran Paras Dogra slammed a career-best 253 off just 244 balls to propel Puducherry to 418/4 after Sikkim opted to bowl.
The 34-year-old slammed 30 fours and seven sixes in his innings. He got support from Vikneshwaran Marimuthu (78) and Damodaren Rohit (59).
In Dimapur, debutant Mayank Raghav struck an unbeaten century to put Manipur in a commanding positon against hosts Nagaland, who were bundled out for 126.
Raghav's unbeaten 109 took Manipur to 173/3 for a 47-run first innings lead.
Earlier, Manipur medium pacers led by Kabrambam Meitei (3/46) rattled the Nagaland top order to reduce them to 15/4 inside eight overs.
There was no resistance from the Nagaland batsmen with Priyojit Singh (3/20) and Thokchom Singh (3/32) also claiming three apiece to bowl them out in the post-lunch session.
In reply, Manipur lost opener Prafullomani Singh off the first ball to Suyal but Lakhan Rawat and Raghav added 68 runs for the first wicket.
After Rawat's dismissal, Raghav put on 73 runs for the third wicket with skipper Yashpal Singh (35) to give them the lead.
In Dehradun: Meghalaya 294/5; 84 overs (Puneet Bisht 154, Yogesh Nagar 91; Dhanraj Sharma 2/72, Sunny Rana 2/73). vs Uttarakhand.
In Dimapur: Nagaland 126 (Paras Sehrawat 27 not out; Priyojit Singh 3/20, Thokchom Singh 3/32, Kabrambam Meitei 3/46). Manipur 173/3 (Mayank Raghav 109 batting, Yashpal Singh 35; Abrar Kazi 1/30).
In Patna: Arunachal Pradesh 84; 39.5 overs (Tecchi Doria 33; Ashutosh Aman 4/26, Vivek Kumar 3/26, Rehan Khan 2/17). Bihar 250/1; 48 overs (Indrajit Kumar 127 batting, Babul Kumar 72 batting, K Rajnish 45).
In Wayanad: Puducherry 418/4; 90 overs (Paras Dogra 253, Vikneshwaran Marimuthu 78, Damodaren Rohit 59) vs Sikkim.