Defending champions Karnataka recovered from a disastrous start to reach 290 against Tamil Nadu who were 22 without loss while skipper Gautam Gambhir stroked an unbeaten 123 to take Delhi to 260 for six against Saurashtra at stumps on the first day of their Ranji Trophy matches here Sunday.
At 97 for five in Group A encounter, hosts Karnataka asked to bat first were looking down the barrel of the gun on the first day of a new season, but Kunal Kapoor (87, 142b, 18×4) and C.M. Gautam (94, 135b, 14×4) propped up the innings while the Tamil Nadu bowlers seemed to fade.
The visitors blew a fine start as their bowlers began to stray in the post-lunch session, allowing Kapoor and Gautam to put on 95 runs for the sixth wicket before Kapoor fell, bowled by seamer M. Mohammed who came away with three for 80.
After Kapoor’s dismissal, Gautam, in the company of tailenders, held the innings together to carry Karnataka to a respectable total.
The other Tamil Nadu bowler to impress was seamer Jagannathan Kaushik, who picked up four wickets while veteran Laxmipathy Balaji had two victims to show for his efforts.
Meanwhile, at Delhi’s Roshanara Club Ground, the hosts got off to a fine start against Saurashtra as Unmukt Chand (28) and captain Gambhir strung together a 53-run stand for the opening wicket.
Gambhir, who along with Delhi team-mate Virender Sehwag has been left out of the 30 India probables for the 2015 World Cup, looked in a determined mood to prove the selectors wrong.
The left-hander smashed 14 fours and two sixes but Sehwag could not follow suit.
The former India opener, Sehwag (9), dropped down the order to come at No.4 but after two blistering boundaries was unlucky to be run out.
Delhi found themselves in a spot of bother with the score at 145 for five but a fine 88-run stand between Gambhir and the ever-consistent Rajat Bhatia (47) helped them get back on track.
Puneet Bisht (17) fell in the penultimate over of the day to keep it even-steven between the two teams.
In Vadodara, middle order bat Sudip Chatterjee (91 batting) was on course to a deserved century as he propelled Bengal to a promising 255 for three against hosts Baroda at the Reliance Stadium.
Giving company to Chatterjee at stumps was Shreevats Goswami (61 batting) with the player having added 111 runs for the unfinished fourth wicket stand at the Reliance Stadium.
Electing to bat, Bengal had a solid start with the two openers Rohan Banerjee (35) and Arindam Das (54) putting on 78 for the first wicket, before left arm spinner Swapnil Singh got rid of Banerjee.
Das departed to a caught behind decision of Gagandeep Singh while Manoj Tiwary (7) did not last long.
At Vishakapatnam – Hyderabad 1st innings: 281 for six (Dwaraka Ravi Teja 96, Aksath Reddy 55; Paidikalva Vijaykumar 2/32, Bandaru Ayyappa 2/60) vs Andhra.
At Guwahati – Tripura 1st innings 135 all out (Manisankar Murasingh 47, Rakesh Solanki 30; Sibsankar Roy 3/6, Krishna Das 3/41) vs Assam 1st innings 68 for four (Abu Nechim 24 batting).
At Delhi – Delhi 1st innings 260 for six (Gautam Gambhir 123 batting, Rajat Bhatia 47; Abhishek Bhat 2/52, Sudeep Tyagi 2/45) vs Saurashtra.
At Bengaluru – Karnataka 1st innings 290 all out (C.M. Gautam 94, Kunal Kapoor 87; Jagannathan Kaushik 4/53, M Mohammed 3/80) vs Tamil Nadu.
At Wayanad – Goa 1st innings 313 for six (Amogh Sunil Desai 75, Darshan Misal 67; Basil Thampi 3/97) vs Kerala.
At Pune – Odisha 1st innings 223 for five (Nataraj Behera 66, Biplab Samantray 64; Shrikant Mundhe 2/61, Domnic Joseph 2/29) vs Maharastra.
At Mumbai – Mumbai 1st innings 236 all out (Suryakumar Yadav 57; Waseem Raza 3/29, Ram Dayal 3/51) vs Jammu and Kashmir 1st innings 88 for one.
At Patiala – Punjab 1st innings 273 all out (Yuvraj Singh 59; Jayant Yadav 6/85) vs Haryana 1st innings 19 for one.
At Delhi – Madhya Pradesh 1st innings 181 all out (Jalaj Saxena 41, Rameez Khan 41; Anureet Singh 5/43, Krishnakant Upadhyay 3/72) vs Railways 1st innings 21 for no loss.
At Jaipur – Gujarat 1st innings 258 for 4 (Priyank Kirit Panchal 68, Bhargav Merai 63; Manjeet Singh 2/64) vs Rajasthan.
At Delhi – Services 1st innings 226 all out (Deepak Punia 64; Vikramjeet Malik 3/33, Rishi Dhawan 3/57) vs Himachal Pradesh 1st innings 19 for no loss.