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Ranji Trophy 2012/13 - Day 1 - Group A review

Cricket’s best format is the format where patience outvalues aggression; class belittles innovations; lost form begins to patch up; performance gets credits. With no international fixtures currently, India’s big names like Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer are playing this Ranji season’s first match for their respective states in.  But for Dhoni and Yuvraj, all those likely members of the Indian squad have decided to get warmed up before serving the cold revenge for the touring English team.

A lot more people in India will at least get to know that Ranji Trophy has started.
- WV Raman, Former India and Tamil Nadu player.

The attention these players bring to India’s oldest domestic series adds responsibilities to younger players who are trying to impress the selectors. The format of Ranji Trophy was revamped prior to this season benefitting the underdogs as they would play more number of matches than they did in previous seasons. The revamped format divided 27 teams into 3 groups – A,B and C – Top 3 from group A and B and Top 2 from group C gets in to knock out phase of tournament.

Group ARajasthan, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra, Railways, Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat
Group BTamil Nadu, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Vidarbha, Delhi, Baroda, Odisha
Group CHimachal Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Services, Tripura, Goa, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam

REVIEW – DAY 1

GROUP A:

Mumbai vs Railways at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

STUMPS, DAY 1 – MUMBAI 343/4 [ Sachin 137(136), Rahane  105* (207)]

After Jaffer’s exit, Agarkar leads this season’s Mumbai which known for their domination in this tournament. Tendulkar, who was bowled in his last three test innings against New Zealand, played for Mumbai after two years in today’s match to regain his form. He was quick and aggressive. Sending in Rohit ahead of him surprised many. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make most of it as he was run out for 18.  Tendulkar scored better than a run-a-ball century. With 21 fours and 3 sixes, he scored 137 runs in 136 balls. Rahane, playing for Mumbai a little less than 24 hours after playing for India A in the warm up game against England, showed no sign of fatigue. His temperament was again on display, as he went on to score a century in 193 balls.

Gujarat vs Madhya Pradesh at Indore

STUMPS, DAY 1 – GUJARAT 317/5 (90 0vers) [ Parthiv Patel 162*]

After being reduced to 30/2 in less than 10 overs, Parthiv led from front with a fine century, his 17th in first-class cricket. Gujarat’s playing XI had 5 Patels in the line up – Smit, Neeraj, Partiv, Mehul, Akshar – making the scorers’ job a misery. As Wriddhiman Saha has been most often considered as the reserve keeper for India lately, this innings of Patel’s might give a slight edge over him.

Hyderabad vs Punjab at PCA Stadium, Mohali

STUMPS, Day 1 – Hyderabad 244/7 (90 0vers) [ A Reddy 63(154) Laxman 23(42) | M Gony 3/51 ]

Playing his first first-class match after his retirement from international cricket, Laxman didn’t have a good day at office, scoring only 23 runs. Openers Ravi Teja and Akshath Reddy gave Hyderabad a good start, scoring 77 runs in first session. Soon after lunch, Teja (36) got out. Reddy scored at a slower pace to make sure that Hyderabad didn’t lose quick wickets. But his efforts went in vain, as after his dismissal, the batsman who followed him couldn’t contribute much, leaving a little too much to do for the wicket-keeper batsman Khaleel, who remained unbeaten on 38 at the end of the day.

Bengal vs Rajasthan at Eden Gardens, Kolkatta

STUMPS, Day 1- Bengal  187/4 (59 0vers) [ Das 95(154), Tiwari 42(70) | Pankaj Singh 3/30]

Despite Rajasthan getting early in-roads by picking Basu in the 3rd over, they couldn’t stop Das from scoring runs. His brilliant innings of 95 runs at a strike rate of little more than 60 ensured that Bengal was always in the driver’s seat. He was unlucky to get out five runs shy of a first class century. Skipper Manoj Tiwari too chipped with a valuable 70-ball 42Pankaj Singh bagged 3 wickets for 30 runs.

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