Ranji Trophy 2017/18 Round-up, Round 1 Day 1: Murali Vijay fails on the first day, Prashant Chopra hits double century
The Ranji Trophy entered its 84th edition and the first day of this season saw a fair bit of run-scoring and wicket-taking. 24 of the 28 teams were in action today, with three matches from each group.
While one of the favourites, Tamil Nadu, were held back by Andhra at Chepauk for 176, Cheteshwar Pujara's Saurashtra managed to steady the ship after their star's early departure. Uttar Pradesh put on a show as well and bowled Railways out in the first innings before coming out to bat themselves in the latter half of the day.
On that note, let's take a look at how the Ranji matches all over the country panned out today.
Raina's UP stamp their authority in Lucknow
After winning the toss on a sunny day in Uttar Pradesh's capital, Railways' captain Mahesh Rawat opted to bowl first, only to see his team be skittled out for 182 by the third session.
Walking out to bat at number seven, Ashish Yadav top scored with 53 runs while Nitin Bhille added 42 runs after walking in post the fall of the first wicket.
Debutants and 17-year-olds, Kartik Tyagi and Zeeshan Ansari impressed with the ball. The former, who is a lanky fast bowler, bagged two wickets while Zeeshan, a leg-spinner by trade picked three. Ankit Rajpoot got three wickets to his name as well.
By the end of the day, UP had 9 runs on the board without losing a wicket.
Brief Score: Railways 182 (Yadav 53*, Rajpoot 30/3, Ansari 78/3) lead UP 9/0
Andhra derail TN on the first day
Boasting the likes of Murali Vijay, Abhinav Mukund and Ravichandran Ashwin, a lot was expected of the Ranji giants after captain Mukund won the toss and decided to bat first.
In the space of three deliveries, both the openers, Vijay and Mukund, were sent packing and the team never recovered from the blow. Though Baba Aparajith played a gritty 51-run knock, no other batsman managed to cross the 30-run mark as TN were bowled out for 176.
Bhargav Bhatt was the star with the ball for Andhra, picking up four wickets. Prithvi Raj Yarra was the second best bowler and picked three wickets.
Andhra finished the day with 8 runs on the board without the loss of a wicket.
Brief Score: Tamil Nadu 176 (Aparajith 51, Bhatt 52/4) lead Andhra 8/0
Saurashtra stabilise after Pujara's departure
At the Chaudhry Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli, Pujara won the toss and chose to bat first. Walking in to bat at number three, arguably India's best Test batsman started well but fell to Ashish Hooda after adding 35 runs to the scoreboard. His team was three down with 96 runs on the board, but Sheldon Jackson and Prerak Makad stitched a partnership for the seventh wicket, both scoring a half-century each.
Hooda was the highest wicket-taker for his team, with three to his name as Saurashtra finished the day at 271/7
The Prashant Chopra show in Dharamsala
Captain Sumeet Verma opted to bat first on a belter of a pitch against Punjab and his batsmen repaid the faith their skipper had shown in them. Led by Prashant Chopra's scintillating knock of 271 not out, Himachal posted a mammoth 459 by the end of day's play. The 24-year-old batsman scored a staggering 37 boundaries and will look to add to that tomorrow.
Captain Verma himself added 79 runs before Paras Dogra joined hands with Chopra at the crease. Dogra himself remained unbeaten on 99 and will look to complete his century as soon as possible on the second day of play.
Brief Score: Himachal Pradesh 459/2 (Chopra 271*, Sandeep Sharma 76/1) lead Punjab
Assam 224/7 vs Delhi
Bengal 341/3 vs Services
Chhattisgarh 189/5 vs Goa
Madhya Pradesh 268/5 vs Baroda
Rajasthan 249/4 vs Jammu and Kashmir
Jharkhand 200/9 vs Kerala
Hyderabad vs Maharashtra, First day washed out
Odisha vs Tripura, First day washed out