Virender Sehwag and Ravindra Jadeja grab headlines on the opening day of Ranji Trophy 2015-16
- The swashbuckling Virender Sehwag rekindled old memories as he anchored a shaky top order with an imperious 129-ball 92 which included 15 hits to the fence.
Unheralded left-arm spinner Syed Mohammad razed through the batting order as defending champions Karnataka slumped to 104/7 against Assam at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. He picked up his career-best figures of 7-44. But, the last 3 wickets added some crucial runs with Shishir Bhavane top scoring with 65. In reply to Karnataka’s 187, Assam were 21/1 at stumps.
In the contest between Maharashtra and Haryana in Pune, the inimitable Virender Sehwag won the toss and chose to bat. The swashbuckling 36-year-old rekindled old memories as he anchored a shaky top order with an imperious 129-ball 92 which included 15 hits to the fence. He set the perfect platform for teenager Himanshu Rana who smashed an unbeaten century to take Haryana to 303/6.
Meanwhile in Jaipur, Delhi led by former India opener Gautam Gambhir, collapsed to 138 all out. Right-arm seam bowler Deepak Chahar laid Delhi’s top order to waste by claiming 5-60 and placed Rajasthan in a dominating position who reached 74/3 at stumps.
On similar lines, the 26-year-old medium pacer Diwesh Pathania’s 6-19 disintegrated Jharkhand to a paltry 45 and placed Services in an enviable position. But, their batsmen squandered the advantage by crumbling to 131/9.
In a surface reminiscent of the typical “Madras square turner” of the 1950s, Tamil Nadu chose to bat first at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. But, they capsized to 125 all out, courtesy 4-wicket hauls from the Baroda spin duo of Yusuf Pathan and Bhargav Bhatt. Apart from Baba Aparajith who made 44, none of the batsmen showed application which meant that Tamil Nadu have dug themselves into a hole. Baroda began their innings cautiously and reached 33/1.
Ravindra Jadeja shone with the bat in his favourite Rajkot stadium by slashing his way to 91 and helped Saurashtra to reach 270/6. He was ably supported by Sheldon Jackson who remained unbeaten on 82.
Andhra Pradesh, captained by former India international Mohammad Kaif, crawled to 170/2 against domestic heavyweights Mumbai in Vizianagaram. Kaif compiled an unbeaten partnership with Ricky Bhui and battled Mumbai’s new ball bowler combination of Dhawal Kulkarni and Shardul Thakur who shared 16 maiden overs between them.
Mandeep Singh and Uday Kaul’s third wicket partnership helped Punjab to a commanding score of 235/2 against Railways. Mandeep scored an unbeaten 100 and Uday Kaul was not out on 92.
Jammu & Kashmir were shored up by Parvez Rasool’s half-century as they got to 247/7 against Kerala in Srinagar. The match pits a seasoned captain in Mithun Manhas who has recently transferred to J&K against the young turk in Sanju Samson, the newly appointed Kerala skipper.
Veteran Wasim Jaffer who bid an emotional goodbye to his beloved Mumbai team and joined Vidarbha, did not enjoy a favourable start to his new endeavour as he was dismissed for just 1 in the encounter against Odisha in Nagpur. Vidarbha though managed to slither to 256/6 on the backdrop of a century by the debutant, Aditya Shanware.
Riding on Almas Shaukat’s hundred, Uttar Pradesh led by the temperamental Praveen Kumar, reached 260/2 against a Madhya Pradesh bowling attack containing India hopefuls Ishwar Pandey and Jalaj Saxena.
Promising batsman Hanuma Vihari stroked his way to 82 and enabled Hyderabad to get to 246/5 at stumps against Goa at Porvorim.Published 01 Oct 2015, 20:45 IST