Madhya Pradesh became the latest team to be on the receiving end of a Sarfaraz Khan onslaught on day one of their final round clash against Mumbai. Elsewhere, UP and Himachal, and Saurashtra and Tamil Nadu played out an evenly-contested day, while Karnataka took a first-innings lead against Baroda.
Batsmen fail to capitalise on starts for Himachal
Despite as many as six batsmen getting starts, no one managed even a half-century for Himachal, who were eventually bowled out for 220 on day one in Lucknow. Put into bat, the visitors faced an early setback courtesy of UP skipper Ankit Rajpoot removing opener R Thakur on the second ball of the day. Akash Vashist joined Raghav Dhawan and steadied the ship with a 66-run stand — the first of two half-century stands of the day. Led by medium-pacers Aquib Khan (five for 42) and Rajpoot (three for 57) himself, UP kept chipping away at their visitors by picking up wickets at regular intervals. In reply, the hosts reached 23 for one at stumps on day one.
Abhinav Mukund, N Jagadeesan fifties take Tamil Nadu to 250
Courtesy of the in-form Mukund getting an 86, Jagadeesan’s unbeaten 61, and a host of batsmen getting starts, Tamil Nadu reached 250 for seven at stumps on day one of proceedings IN Rajkot. Opting to bat, the visitors looked comfortable at 117 for two when lunch was taken. The Saurashtra bowlers, led by skipper Jaydev Unadkat (three for 25), then combined to have their visitors reduced to 181 for five at tea. Mukund was trapped in front by Unadkat on 86, which included 10 fours and a six, while Jagadeesan’s patient knock also included 10 fours.
Sarfaraz Khan closes in on third double of the season
Another day, another Sarfaraz Khan blitz helped Mumbai recover from 72 for three to reach 352 for four at stumps on day one of proceedings at the Wankhede Stadium. Opting to bat first, Mumbai were in a spot of bother when Kuldeep Sen — the pick of the MP bowlers with three for 67 — struck twice in an over to remove skipper Suryakumar Yadav (43) and Siddhesh Lad. Sarfaraz walked in unnerved by the situation and launched his counter-attack, while opener Aakarshit Gomel held the other end steady. Gomel, himself, completed his century, hitting 11 fours and a six, before falling for 122 to end a 275-run stand with Sarfaraz, who reached 169 not out at stumps.
Clinical Karnataka all over Baroda from day one
Opener Ahmadnoor Pathan (45) and Deepak Hooda (20) were the only Baroda batsmen who managed to put up some sort of resistance to a clinical Karnataka bowling performance on day one in Bengaluru. Led by Abhimanyu Mithun’s three for 26 and Krishnappa Gowtham’s three for 26, the hosts had Baroda cleaned up for a mere 85 in the first innings, with as many as five batsmen failing to open their accounts. The visitors fought back with two early wickets before a half-century stand between K Siddharth and skipper Karun Nair helped Karnataka take a lead. But Soyeb Sopariya (three for 40) triggered a mini-collapse to pull things back for Baroda, who had Karnataka reduced to 165 for seven at stumps.