A five-fer from Shubham Sharma helped Rajasthan blow Kerala away for just 90 in their first innings in the sixth round match at the St Xavier's College Ground in Thiruvananthapuram. Meanwhile, an unbeaten 156 from Manoj Tiwary helped Bengal post 366 for five on day one against Hyderabad.
14 wickets fall, but Rajasthan well on top in Thiruvananthapuram
It was Kerala skipper Sachin Baby won the toss and elected to bat first on a day when 14 wickets fell — with ten of them going to spinners. A tight opening spell from Aniket Choudhary and Rituraj Singh saw Kerala reduced to 27 for three. Rohan Prem and Jalaj Saxena ate up a lot of deliveries before the left-arm spin of Sharma came on and ran through the rest. In reply, Rajasthan was dealt with early blows courtesy of Saxena, who’s seven-fer had won the previous match for Kerala. But Yash Kothari and Rajesh Bishnoi counter-attacked with half-centuries as Rajasthan finished the day at 173 for four.
Bhargav Merai’s century takes Gujarat to 277 for nine
Winning the toss, Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel elected to bat first. But at lunch, with his side four down with just 106 on the board, Patel might have thought he’d made the wrong call. The home side slumped further to 119 for five, before Bhargav Merai found a stable partner in Piyush Chawla and put together a 95-run stand. Merai went onto to complete a well-deserved ton before Chawla fell for 42. The No.3 batsman added some late runs with the tail before he fell for 130, which included 17 fours. For Punjab, Siddarth Kaul and Baltej Singh returned with four-fers.
Bowlers dominate on day one in Delhi
Delhi skipper Dhruv Shorey won the toss and elected to bat first. His pace bowlers, led by the veteran Ishant Sharma, backed his decision and had the defending champions reduced to 50 for three. Even as wickets continued to fall around him, it was Wasim Jaffer, another veteran, who held his own at one end with an 83, which included 11 fours. Ishant finished with a three-fer — including Jaffer’s wicket — while his new-ball Simarjeet Singh picked up four for 39 as Vidarbha’s innings folded at 179. The Vidarbha bowlers’ then returned the favour — Aditya Thakare running riot with four wickets — as Delhi huffed and puffed their way through to 41 for four at stumps.
Manoj Tiwary shines as Bengal post 360-plus on day one
As Hyderabad’s new-ball bowlers set out to prove Bengal’s new skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran wrong in his decision to bat first, they had the hosts reduced to 60 for three. But that was all the success Hanuma Vihari’s side would have on the day as senior man Tiwary stepped in and played the big innings. Tiwary batted through to stumps, hitting 15 fours and three sixes en route his 156. He was ably supported, initially by Anustup Majumdar — who scored 59 — before wicket-keeper Shreevats Goswami scored a stroke-filled 95 with 14 fours. For Hyderabad, Ravi Kiran returned with the best figures of two for 47.