A round-up of the first day of the first round of matches in the Ranji Trophy Elite 2011-12
Sourav Ganguly scored 34 on his return to first-class cricket, and an unbeaten century from Manoj Tiwary helped carry Bengal to 261 for 4 against Gujarat at Eden Gardens. Choosing to bat, Bengal lost their openers early - Parthasarathi Bhattacharjee was caught off Priyank Panchal, while Arindam Das was run out for a duck. Captain Tiwary, batting at No. 4, built two half-century stands with Arindam Ghosh and Ganguly. The best partnership of the day, however, came from Tiwary and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. The pair put together an unbroken 105-run stand at over four runs an over and went to stumps on 120 and 41 respectively. Medium-pacer Panchal was the pick of the bowlers for Gujarat - who are without Siddharth Trivedi this season - claiming 2 for 22 in a miserly 13-over spell.
Delhi struck regular blows against Haryana, to keep them to 256 for 7 at the Roshanara Club Ground. Delhi chose to bowl and left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra drew first blood, removing Nitin Saini for 14. Rajat Bhatia and Parvinder Awana were the next to strike, Awana cutting short a promising innings from Sunny Singh as Haryana slipped to 115 for 3. Abhimanyu Khod and Sachin Rana thwarted any chance of a collapse, though, with half-centuries in a 126-run stand. The pair fell to fast bowler Pradeep Sangwan late in the day, as Delhi picked up four wickets in seven overs to finish with the edge.
Heavy rain washed out the first day of the Tamil Nadu v Baroda at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, without a ball being bowled.
Driven by Ravindra Jadeja's 141 not out, Saurashtra piled up 305 for 5 against Orissa at the Barabati Stadium. Orissa's Basant Mohanty justified his captain's decision to bowl, trapping Chirag Pathak lbw off the second ball of the day. However, a string of steady stands followed, to carry Saurashtra into their position of strength. Bhushan Chauhan steered a 50-run stand for the second wicket, and then put on 142 with Ravindra Jadeja. Chauhan fell to Mohanty for 83, but yet another half-century stand followed between Jadeja and Sagar Jogiyani. Jadeja's hundred is his fifth in first-class cricket and was studded with 17 fours and a six.
Karnataka made 273 for 3 against Rajasthan at the Field Club Ground, courtesy a knock of 121 not out from opener KB Pawan. Rajasthan chose to bowl and were rewarded with the early wicket of Robin Uthappa, who was trapped lbw by Pankaj Singh for a duck. An 88-run partnership between Pawan and Manish Pandey, though, got Karnataka back on track. This was followed by an unbroken century stand between Pawan and Amit Verma, which put them on top.
It was another run fest at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, with Punjab getting to 329 for 5 against Uttar Pradesh on the back of a century from Mandeep Singh. Partnerships between Karan Goel, Mandeep and Mayank Sidhana formed the backbone of the innings. The openers fell early to RP Singh, leaving Punjab 51 for 2 when Goel and Mandeep came together. The pair added 167 before Goel was caught on 68. Sidhana then put on 97 with Mandeep in quick time, before becoming RP Singh's fourth victim. Mandeep got to stumps unbeaten on 158, which is his highest first-class score.
The trend of a player hitting an unbeaten century on day one to guide their team to a position of strength extended to the Mumbai v Railways match at the Karnail Singh Stadium. Here, Rohit Sharma hit 133 not out after Mumbai decided to bat, to carry them to 338 for 5. He was well supported by Suryakumar Yadav, who made 88 in a fourth-wicket partnership of 180. Kaustub Pawar, Wasim Jaffer and Iqbal Abdulla also got starts but could not kick on, falling for scores between 25 and 33. The Railways bowlers shared the wickets around, but could not adequately control the scoring-rate: four of the six who bowled went at over four runs an over.