Glovesman Yogesh Takawale struck a fine unbeaten 105 and shared a century-plus partnership with Timir Chanda to help Tripura reach 255 for seven at stumps against Maharashtra on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy group league encounter, here on Sunday.
Takawale and Chanda added 126 runs for the seventh wicket after Tripura were left tottering at 117 for six at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Takawale was batting on 105 made off 181 balls with the help of 10 fours and three sixes while Chanda contributed 43 useful runs with seven hits to the fence.
More importantly, the 38-year-old Chanda hung around for 93 balls which also gave Takawale a chance to plan his innings and provide some semblance of repectability to the score.
Takawale played responsibly during his undefeated knock and waited for the loose deliveries to come.
Tripura had their tails up with two new batsmen at the crease in the form of Takawale and Chanda. What followed was an attractive display of counter-attack from both the players who scored runs patiently, stitching together a hundred-plus partnership.
Chanda was trapped leg before by medium pacer Shrikant Mundhe in the 83rd over of the innings.
Rana Dutta (8) was at the crease with Takawale when the stumps were drawn for the day.
Earlier, sent in to bat after Maharashtra won the toss, Tripura kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
Opener KB Pawan (18) could not last long as Sachin Chaudhari had him caught behind by Rohit Motwani.
Abhijit Dey then joined Subhrajit Roy at the crease and the two took the score beyond fifty. Akshay Darekar then struck for Maharashtra as he had Roy caught behind for 23.
Mundhe, who was brought back into the attack for his second spell, justified his captain's decision with the wicket of Tripura skipper Abbas Ali (12) while spinner Akshay Darekar further compounded the misery for the visitors when he had Nirupam Sen Chowdhary out for nought.
Dey, who was helplessly watching wickets fell at the other end, ran out of patience and was caught and bowled by pacer Samad Fallah for 23. Tripura slipped to 117 for six when Manisankar Murasingh (16) became Mundhe's third victim.
With their team in dire straits, Takawale and Chanda joined hands and took their team close to 250-mark.
Mundhe was the most successful bowler for Maharashtra with figures of three for 62 while Darekar chipped in with two wickets.
In another Group C match in Guwahati, Assam batted quite slow as they scored only 177 runs in the whole day and lost five wickets against Kerala after being sent in to bat at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium.
Assam openers Pallavkumar Das and Dheeraj Jadhav started on a cautious note and stitched a 44-run partnership for the first wicket in 26 overs. Rohan Prem broke the stand when he had Das caught by wicketkeeper Nikhilesh Surendran for 19.
Few overs later, left-arm spinner Shahid sent back Jadhav for 32 as Assam were reduced to 62 for 2 in 39 overs.
Kerala bowlers tied the host batsmen in knots and did not allow them to score freely, which showed in their slow approach.
V Manoharan was rewarded for bowling a good line and length as he inflicted a double blow to send back Sibsankar Roy (36) and Tarjinder Singh (22) in quick succession.
Medium pacer Prasanth Parameswaram heaped more misery on Assam when he had Kunal Saikia caught by Shahid for five to leave Assam tottering at 140 for five.
Niraj Patel (32 batting) and J Syed Mohammad (14 batting) batted responsibly to avoid further damage and added 37 runs for the unconquered sixth-wicket stand.
In another match between Andhra and Hyderabad at Uppal, continuous rain over the past few days played spoilsport as only 20 overs could be bowled on the opening day.
T Suman (12 batting) and Hanuma Vihari (3 batting) were at the crease when stumps were drawn at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Andhra skipper AG Pradeep won the toss and elected to field under overcast conditions after rain delayed the start of the match.
Pacers Syed Sahabuddin and D Shivkumar made full use of the conditions and removed Hyderabad openers Akshath Reddy (17) and Ravi Teja (11) in quick succession.