Lokesh Rahul gave ample display of his class by cracking an unbeaten 120 as gritty Karnataka recovered from a mini-collapse to reach 228 for seven against Mumbai in their first innings on the opening day of their Group A Ranji Trophy match in Bangalore on Sunday.
The 21-year-old opener notched up his third century of the season to steer the hosts after they were 84-4 in 40.2 overs at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
At stumps,Rahul and Abhimanyu Mithun (7) were at the crease on an eventful opening day which saw good bat and ball contest.
Mumbai dominated the last two sessions,sending back six Karnataka batsmen to pavillion.
Rahul stole the show with his batting prowess as he hit an array of exquisite strokes even as wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals at the other end.
Among the batsmen,R Samarth (18),Karun Nair (13),Manish Pandey (1) and CM Gautam (0) were dismissed cheaply.
Rahul,who was lucky to have not given caught behind early in the innings,smashed 16 well-timed boundaries in his 275-ball knock.
His shot selection was admirable as he was right behind the line of good balls but punished the loose balls with aplomb.
Rahul was given vital support by Stuart Binny (38) during their 82-run fifth wicket stand,before the latter was caught by Siddesh Lad off pacer Javed Khan. Binny hit three boundaries and two sixes in his 88-ball enduring knock.
S N Thakur and Vishal Dabholkar bagged two wickets apiece while Javed,S N Netrawalkar and S A Yadav taking one each after Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer opted to field.
Rahul and R Samarth built 38 runs stand for first wicket,before the later was dismissed by debutant Netrawalkar after he gave a catch to Yadav.
Thereafter,Karnataka lost three more wickets for 46 runs,sending jitters into the hosts’ camp,before Rahul and Binny bailed them out.
UP bundled out for 250 on opening day
Half-centuries from Eklavya Dwivedi (80 not out) and Parvinder Singh (73) helped Uttar Pradesh score 250 all out on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match against Madhya Pradesh in Kanpur.
It was quite a remarkable recovery as Madhya Pradesh’s new-ball pair of Ishwar Pandey and debutant Puneet Datey had the hosts reeling on six for four in the fifth over of the day after UP were asked to bat.
Datey struck with his first two deliveries in first-class cricket,dismissing Digvijay Singh and Prashant Gupta for golden ducks. In his second over,he had Uttar Pradesh captain Suresh Raina caught by Jalaj Saxena for just one run. Two balls later,Ishwar Pandey sent back opener Mukul Dagar (5).
Mohammad Kaif (24) and Parvinder dug in to take the score to 69,but it was the 93-run stand between Parvinder and wicketkeeper Dwivedi that added some respectability to UP’s total.
Saxena ended the partnership by having Parvinder caught by captain Devendra Bundela for 73.
Bundela and Saxena combined to mop up the tail,but not before seamer Amit Mishra gave valuable support to Dwivedi in a 62-run eighth-wicket stand.
Dwivedi was left stranded on 80 after which MP played out a couple of overs to end the day on four for no loss.
Railways struggle to 85-5
Services bowlers produced a disciplined bowling display to reduce Railways to 85 for five in their first innings at stumps on a weather-hit opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match in New Delhi.
After electing to field on a chilly morning,Services didn’t give Railways batsmen much leeway and kept taking wickets in regular intervals on a day when only 40 overs could be bowled due to foggy conditions.
For Services,Irfan Khan took two wickets for 14 runs,while Suraj Yadav,Shadab Nazar and Nishan Singh accounted for one each as the bowlers utilised the limited time of play possible.
Parthiv scores 21st first-class ton
Parthiv Patel cracked his 21st first-class century to power Gujarat to 287 for three in their first innings at stumps against Odisha on the opening day of their Ranji trophy Group A match in Motera on Sunday.
Parthiv scored an unbeaten 109 runs in 166 balls with the help of 11 fours. Venugopal Rao (68) and Bhargav Merai (45) were the other top scorers for Gujarat.
For Odisha,Jayanta Behera (2/65) took two wickets,while BB Samantray (1/38) scalped one.