The fifth round of the ongoing Ranji Trophy season commenced on Thursday as the national players looked to warm-up ahead of Sri Lanka series. Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay looked in good touch and smashed centuries for their respective teams. But KL Rahul could score only 9 runs for Karnataka and Ajinkya Rahane, the vice-captain of India, was dismissed for a duck. Also, Mayank Agarwal continued his purple patch and followed the triple century in the last match with another unbeaten ton.
Assam lost the advantage of bowling first against Uttar Pradesh despite leaving them reeling at 74/6 in the first session. Upendra Yadav and Saurabh Kumar stitched together a record partnership of 246 runs for the seventh and counter-attacked the bowling which caught the opposition off-guard. While the former scored 127, the latter smashed 133 runs off just 118 deliveries. UP managed to recover to a splendid total of 349 before getting bowled out and Assam scored 25/0 until stumps.
Maharashtra rode on the half-centuries from Ankit Bawne and R Motwani and scored 249/5 after being invited to bat first by Railways at MCA Stadium in Pune. Karnataka look set for another stellar batting display against Delhi after opting to bat first at their home. They scored 348/4 by the end of the day on the back of some sensational batting from Agarwal who is still unbeaten on 169. They would look to pile on more runs on the second day and seal crucial points early in the game.
Jammu and Kashmir took full advantage of the flat pitch after winning the toss and posted 357 runs for the loss of six wickets against Jharkhand. The match between Haryana and Rajasthan started delayed due to fog in Rohtak and only 44 overs were possible on the day. Though the visitors made full use of the conditions and reduced the hosts to 99/7 by the end of the first day. Cheteshwar Pujara and Snell Patel slammed centuries in an unbeaten stand of 252 and helped Saurashtra post 311 for the loss of just one wicket against the defending champions Gujarat.
The proceedings were slow but steady for Andhra in their match against Tripura as former scored 252/2 after 90 overs on day 1 courtesy unbeaten century from their opener Prasanth Kumar. Murali Vijay’s splendid 140 helped Tamil Nadu score 292/3 against Odisha in Cuttack. Mumbai were shot out for a paltry total of 171 in their 500th Ranji game by Baroda. The visitors in reply started strongly and cut down the deficit by 63 runs losing only a solitary wicket.
Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy pummelled the Bengal bowlers after putting in to bat first and smashed 259 for the first wicket. The latter is still unbeaten as Vidarbha finished strongly on 285/1. Himachal Pradesh were bundled out for just 175 by Chhattisgarh Pankaj Rao and Sumit Ruikar shared six wickets between them. In reply, the visitors lost a wicket but scored 91 runs and look set to take a huge lead. Services posted a middling total of 228/8 in Palam against Goa in a crucial group D encounter.
Uttar Pradesh 349/10 (Saurabh Kumar 133, Upendra Yadav 127) vs Assam 25/0 at Guwahati
Maharashtra 249/5 (AR Bawane 92, RH Motwani 52*) vs Railways at Pune
Karnataka 348/4 (Mayank Agarwal 169*, Manish Pandey 74) vs Delhi at Alur
Jammu & Kashmir 357/6 (Punit Bisht 101*, Shubham Khajuria 101) vs Jharkhand at Jamshedpur
Haryana 99/7 (Rajat Paliwal 32, Pankaj Singh 3/25) vs Team Rajasthan at Lahli
Saurashtra 311/1 (Snell S Patel 156*, Cheteshwar Pujara 115*) vs Gujarat at Rajkot
Andhra 252/2 (DB Prashant Kumar 120*, Hanuma Vihari 62) vs Agartala at Tripura
Tamil Nadu 292/3 (Murali Vijay 140, N Jagadeesan 88) vs Odisha at Cuttack
Mumbai 171/10 (Aditya Tare 50; A Sheth 5/50, L Meriwala 5/52) vs Baroda 63/1 at Wankhede
Vidarbha 285/1 (FY Fazal 142, SR Ramaswamy 117*) vs Bengal at Kolkata
Services 228/8 (Nakul Verma 64, VU Yadav 61*) vs Goa at Delhi
Himachal Pradesh 175/10 vs Chhattisgarh 91/1 at Dharamsala