Upendra Yadav and Saurabh Kumar, the centurions, turned things in Uttar Pradesh’s favour on an intriguing first day’s play against Assam in Group A action in the Ranji Trophy on Thursday (November 9). Over in Bangalore, Karnataka rode on an unbeaten century from Mayank Agarwal to bury Delhi under a mountain of runs, while Maharashtra made steady progress against Railways.
Centuries from Upendra Yadav and Saurabh Kumar hauled Uttar Pradesh out of the woods against Assam at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium. The visitors recovered from a massive slide to post 349, and Assam replied with 25 without loss at the close.
Put in to bat, Uttar Pradesh were blown open by Rajjakuddin Ahmed, who dismissed both openers inside the first six overs. Abu Nechim Ahmed got into the act soon when he had Mohammad Saif, the No. 3 batsman, and Suresh Raina, the captain, in the space of five deliveries in the 15th over as Uttar Pradesh were in tremendous trouble at 74 for 6.
Upendra, the wicketkeeper batting at No. 7, and Saurabh carved a crucial 246-run partnership off just 229 balls for the seventh wicket to help lift their side to a strong first-innings total of 349.
Upendra’s innings of 127, his maiden first-class ton, came off 143 balls and was studded with 19 fours and a six, while Saurabh smashed his way to a 118-ball 133 with 22 fours and six, his second century at this level.
Rajjakuddin was the most successful bowler for Assam with figures of 3 for 103, though he went at nearly five runs an over. Abu Nechim, Dhiraj Goswami and Gokul Sharma picked up two wickets apiece.
Uttar Pradesh and Assam are rooted to the foot of the table with one point each, the former from four games and the latter from three.
Ankit Bawne’s 92 off 184 and Rohit Motwani’s unbeaten half-century helped Maharashtra make solid progress by reaching 249 for 5 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Each of the top six got into double-figures but no one really kicked on as the Railways bowlers struck at regular intervals. Opting to field, Railways tasted early success when Murtuza Trunkwala (10) was caught Amit Mishra in the eighth over. Rahul Tripathi was the next to fall when Karan Thakur trapped him leg before for 29, and when Anureet Singh dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad for 25, Maharashtra were struggling at 71 for 3.
Bawne then took the charge and built an 81-run fourth-wicket stand with Naushad Shaikh (37), which he backed up with a 95-run stand with Motwani (52 n.o) for the fifth wicket, before falling late in the day, eight runs short of a century to Thakur.
Mishra and Thakur took two wickets apiece, while Anureet chipped in with one for Railways, who are third in the group with 13 points from four games. Maharashtra are two spots behind, with seven points from three matches.
Mayank Agarwal’s unbeaten 169, and half-centuries from R Samarth and Manish Pandey, helped Karnataka take the upper hand, finishing at 348 for 4 against Delhi at the Alur (2) Cricket ground.
Full report: Agarwal ton drives Karnataka charge