Yuvraj 164 Studs Punjab’s Dominance

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Lahli: Yuvraj Singh converted his first fifty-plus score in 14 first-class innings into a century as Punjab ran Madhya Pradesh ragged on the opening day in Lahli. Punjab, sent in to bat, went to stumps on 347 for 3, the highest by any team on the opening day at this venue.

Punjab surpassed the previous highest opening day score of 339 for 7 by Haryana, against Rajasthan earlier this year. Yuvraj (164 not out) and Gurkeerat Singh (101 not out) put together 152 in less than a session. Ishwar Pandey picked two of the three wickets to fall.

A dominant bowling performance that helped bowl out Tamil Nadu for 121 meant Railways were still in command despite losing key top order wickets at stumps on the opening day of their second round fixture in Bilaspur. Railways, who ended the day on 87 for 3, were driven by Mrunal Devdhar’s 47, before left-arm seamer T Natrajan removed him shortly before play ended.

Deepak Bansal, the left-arm fast bowler, returned a career-best 4 for 84 for Railways, which included the key wickets of Dinesh Karthik and B Aparajith. For a while, Tamil Nadu were in danger of being bowled out for under 100, after they were reduced to 77 for 7.

 Malolan Rangarajan, the No. 8 batsman, held fort to make an unbeaten 36, the highest of the innings. With eight wickets falling to the seamers, Karn Sharma, the Railways captain, bowled just 2.2 overs in which he picked up one wicket.

Left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil, playing in only his second first-class game, impressed with his left-arm spin as Mumbai reduced Baroda to 286 for 9 at stumps at Palam grounds in New Delhi. Each of Baroda’s top eight batsmen got off to starts with only Pinal Shah, the wicket-keeper, crossing fifty.

The only semblance of resistance for Baroda came via a fourth-wicket stand of 66 between Deepak Hooda (46) and Shah (66). Yusuf Pathan threatened briefly, hitting eight fours in his 28-ball 41, before falling to Tushar Deshpande.

Shardul Thakur, the pace spearhead, who rejoined the team after spending a week with the national team in Indore for the third New Zealand Test, took 2 for 77.

Abhimanyu Easwaran’s second first-class ton studded Bengal’s dominance in their tournament opener in Jaipur. Easwaran, unbeaten on 123 at stumps, forged stands of 132 and 86 with Sudip Chatterjee (73) and debutant Agniv Pan (51) respectively as Bengal ended on 288 for 3 after Manoj Tiwary elected to bat. Ankit Rajpoot, leading Uttar Pradesh’s pace attack in Praveen Kumar’s absence, took all three wickets to fall.