S Aravind proved effective through minute deviations on a green Eden Gardens surface © BCCI
As many as 13 wickets fell in Kolkata as Karnataka took the opening-day honours, taking a 41-run lead with seven wickets intact after bowling Delhi out for 90 in less than a session in their Group B fixture at Eden Gardens.
Stand-in captain Karun Nair’s decision to bowl first was vindicated by the new ball bowlers. S Aravind, the left-arm seamer – who replaced the injured captain Vinay Kumar – triggered the meltdown, taking 4 for 12 in 11 overs as Delhi slumped to their lowest score against Karnataka. Their previous-lowest was 138 in the 2005-06 season.
Aravind was complemented by Abhimanyu Mithun and offspinner K Gowtham, who returned to the state side after four years during Karnataka’s season-opener last week. Mithun took two wickets, and Gowtham took three, including that of the in-form Rishabh Pant (24) who had been put down twice – once by Gowtham himself at backward point, and once by Mayank Agarwal at slip.
While the surface had a green tinge, it was far from menacing as the scorecard suggested. This was in evidence as the Karnataka openers added 87. While R Samarth, coming off a double century against Jharkhand, exuded confidence in his 53, Agarwal buried flamboyance for discipline for his 56, before fending a Vikas Tokas bouncer to third slip. Karnataka ended on 131 for 3, with Nair and Mithun at the crease.
The effectiveness of Karnataka’s seamers may have encouraged Ishant Sharma, who was returning to competitive cricket after chikungunya kept him out for more than a month. But he was ineffective for the most part, as his length erred on the shorter side. On the odd occasions where he bowled full, he was driven comfortably. In comparison, Aravind proved that minute deviations on a helpful surface are just as effective as raw pace.
Delhi’s only highlights came towards the ends of the day, when Robin Uthappa (5) and Agarwal (56) were caught in the slips.
Cheteshwar Pujara carried forward his good form from the New Zealand Tests © Associated Press
Saurashtra’s Cheteshwar Pujara (79 not out) and Sheldon Jackson (105) made Maharashtra rue their decision to bowl first in Vizianagaram. The pair’s 164-run third-wicket stand helped Saurashtra recover from the loss of their openers in the first session and post 285 for 3 at stumps. Jaydev Shah, the captain, was unbeaten on 35.
Jackson, who walked in to bat at 67 for 2, struck 10 fours and five sixes in his 12th first-class ton, a 155-ball 105, before Akshay Darekar, the left-arm spinner, dismissed him in the final session. Sagar Jogiyani (24) and Avi Barot (28) were the other batsmen to be dismissed, falling to Rahul Tripathi and Mohsin Sayyad respectively.
Ganesh Satish (93 not out) and Sanjay Ramaswamy (83) were the architects for Vidarbha, who went into stumps on Day 1 of their clash against Assam in Trivandrum on 254 for 3. The base was built during the course of a 131-run second-wicket stand between the pair, after Faiz Fazal, the captain, elected to bat. Offspinner Swarupam Purkayastha, picked up two wickets in four deliveries to briefly spark a revival, but Ganesh and Ravi Jangid ensured there was no further damage.
Kaushal Singh top scored with 56 in Jharkhand’s 209 all out after electing to bat. Kaushal’s 96-run sixt-wicket stand with Ishank Jaggi (49) helped Jharkand climb out of a hole at 69 for 5. Pankaj Singh took three of those first five and ended with 5 for 60 off his 21 overs, while Nathu Singh and Ajay Singh took two wickets apiece.
Rajasthan were 26 without loss at stumps.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo