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    Ranji Trophy, Group A: Narwal takes five for Delhi; Sunny's ton lifts Haryana

    Surat: Y Venugopal Rao struck a fine century as Gujarat posted 281 for 7 in their Ranji Trophy Group A match against Delhi, whose star performer was medium pacer Sumit Narwal, who picked up five wickets on Thursday.

    At stumps on the opening day, Akshar Patel and Rakesh Dhurv were batting on 22 and two, respectively.

    Venugopal Rao found the fence 13 times and cleared it once during his 190-ball knock, which stabilised the Gujarat innings after the hosts elected to bat at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium.

    Narwal returned impressive figures of 5 for 56, including the wicket of Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel, who was sent back for 22, and Venugopal Rao. Manpreet Juneja made 50 before being trapped in front of the wicket by Ashish Nehra, the experienced left-arm fast medium bowler finishing the day with 2 for 47.

    Juneja struck five fours in his 102-ball knock, while Bhargav Merai made 45 off 98 balls, and with the help of five hits to the fence. Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir used six bowlers, with only two proving to be successful.

    Gujarat were off to a bad start losing three wickets with just 67 runs on the board. After the well-set Juneja was dismissed by Nehra to make it 124/4, Venugopal Rao and Merai joined hands to forge a century stand and stabilised the innings. Their partnership was broken when Narwal bowled Merai in the day's 73rd over.

    Venugopal Rao followed suit as Delhi got a couple of important breakthroughs before stumps. Buoyed by their comprehensive innings win over Vidarbha at Nagpur, Gujarat are hoping for a similar performance to consolidate their position.

    The Delhi team wears a formidable look with Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Unmukt Chand, Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia in its ranks.

    Sunny's ton lift Haryana to 235 for 4 against Vidarbha

    At Nagpur: Sunny Singh slammed a fine unbeaten century to help Haryana score 235 runs for the loss of four wickets against Vidarbha at the end of opening day's play in their Ranji Trophy Group A match on Thursday.

    At stumps, Sunny was unbeaten on 101 off 201 balls with the help of 11 boundaries and one six and giving him company was Jayant Yadav on 13. However, Haryana did not have the best of starts after skipper Ajay Jadeja won the toss and decided to bat.

    The visitors lost both their openers - Nitin Saini (19) and Abhimanyu Khod (24) - at the team score of 59 before Sunny resurrected Haryana's innings in Avi Barot's (64) company. Sunny and Barot shared a third-wicket partnership of 122 runs to build Haryana's innings.

    Barot found the fence nine times during his 141-ball patient knock before edging one to wicket-keeper Amol Ubarhande off offspinner Akshay Wakhare's bowling in the 69th over of the day. For Vidarbha, Shrikant Wagh (1 for 46), Amol Jungade (1 for 56), Sumit Ruikar (1 for 42) and Wakhare (1 for 54) scalped one wicket apiece.

    Brief Scores: Haryana 1st innings: 235 for four in 90 overs (101 not out, Avi Barot 64; Sumit Ruikar 1 for 42)

    Jaffer's unbeaten 92 steers Mumbai against Punjab

    At Chandigarh: Wasim Jaffer's unbeaten 92 helped Mumbai reach 207 for 5 in their first innings but not before Punjab had snapped up five wickets to share the honours on the opening day of their second Group A Ranji Trophy match on Thursday.

    Electing to bat after their captain Zaheer Khan won the toss, Mumbai were reduced to 85 for 4 but Jaffer held one end to steer the visiting team to 207 for 5.

    Jaffer's 175-ball knock was studded with 11 fours and a six. Another notable contributor to the team's cause was Suryakumar Yadav, who struck 44 off 82 deliveries.

    Yadav put together 102 runs for the fifth wicket with Jaffer before falling to allrounder Yuvraj Singh. For Punjab, Siddharth Kaul was the top wicket-taker, bagging 2 for 40 in 15 overs. Yuvraj and discarded Test offspinner Harbhajan Singh picked up one wicket apiece.

    It was not the best of starts by Mumbai as they lost their first wicket in the form of opener and wicketkeeper Aditya Tare (11) with just 17 runs on the board. His partner Kaustubh Pawar (24) hung around a little longer but it was just not enough to rescue Mumbai. The fall of two quick wickets after his dismissal raised fears of a collapse but Jaffer and Yadav rebuilt the innings.

    Punjab bowlers kept it tight and did not allow Mumbai batsmen to break the shackles after putting them under pressure with early dismissals. Yadav's knock, which included seven fours, was in fact quite lively compared to the overall pace of run-gathering by his team-mates. He was dismissed just a little more than five overs before end of play.

    At stumps, Hiken Shah (9) was giving company to Jaffer as Mumbai partially recovered from the morning collapse.

    Brief Scores: Mumbai 1st innings: 207 for 5 in 71 overs (Wasim Jaffer 92 batting, Suryakumar Yadav 44, Siddharth Kaul 2 for 40)

    Jharkhand 214 for 5 against Karnataka

    At Mysore, a dogged half-century by opener Rameez Nemat and his 92-run partnership for the second wicket with Bhavik Thaker helped Jharkhand post 214 for 5 against Karnataka on the first day of their Group A Ranji match at Gangotri Glades on Thursday.

    Sent into bat by captain Vinay Kumar, the visitors lost opener Akash Verma for 13 off pacer Sreenath Arvind before the end of the 20th over with just 31 runs on the board.

    However, Nemat and Thaker dropped anchor while intermittently playing some delightful shots, helping Jharkhand to 66 for 1 at lunch. Both added another 57 runs for the second wicket in the post-lunch session before Thaker was castled by left-arm spinner KP Apanna for a hard-earned 36 runs. He cracked four boundaries and a six in 107 balls.

    Soon, as it happens quite often in cricket, Nemat, who was batting well along with Thaker, succumbed to Apanna after he gave a catch to wicketkeeper CM Gautam. He made a solid 68 off 166 balls with eight boundaries.

    Nemat played some excellent drives on either side of the wicket in the afternoon session. Resuming at 141 for 3 at tea, Jharkhand could add another 73 runs before losing two more wickets when the umpires called off the day's play.

    Right-hand batsman Ishank Jaggi (14) was dismissed caught by Gautam off Arvind and Shiv Gautam (16), in the last over of the day, gave a catch to the wicketkeeper off the same bowler. Arvind, who made a comeback after an injury, was the pick of the bowlers for Karnataka as he finished the day with the figures of 3 for 45, and Apanna had 2 for 39.

    When the stumps were drawn, Saurabh Tiwary, who is making a comeback after an injury, was batting on 43 off 94 balls with five boundaries and a six.