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    Ranji Trophy, Group A: Siddhesh Lad gives Mumbai a solid start; Odisha recover to 226/3

    Mumbai: Promising Mumbai batsman Siddhesh Lad impressed with a knock of 74 before Delhi fought back with a couple of late wickets to keep the hosts to 252 for six on the first day of their Group A Ranji Trophy match here Thursday

    The experienced Wasim Jaffer made 61 while Asitya Tare scored 53 at the Bandra Kurla Complex. For the visitors, Ashish Nehra and Parvinder Awana were the two most impressive bowlers, picking up two wickets each after Mumbai opted to bat.

    At stumps, Hiken Shah and Balwinder Sacdhu were batting on 13 and seven, respectively. Mumbai were off to a bad start as they lost opener Kaustabh Pawar with just 10 runs on the board, veteran left-arm pacer Nehra being the successful bowler. A 94-run partnership for the second wicket ensued between wicketkeeper-batsman Tare and Jaffer before the latter was sent back by Awana with the scoreboard reading 104/2 in the 39th over.

    Jaffer's innings was laced 12 fours and a six and he faced 95 balls. Tare got out to Manan Sharma after spending a good 279 minutes in the middle, during which he found the fence six times. 21-year-old Lal continued to tackle the Delhi bowlers and by the time he became the sixth man to get out, Lad had struck nine fours having faced 137 balls and spent 194 minutes at the crease.

    Brief scores:

    Mumbai 1st innings: 252 for six in 6 in 88 overs (Siddhesh Lad 74, Wasim Jaffer 61, Aditya Tare 53; Ashish Nehra 2/16).

    In another match at Nagpur, Niranjan Behera struck a solid unbeaten 90 as Odisha recovered from early struggle to post 226 for three on the opening day of their Group A match against Vidarbha.

    Behera, who hit 11 boundaries in 228-ball stay at the crease today, stitched 150 runs for the third wicket with Govind Podder (74) after Gujarat were reduced to 26 for two in the first hour at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium at Jamtha. Openers Girija Rout and Natraj Behera could contribute just 15 and seven respectively after Odisha captain Biplab Samantray won the toss and opted to bat.

    At stumps after 90 overs on the first day, Samantray was giving company to Niranjan on 31. The duo has so far made 50 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket. Samantray had faced 100 balls so far from which he hit three boundaries.

    For Vidarbha, Amol Jungade took two wickets while his pace-mate Shrikant Wagh got a wicket.

    Brief Scores:

    Odisha 1st Innings: 226 for 3 from 90 overs (Niranjan Behera 90 batting, Govind Podder 74; Amol Jungade 2/28).

    At Bangalore, Karnataka squandered a good start by their openers to hand the initiative to Gujarat as they were struggling at 226 for seven at the end of the opening day of their Group A Ranji Trophy match at Chinnaswamy stadium. A solid 80-run opening stand between Mayank Agarwal (42) and Lokesh Rahul (34) had given the hosts a good platform to consolidate but Karnataka lost six wickets in the last two sessions to squander the initiative.

    Kunal Kapoor played his part at number three with a crucial 57 to give some respectability to the Karnataka total. Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel did not have any hesitation in putting Karnataka into bat, hoping to capitalise on the morning conditions. But Mayank and Rahul kept the Gujarat bowlers at bay before the former fell to Rakesh Dhruv for 42 runs in 88 balls with seven hits to the fence.

    Kapoor held on firmly in company of Rahul to carry Karnataka to 93 for one at lunch. However, Rahul fell soon after the lunch for 34, which he made in 108 balls with six hits to the fence. Thereafter, Karnataka lost wickets at regular intervals and did not have any partnership going.

    Left-arm spinner Akshar Patel and pacer Mehul Patel took vital wickets of Rahul and dangerous Manish Pandey (8) while Dhruv and Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Chidambaram Gautam (8) and Stuart Binny (4) at the fag end of second session to bring Gujarat back into the game.

    Mehul, Bumrah and Dhruv finished the day with two wickets apiece while Akshar took one wicket. At stumps, Satish was batting on 36 and Abhimanyu Mithun on three.

    In another match at Rohtak, Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and India paceman Varun Aaron shared five wickets between them as Jharkhand fought back to reduce Haryana to 295 for eight on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match.

    Sunny Singh (53) and Rahul Dalal (58) struck contrasting half-centuries for Haryana but could not convert those into big ones. Skipper Harshal Patel (22) and Mohit Sharma (20) were at the crease when stumps were drawn at Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium, where retiring batting legend Sachin Tendulkar had played his final Ranji game late last month.

    Opener Abhimanyu Khod (30), Avi Barot (42) and Sachin Rana (37) batted well but could not carry on with their good work. Medium pacer Shankar Rao (2/30) provided the first breakthrough when he had Nitin Saini (8) caught behind by wicketkeeper Shiv Gautam.

    Next man-in, Sunny combined well with Khod and took the team's total to 96 but Aaron (2/48) broke the 84-run second-wicket stand by dismissing the latter. Nadeem (3/108) then removed Sunny, having him trapped leg before to reduce the hosts to 96 for three. Sunny's 53-run knock off 83 balls was laced with eight fours.

    Barot and Dalal then steadied the sinking ship and stitched together a 71-run partnership for the fourth wicket before Nadeem returned for his third spell to dismiss Barot. Rana then took the crease and, along with Dalal, added 54 runs to take the team past 200. Aaron had Rana trapped leg before in the 71st over and from there on, Haryana kept on losing wickets.

    Brief Score: Haryana 296 for 8 in 90 overs (Rahul Dalal 58, Sunny Singh 53; Shahbaz Nadeem 3/108, Varun Aaron 2/48).