Day 1 Report:
Karnataka vs Saurashtra in Bangalore
Three Karnataka batsmen scored half-centuries but Jaydev Unadkat's four-wicket haul restricted Karnataka to 264 for 9 at stumps on the first day at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
Karnataka were reeling at 30 for 4 at one stage before half-centuries from number 5, 6 and 7 - Manish Pandey (62), Shreyas Gopal (87) and S Sharath (74*) - bailed Karnataka out. Unadkat ended with 4 for 50 while off-spinner Kamlesh Makvana got 3 for 73.
The first half of the day was all about Jaydev Unadkat running through the Karnataka top order. The pitch had some juice early in the day and the Saurashtra captain got the ball to talk, bowling with zip and accounting for R Samarth, Mayank Agarwal and K Siddharth leaving Karnataka 19 for 3.
Samarth and Siddharth were trapped leg before by balls that came in, while Agarwal fished at one that angled away and edged behind after a 30-ball 2. Chetan Sakariya had Karun Nair nicking behind on 9 to leave Karnataka reeling at 30 for 4.
Saurashtra had their tails up but Pandey and Shreyas Gopal arrested the slide. Pandey counter-attacked, like he had done in the quarter-final against Rajasthan, and made 62 off 67 with four fours and three sixes.
Unadkat broke the 106-run stand after the lunch break, bowling Pandey from around the stumps and leaving Karnataka in trouble again at 136 for 5. Yet again, Karnataka had a rescue act with Gopal and S Sharath adding 96 for the sixth wicket.
Gopal was fortunate to be dropped early on 33, but used the chance to settle in against the spinners. Sharath too gave him good company as Karnataka ended the second session losing just one wicket.
Saurashtra got on top again in the third session, courtesy Kamlesh Makvana's triple strikes. The off-spinner's wickets were also a result of some poor shots.
Gopal first pulled and missed a not-so-short ball to fall on 87. K Gowtham was dropped on 0 at mid-off but failed to use his reprieve and edged to slip for 2. Abhimanyu Mithun then slogged to mid-off, leaving Sharath watching helplessly from the other end.
Kerala vs Vidarbha in Wayanad
Umesh Yadav's seven-wicket burst put Vidarbha well on top, despite a late fightback by Kerala with the ball.
Opting to field, Vidarbha smashed out Kerala for just 106 in 28.4 overs with Umesh picking 7 for 48 from 12 overs. Vidarbha ended on 171 for 5, a lead of 65 runs, with skipper Faiz Fazal scoring 75.
Only three Kerala batsmen - Sachin Baby (22), Vishnu Vinod (37*) and Basil Thampi (10) - got double-digit scores. Rajneesh Gurbani, the other pacer, bagged the three remaining wickets as Vidarbha had Kerala under the mat on a green track.
Batting became easier when Vidarbha came out to bat. Faiz Fazal, the captain, led the way with a half-century. The ageless run-machine Wasim Jaffer scored 34 runs, completing 1000 in the season. He became the first batsman to score 1000 or more runs in two different Ranji seasons, the first being in 2008-09.
Vidarbha were cruising at 170 for 2 before Fazal's dismissal triggered a bit of a collapse. They lost three wickets for 1 run, giving Kerala some hope going into the second day.