Bangalore: Lokesh Rahul's good run of form continued as the young batsman struck an unbeaten 150 to guide Karnataka to a comfortable position in their Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match against Uttar Pradesh here on Thursday.
At stumps on the first day, hosts Karnataka were strongly placed at 326 for the loss of four wickets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Shreyas Gopal was batting on 88 at the close of play and, in the company of the in-form Rahul, added 178 runs for the fifth wicket.
Uttar Pradesh won the toss and elected to field, hoping to utilise early morning's helpful conditions, but that was not to be as Karnataka rode on Lokesh's 256-ball knock and his 80-run partnership with Robin Uthappa (41).
Rahul, who had scored a century in only his second Test for India against Australia at Brisbane earlier this month, struck 22 boundaries and a six.
The experienced Praveen Kumar was the most successful bowler from the Uttar Pradesh outfit, the skipper returning figures of 3/34.
Railways bowl out Bengal for 268 on day one
In Kolkata, half-centuries from Manoj Tiwary, Shreevats Goswami and Abhimanyu Easwaran helped Bengal to a modest 268, even as Railways seized the momentum in the fag end of day one in the match at the Eden Gardens.
Opting to bat in the must-win match, Bengal collapsed twice, the first when the hosts lost four wickets for eight runs in 32 balls in the post-lunch session after Easwaran (57) became the first victim of Anureet Singh (4/45).
Bengal reeling at 126/5, it was the most reliable duo of Tiwary (68) and Goswami (62) who rescued the team with a fighting 129-run partnership.
Anurett was most impressive in the last spell (5-2-13-3), while Arnab Nandi (2/52) and Karn Sharma (2/94) gave good support.
The pitch had some uneven bounce and the odd one stayed low as it will be interesting to see how the underfire Bengal bowlers exploit the conditions against a team whose highest season total has been 280 (against Madhya Pradesh).
Solid MP reach 271/4 against J&K on opening day
Madhya Pradesh produced a solid batting display to score 271 for four against Jammu and Kashmir at the end of the opening day's play in a Ranji Trophy Group A cricket match.
Opener Jalaj Saxena (89), Naman Ojha (85) and skipper Devendra Bundela (62 not out) struck half centuries after Madhya Pradesh won the toss and elected to bat.
While Saxena's 89 came off 177 balls and was studded with 14 boundaries, Ojha took 208 deliveries to score his runs during which he hit four fours and two sixes.
Saxena and Ojha shared 126 runs between them for the third wicket to stabilise Madhya Pradesh innings after they lost two quick wickets.
At stumps, Bundela was batting along side Harpreet Singh (13 not out). For Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Dayal (1/53), Mehjoor Ali (1/55), Waseem Raza (1/72) and captain Parvez Rasool (1/80) took a wicket each.
Tare, Mangela score fifties in Mumbai's 218/6 on day one
New skipper Aditya Tare scored an unbeaten 67 and opener Shrideep Mangela 55 as Mumbai ended the day one of their Ranji trophy cricket match against Baroda at 218 for six.
Deciding to bat in the Group A contest, Mumbai were off to a decent start with openers Mangela and Akhil Herwadkar (22) raising a 57-run stand.
Left-arm spinner provided the hosts the breakthrough when he castled Herwadkar. Shreyas Iyer (25) joined Mangela and the two took the team to 97 before paceman Munaf Patel dismissed Iyer, bringing skipper Tare to the crease.
At the end of the day, giving Tare company was Shardul Thakur (0).