Propelled by Sushant Marathe's century (102, 163b, 15x4), Mumbai took the opening day's honours as it went to stumps at 203 for three in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘A' game against Uttar Pradesh at the Dr. Akilesh Das Stadium in Lucknow on Tuesday.

Electing to bat, Mumbai got off to a rousing start as Marathe, along with Kaustubh Pawar (76, 10x4), raised 189 runs for the first wicket. The home team, however, came back strongly picking up three wickets for 14 runs. While medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar prised out Marathe and Abhishek Nayar, Pawar was trapped in front by leggie Piyush Chawla.

At stumps, skipper Wasim Jaffer, not having faced a delivery, and night-watchman Dhawal Kulkarni were at the crease.

Punjab captain Uday Kaul's decision to bat against Karnataka in an Elite ‘A' fixture in Bangalore was vindicated by half-centuries from Sarul Kanwar (89, 98b, 11x4, 3x6), Karan Goel (71, 10x4), and Mayank Sidhana (61 batting, 6x4, 1x6). The team reached 278 for four even as Goel perished towards the end of the day's play. Seamer Nerawanda Aiyappa scalped two wickets for Karnataka.

Railways finished the day on 204 for five, thanks largely to the efforts of opener Shivakant Shukla (96, 12x4, 1x6) and skipper Sanjay Bangar (46), against Odisha in Delhi. Biplab Samantray picked up two wickets for the visitor.

At Jaipur, Rajasthan maintained a robust scoring rate (4.14) against Saurashtra and ended the day on 369 for seven. Opener Vineet Saxena (127, 15x4) had a productive association with Puneet Yadav (108, 160b, 15x4) raising 215 runs for the fifth wicket. Left-arm paceman Siddharth Trivedi did the star turn for Saurashtra with four wickets.

In an Elite Group ‘B' contest, Abhinav Mukund (150 batting, 264b, 22x4, 1x6) cracked his second century of the season as Tamil Nadu finished with 288 for two at close against Gujarat in Ahmedabad. Opting to bat, the visitor lost Murali Vijay in the first over. Abhinav then amassed 223-runs with S. Badrinath (102) before the latter was trapped in front. At close, K. Dinesh Karthik (25 batting) was at the crease with Abhinav. Medium pacer Ishwar Chaudhary accounted for both the wickets that fell on the day.

Naman Ojha (160, 226b, 22x4, 5x6) put the Haryana bowlers to sword, pivoting Madhya Pradesh to 278 for three on the first day at Lahli. Skipper Devendra Bundela (25 batting) and Udit Birla (29 batting) were at the crease.

Bengal gained a slight upper hand on the first day at Kolkata as Delhi lost eight wickets for the score of 252. Shikhar Dhawan (76), Rajat Bhatia (59 n.o.), and 'keeper Puneet Bisht (40) were the chief contributors. Ashok Dinda claimed four wickets with his seamers.

Brief scores: Elite Group ‘A': At Lucknow: Mumbai 203 for three in 62.1 overs (S. Marathe 102, K. Pawar 76) vs. Uttar Pradesh.

At Delhi: Railways 204 for five in 90 overs (S.S. Shukla 96. S. Bangar 46) vs. Odisha.

At Bangalore: Punjab 278 for four in 91 overs (S. Kanwar 89, Karan Goel 71, Mayank Sidhana 61 batting) vs. Karnataka.

At Jaipur: Rajasthan 369 for seven in 89 overs (V. Saxena 127, P. Yadav 108, S. Trivedi four for 69) vs. Saurashtra.

Elite Group ‘B': At Ahmedabad: Tamil Nadu 288 for two in 90 overs (Abhinav Mukund 150 batting, S. Badrinath 102) vs. Gujarat.

At Kolkata: Delhi 252 for eight in 80.3 overs (S. Dhawan 76, R. Bhatia 59 batting, P. Bisht 40, A. Dinda four for 55) vs. Bengal.

At Lahli: Madhya Pradesh 278 for three in 90 overs (N. Ojha 160) vs. Haryana.

Keywords: Ranji Trophy

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