Ganguly debarred for running on the danger zone

VISAKHAPATNAM: Captain Dinesh Mongia (52 batting, 7x4, 116b) played a fine innings on a slow wicket to help Punjab finish the day at 190 for four against Andhra in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Tuesday.

Mongia, along with 'keeper Pankaj Dharmani (46, 3x4, 168 b), kept the scoreboard ticking and the pair was looking solid. But Dharmani, who kept one end intact, fell on the last ball of the day, leg before wicket to off-spinner Md. Faiq. The fourth wicket partnership was worth 91 runs.

Earlier, R. Ricky and Uday Kaul gave Punjab, which elected to bat, a good start. Andhra bowlers, who struck to a nagging line, made life difficult for the Punjab batsmen as the day progressed.

Faiq, with two wickets, was the most successful bowler.

U.P. seizes initiative

In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh seized the initiative on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Elite group B match against Hyderabad at the K.D. Singh Babu Stadium here on Tuesday. The host scored 101 for one at close, after it bundled out the visitors for 142. Captain Mohd. Kaif (31) and Shivakant Shukla (58) were at the crease.

Shivakant Shukla's batting prowess was on show as he hit nine boundaries and one six en route to his half-century. Shivakant got a life when he was dropped by Daniel Manohar at slip off Inder Shekar Reddy.

Electing to bat, Hyderabad lost wickets at regular intervals, thanks to fine bowling by medium-pacers Zaidi (four for 40), Salabh Srivastava (three for 30) and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (three for 20). Shashank Nag top-scored for Hyderbad with 42. Vinay Kumar (29) and P.S. Niranajan (24) were the other main contributors.

Wickets tumble

In Kolkata, thirteen wickets fell on the opening day of the Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Tamil Nadu at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday. At the end of an eventful day, Bengal was tottering at 32 for three in reply to Tamil Nadu's first innings total of 218 on a green top.

At stumps, Sourav Ganguly was unbeaten on eight and Avishek Jhunjhunwala, playing his second Ranji match, was on 16. Bengal will depend a lot on this pair to pull itself out of this difficult situation on Wednesday.

Only two recognised batsmen, Deep Dasgupta and Laxmi Ratan Shukla, remain to help the cause of the host.

Ganguly, who was forced to play this match owing to Board's directive, was involved in two incidents that could well have been avoided. First he was debarred from bowling further in the first innings in his sixteenth over after twice being warned for running on the danger zone. In the second incident, he took inordinately long time to return to the crease after bad light disrupted play. When he finally returned, the light deteriorated again and the day's play was called off with more than 10 overs remaining.

If these incidents projected Ganguly as some sort of an anti-hero, he was Bengal's hero in the pre-lunch session trapping S. Sriram and S. Badrinath after Bengal put Tamil Nadu in. Later he removed R. Sathish when he looked to be settling down.The scores:Punjab - 1st innings: R. Ricky b Kishore 29, U. Kaul c Rayudu b Faiq 32, P. Dharmani lbw b Faiq 46, R.S. Sodhi c Venugopala Rao b Varma 19, D. Mongia (batting) 52. Extras (b-5, w-1, nb-6) 12. Total (for four wkts. in 90 overs) 190.

Fall of wickets: 1-51, 2-65, 3-99, 4-190.

Andhra bowling: Shahbuddin 16-3-44-0, Kalyan Krishna 10-3-22-0, Varma 10-2-24-1, Kishore 24-11-30-1, Gnaneswara Rao 3-2-2-0, Faiq 22-7-44-2, Venugopala Rao 5-1-19-0.

Other scores:

Elite group: At Ahmedabad: Gujarat 190 for nine in 90 overs (Parthiv Patel 47, Hemal Watekar 46 batting, Ramesh Powar four for 64) vs. Mumbai.

At Bangalore: Karnataka 231 for six in 90 overs (Barrington Rowland 81, B. Akhil 48 batting) vs. Delhi.

At New Delhi: Maharashtra 55 for one in 32 overs vs. Railways.

Baroda 82 for one in 26.2 overs (Pinal Shah 42 batting) vs. Services.

At Kolkata: Tamil Nadu 218 in 65.3 overs (Hemang Badani 67) vs. Bengal 32 for three in 14 overs.

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper