Ranji Trophy quarterfinals: No team in clear advantage

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) India’s discarded off-spinner Harbhajan Singh made an impact with the bat for Punjab against Jammu and Kashmir while identical centuries from Robin Uthappa and Karun Nair lifted Karnataka against Uttar Pradesh on the first day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals Wednesday.

It was an exciting day in Ranji Trophy, as all the matches had their own see-saw moments but no team managed to have a clear advantage after the first day’s play.
At Vadodara’s Moti Bagh Stadium, pacers Ram Dayal (3/59) and Umar Nazir Mir (4/66), had Punjab in all sorts of trouble at 71 for four, before skipper Harbhajan Singh rescued the innings with a quickfire 92 off 79 balls that was studded with eight fours and six sixes. Yuvraj Singh, who was dropped from the India ODI side, disappointed as he managed just 10.
Key innings from Sandeep Sharma (52) and Gurkeerat Singh (45) helped Punjab put on a competitive 304 all out in the first innings. At stumps, Jammu and Kashmir were 11/1.
Playing their quarterfinal match at home, Bengal suffered a batting collapse and were left at 274 for eight in the first innings against Railways at the Eden Gardens.
Put in, Bengal lost opening batsman Arindam Das (2) and Subhamoy Das with just three runs on board. Abhimanyu Easwaran (65) and Sudip Chatterjee (96) got their innings back on track with a fine stand of 163 runs for the third wicket.
Just when things were looking up for Bengal, Easwaran departed and soon Chatterjee followed him back to the pavilion and the hosts were reduced to 190/4. Bengal suffered a batting collapse and lost four wickets for 47 runs.
Wriddhiman Saha was batting on 60 along with Ashok Dinda on 17 when the stumps were drawn. The duo had added 41 runs for the unfinished ninth wicket stand.
In Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh had Karnataka on the mat at 15/3 after Lokesh Rahul, Ravikumar Samarth and Manish Pandey all failed to trouble the scorers. But identical 100s from opening batsman Robin Uthappa and Karun Nair took the team to a respectable total of 297 for five at stumps.
Uthappa and Nair added 120 runs for the fourth wicket. After Uthappa’s departure, Nair and Chidhambaram Gautam (89 batting) added another valuable 162 runs for the fifth wicket to take the home team to safety at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium.
At Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai finished the day at a comfortable 306 for seven in the first innings against Maharashtra. Suryakumar Yadav struck a brilliant 120 and Vinit Indulkar made 82 as the duo added 183 runs for the fifth wicket.
Brief Scores:
At the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai: Mumbai 306/7 in first innings (Suryakumar Yadav 120, Vinit Indulkar 82, Wasim Jaffer 44) vs. Maharashtra.
At the Eden Gardens, Kolkata: Bengal 273/8 in first innings (Sudip Chatterjee 96, Abhimanyu Easwaran 65, Wriddhiman Saha 60 batting; Anureet Singh 4/75) vs. Railways.
At the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore: Karnataka 297/5 in first innings (Robin Uthappa 100, Karun Nair 100, Chidhambaram Gautam 89 batting) vs. Uttar Pradesh.
At the Moti Bagh Stadium, Vadodara: Punjab 304 all out in first innings (Harbhajan Singh 92, Sandeep Sharma 52; Ram Dayal 3/59, Umar Nazir Mir 4-66) vs. Jammu and Kashmir 11/1 in first innings.