Cheteshwar Pujara scored a resolute 35 in challenging batting conditions    AFP
Cheteshwar Pujara scored a resolute 35 in challenging batting conditions AFP

Jharkhand vs Kerala

Kerala sealed the match within three days, beating Jharkhand by 9 wickets at Thiruvananthapuram. Jalaj Saxena was awarded Man of the Match for his all-round performance, scoring a fifty and taking 11 wickets in the match.

Jharkhand were bundled out for 202 on the opening day of Ranji Trophy 2017-18. Ishan Kishan top scored with 45 off 100 balls. Saxena, using the conditions to his advantage, ran through Jharkhand batting and finished with figures of 6 for 50.

In reply, Kerala took a 57-run lead, thanks to half-centuries from Mohammad Azharuddeen and Saxena. Sunny Gupta became the second player in the match to pouch a six-for.

In the pursuit of erasing the lead, Jharkhand lost the plot and were folded for 89. Saxena yet again was in the thick of things. Kerala then chased the 33-run target with 9 wickets in hand.

Brief scores:

Jharkhand 202 (Ishan Kishan 45; Jalaj Saxena 6 for 50) & 89 (Saurabh Tiwary 26; Jalaj Saxena 5 for 27) lost toKerala 250 for 8 (Mohammad Azharuddeen 51; Sunny Gupta 6 for 94) by 48 runs & 34 for 1 (Arun Karthik 27; Samar Qadri 1 for 15) by 9 wickets.

Rajasthan vs Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir batted valiantly on the third day, taking a lead of 102 runs with 4 wickets in hand. Ahmed Bandy scored 102 off 205 balls, laying a foundation for the lead. In fact, their top six batsmen scored 50-plus runs. Captain Parvez Rasool fell 3 runs short of a well-deserved hundred. His side will look to add as many runs and at a brisk rate, so they make Rajasthan bat again and win by an innings.

Riding on Robin Bist s hundred, Rajasthan had scored 330. They would have added more to the scoreboard had Mohammad Mudhasir not restricted them with his 5 for 81.

Brief scores:

Rajasthan 330 (Robin Bist 113; Mohammad Mudhasir 5 for 81) trail Jammu & Kashmir 432 for 6 (Ahmed Bandy 102; TM Ul-Haq 2 for 41) by 102 runs.

Saurashtra vs Haryana

Saurashtra won by an innings and 31 runs. Prenak Mankad was awarded Man of the Match for his patient 68 in tough batting conditions. It was his innings that propelled Saurashtra to 278 on the opening day. Their captain and India Test specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara, scored 35 at No. 3.Shaurya Sanandia starred with a four-wicket haul.

It was an easy hunting for Pujara s team. They humiliated Haryana for 107 and 140. Chaitanya Bishnoi was the only half-centurion in both innings.

Jaydev Unadkat took 6 wickets in the match. Otherwise, it was a collective bowling performance by the Haryana unit.

Brief scores:

Saurashtra 278 (Prerak Mankad 68; Ashish Hood 6 for 61) beat Haryana 107 (Rahul Tewatia 23; Shaurya Sanandia 4 for 44) &142 (Chaitanya Bishnoi 56, Jaydev Unadkat 3 for 55) by an innings and 31 runs.