Ranji Trophy: Cheteshwar Pujara slams second ton of season; Shaw hammers century on comeback

Veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara slammed his second hundred of the ongoing Ranji Trophy season, guiding Saurashtra to a comfortable 242 for four against Rajasthan on the opening day of their Group A match, in Jaipur on Friday.
Ranji Trophy: Cheteshwar Pujara slams second ton of season; Shaw hammers century on comeback

NEW DELHI: Veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara slammed his second hundred of the ongoing Ranji Trophy season, guiding Saurashtra to a comfortable 242 for four against Rajasthan on the opening day of their Group A match, in Jaipur on Friday.

The 36-year-old, who has 103 Tests and 262 First-Class matches under his belt, hit nine shots to the fence during his 230-ball 110. It was his 62nd hundred in first class cricket.

Pujara had scored a double hundred (243 not out), last month.

Opting to bat, Saurashtra found themselves in a spot of bother after they were reduced to 74 for 3 in the 32nd over but Pujara and Sheldon Jackson (78 not out) then formed an alliance, adding 168 runs for the fourth wicket.

Pujara, who last played a Test in June 2023 -- the World Test Championship final against Australia -- was the last wicket to fall in the 90th over.

Vidarbha dominate Maharashtra

In Pune, Yash Thakur snapped three wickets as Vidarbha produced a disciplined bowling effort to dismiss Maharashtra for 208 and then reached 111 for one. While fast bowler Thakur (3/68) rocked the top-order, pacer Lalit M Yadav (2/32) and left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate (2/43) took two wickets each after their skipper Akshay Wadkar won the toss and elected to bowl.

Pavan Shah (35), Dhanraj Shinde (30) and Manoj Ingale (36) scored 30-plus scores but Maharashtra couldn't weave any meaningful partnerships.

Brief Scores:

Saurashtra 242 for 4 in 89.3 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 110; K Ajay Singh 2/86) vs Rajasthan in Jaipur.       

Haryana 338 for 6 in 89 overs (Ankit Kumar 109; Anukul Roy 2/59, Utkarsh Singh 2/60) vs Jharkhand in Jamshedpur.

Vidarbha 111 for 1 in 24 overs (Dhruv Shorey 55 not out; Ashay Palkar 1/27) trail by 97 runs against Maharashtra 208 allout in 56.4 overs (Manoj Ingale 36; yash Thakur 3/68) in Pune.

Services 191 for 3 in 54 overs (Ravi Chauhan 87 not out, Rajat Paliwal 62 not out; Kangabam Priyojit Singh 1/11) lead by 124 runs against Manipur 67all out in 34.2 overs (Ronald Longjam 30; Varun Choudhary 3/13, Poonia 3/27) in Anand.

Delhi recover to score 264 against HP

Skipper Himmat Singh made a quick-fire 60 off 53 balls before the tail wagged to take Delhi to 264 all out against Himachal Pradesh on day one of their Ranji Trophy game in Dharamsala on Friday.

Pacer Vinay Galetiya took a five-wicket haul on a helping pitch and his new ball partner Vaibhav Arora struck thrice in the Group D contest.

Himachal Pradesh needed to bat 10 overs before stumps.

Himachal had put Delhi in to bat and made most of the conditions in the first session.

At 20 for three, Delhi were staring at another batting collapse this season but recovered to post a decent total courtesy Himmat, Ayush Badoni (51 off 80), tailenders Priyanshu Vijayran (37 off 65) and Siddhant Sharma (36 off 37).

U-19 World Cup winning captain Yash Dhull was the third batter to be dismissed in the morning session. For someone who has not been able to score a half-century thus far in the season, Dhull (14) played away from his body to be caught behind.

His opening partner Anuj Rawat (6) was Galetiya's first victim. Not sure whether to play or leave, Rawat ended up getting caught at second slip.

The 87-run stand between Himmat and Badoni stabilised Delhi's innings. Himmat  was on the offensive from the get go, smashing 10 fours and a six.

Jonty Sidhu put up plenty of resistance, consuming 106 balls for his 28. Kshitiz Sharma, whose place in the side has been questioned time and again, was out first out ball.

Siddhant played some bold strokes to take Delhi past 250.

Brief Scores:

Delhi 264 all out in 71 overs (Himmat Singh 60; Ayush Badoni 51; Vinay Galetiya 5/66) versus Himachal Pradesh.

At  Cuttack: Uttarakhand 232/3 in 90 overs (Vaibhav Bhatt 101 batting, Jiwanjot Singh 90) versus Odisha.

At Indore: Madhya Pradesh 314/6 in 85 overs (Himanshu Mantri 111; Akash Singh 3/65) versus Baroda.

At Puducherry: Puducherry 172 all out in 55.1 overs (Paras Dogra 58; Abid Mushtaq 5/64, Vanshaj Sharma 5/74) verus J&K.

Shaw slams century

Prithvi Shaw marked a spectacular return to competitive cricket by smashing a century in his second innings for Mumbai to put them on top against Chhattisgarh in their Ranji Trophy Group B fixture in Raipur on Friday.

The 24-year-old, who captained the 2018 U-19 World Cup-winning team, struck 18 boundaries and three sixes in his knock of 159 off 185 deliveries.

The opener reached the three-figure before lunch and in the process became the first Indian to score two centuries in the opening session on day one of a first-class cricket match.

He had achieved a similar feat against Assam en route to his 383-ball 379, which was the second-highest Ranji Trophy score of all time.

Shaw's partnership with Bhupen Lalwani produced a massive opening stand of 244 runs, with the latter contributing 102 runs off 238 balls as the 41-times Ranji champions ended the day at 310/4.

With four wins and one loss from five matches, Mumbai lead the Group B standings, five points clear of Andhra.

Shaw made a comeback to competitive cricket after a six-month injury layoff in Mumbai's last round Ranji fixture against Bengal at Eden Gardens. He scored 35 in his return in a match Mumbai won by an innings and four runs.

It marked his return to the game after August 13 last year when he played for Northants in the English County Championships. His last appearance for India was in July 2021.

Shaw suffered a knee injury during a county stint in August, underwent surgery in London, and completed three months of rehab.

Kerala dominate vs Bengal

Sachin Baby struck an unbeaten 110 not out off 220 balls in an unbroken 153-run partnership with Akshay Chandran (76 not out) to steer Kerala to safety against Bengal.

From 112 for four, the duo built a solid stand, frustrating the Bengal bowlers and helping Kerala finish the day at 265/4 after 90 overs.

Opting to bat, Kerala lost Rohan Kunnummal after a quick 19. It was followed by a steady 40 from Jalaj Saxena.

However, Bengal bowlers -- Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal, Akash Deep, Ankit Mishra and Shahbaz Ahmed -- managed to secure crucial breakthroughs before Sachin Baby and Chandran seized the momentum.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai 310/4; 86 overs (Prithvi Shaw 159, Bhupen Lalwani 102; Ashish Chouhan 3/84) vs Chhattisgarh.

At Thumba: Kerala 265/4; 90 overs (Sachin Baby 110 not out, Akshay Chandran 76 not out; Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal 1/40, Akash Deep 1/55) vs Bengal.

At Vizianagaram: Andhra 236/4; 80 overs (Ricky Bhui 90 not out, KV Sasikanth 72, Karan Shinde 45 not out; Yash Dayal 1/48, Saurabh Kumar 1/65) vs Uttar Pradesh. Agencies

Also Read: Ranji Trophy: India batter Cheteshwar Pujara completes 20k first-class runs

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