Pune: Maharashtra opener Swapnil Gugale hit a century as the hosts powered their way to 298 for three against Mumbai on the opening day of their elite Ranji Trophy Group ‘A’ game on Thursday. Put in to bat at the MCA International Stadium in Gahunje on the outskirts of the city, Gugale (101) and his opening partner Chirag Khurana (71) laid a solid foundation with a 146-run stand. The two batsmen, with their effective stroke play, made life difficult for Mumbai bowlers, who missed the experience of key pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Tushar Deshpande, both out with injuries.
The 27-year-old Gugale hit 15 fours in his 191-ball knock, while Khurana notched 12 in his 106-ball stay at the wicket. After Khurana fell, one down Jay Pande (68 not out) joined Gugale as the two shared a 52-run stand. But soon after completing his fourth first class century, Pune-born Gugale was cleaned up by right-arm medium pacer Shubham Ranjane (2-30). Skipper Rahul Tripathi (25 not out) was holding the fort with Pande at stumps.
Indrajith, Shahrukh help TN recover
In Chennai, Half-centuries by skipper B Indrajith (87) and debutant M Shahrukh Khan (82 batting) helped Tamil Nadu recover from 31 for four to a respectable 249 for six in 90 overs on the opening day of the Group ‘B’ match. Electing to bat first, Tamil Nadu suffered an early jolt when the experienced Abhinav Mukund was leg-before wicket for a duck to Sandeep Warrier off the second ball of the match.
B Aparajith (3), who made a ton in the last match against Bengal, didn’t last too long and was done in by a beautiful delivery from Warrier. Opener Kaushik Gandhi (19) and Dinesh Karthik (4), who is back in the state squad after being part of the national T20 side in the series against Australia, were sent back by Basil Thampi to leave Tamil Nadu in a spot of bother. Karthik was caught brilliantly by KB Arun Karthick.