Vastavam web: Maharashtra opener Swapnil Gugale hit a century as the hosts powered their way to 298 for 3 against Mumbai on the opening day of their elite Ranji Trophy Group A game 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. 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. Meanwhile at Vadodara, Baroda bowled out Chhattisgarh for a paltry 129 and then overhauled the total to be 36 ahead by close. At Rajkot, Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Shah, who is playing his last match, led from the front, scoring a valiant 97 as the hosts managed to post 288 for 9 against Karnataka. Gujarat skipper Priyank Panchal also proved his mettle by scoring a valuable 69.