Valsad: Punjab bowlers produced a disciplined performance with pacer Siddharth Kaul leading the way with a four-wicket haul as they restricted Assam to 233 for eight at stumps on the first day of their Ranji Trophy quarter-finals, here yesterday.

At stumps, former Royal Challengers Bangalore player J Syed Mohammed was batting on 50 scored off 142 balls with six boundaries to his credit. He added 66 runs for the sixth wicket with former
Karnataka left-hander Amit Verma (42) after Assam, who were put into bat by opposition skipper Harbhajan Singh, were left reeling at 115 for five.

Right-arm seamer Kaul took 4/81 in 26 overs while left-arm seamer Barinder Sran had 2 for 67 from 21 overs. Harbhajan, who was not given a game during the recently concluded T20 International series in Australia, was very economical with figures of 1/11 in 11 overs as he removed left-handed opener Pallav Das (46) with an off-break that was pouched by Uday Kaul.

At the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, Harbhajan was spot on in opting to field after winning the toss as seven out of the eight wickets were snapped up by the medium pacers. Sran, who recently played one-dayers in Australia, complemented Siddharth well as he extracted some good movement off the surface.

Even third seamer Deepak Bansal (1/36 in 18 overs) kept up the pressure while bowling in tandem with his skipper as Assam could never build a partnership of significance.

Brief Scores: Assam 1st Innings 233/8 (J Syed Mohammed 50 batting, Amit Verma 42, Siddharth Kaul 4/81, Barinder Sran 2/67, Deepak Bansal 1/36, Harbhajan Singh 1/11) vs Punjab.