Jaipur: Vineet Saxena and Suryaprakash Suwalka hit unbeaten half centuries each as Rajasthan made a strong reply after bowling Baroda out for 236 on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match here on Tuesday.
Saxena and Suwalka were batting on 54 and 70 respectively as Rajasthan ended the day at 155 for one at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Rajasthan now trail by 81 runs with nine first innings wickets in hand. Opener Siddharth Saraf (23) was the lone Rajasthan batsman out today, off pacer Munaf Patel. Earlier in the day, Aditya Waghmode (114) hit a century to take Baroda to 236 all out after resuming the day at 163 for six.
Waghmode added 35 more runs to his overnight 79 and he was the last Baroda batsman out as the visitors added 73 runs at the expense of the four wickets. Waghmode faced 216 balls and hit 17 fours and a six. Rajasthan pacer Deepak Chahar grabbed all the four Baroda wickets that fell today, to finish with figures of 5/58. He had taken one Baroda wicket on Monday.
Brief Scores: Baroda: 236 all out in 69.1 overs (Aditya Waghmode 114, Deepak Chahar 5/58, Pankaj Singh 4/60). Rajasthan: 155 for one in 54 overs (Vineet Saxena batting 54, Suryaprakash Suwalka batting 70).
In Rajkot, Saurashtra crushed a hapless Services by nine wickets on second day of their Ranji Trophy Group B final league match, but the win may not be enough for them to remain in contention for a berth in the knockout stage.
Saurashtra needed not just an outright victory but also a bonus point to keep their chances of making the quarterfinals alive. But the hosts missed out on gaining a bonus point as they lost opener Chirag Pathak (14) while chasing 31 run for victory.
A fighting knock of 85 by Anshul Gupta of Services went in vain as Saurashtra finished the four-day match on the second day itself at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium at Khandheri here. With this win, the last year's finalist finished the Ranji season on 22 points from eight matches.
Earlier resuming on 176 for nine in their first innings, Saurashtra could add just one run to their overnight score before being all out for 177. But that was enough for them to take a healthy 105-run lead over Services, who were bundled out a a mere 72 in their first essay.
For Services, Yashpal Singh grabbed five for 41, while Rajat Paliwal accounted for four for 22. The visitors, in their second innings also, continued their lacklustre performance as they got bundled out for just 135, thereby setting Saurashtra a target of 31 runs.
Anshul Gupta was the only batsman to offer some resistance as he stood tall among the ruins. His gritty 122-ball knock was punctuated with eight fours and a six. His effort helped the Services cross the three-figure mark. Yashpal Singh (11) was the only other batsman to reach the double-digit mark, while the rest of Services players seemed in a hurry to go back to the hut.
For Saurashtra, Nayan Doshi was the pick of the bowlers with figures of four for 31, while Kamlesh Makwana and Dharmendra Jadeja finished with three wickets each, giving away 48 and 50 runs, respectively.
Brief scores: Services 72 & 135 (Anshul Gupta 85, Yashpal Singh 11; Nayan Doshi 4/31, Kamlesh Makwana 3/48, Dharmendra Jadeja 3/50). Saurashtra 177 & 33 for one (Chirag Pathak 14, Sagar Jogiyani not out 15).
In Chennai, Tamil Nadu batsmen led by senior batsman Dinesh Karthik batted responsibly in the second innings as they are on the verge clinching a knock-out berth of the Ranji Trophy requiring only 83 runs to win against Bengal in last group league encounter here.
Tamil Nadu, who were shot out for 85 in their first innings conceding 45 run first innings lead came back strongly to again decimate Bengal for 139 in their second essay. Needing 185 runs to win, Karthik remained unbeaten on 56 and added 72 runs with Mukund to lay the foundation of an improbable win which looked a distant reality when they were shot out for 85 in the morning.
The win which will probably be achieved by Tamil Nadu in the first session tomorrow will take their points tally to 24 and will see them through as the third team from group B. Saurashtra despite their win are on 22 points and Baroda will need an outright win as they are in a position to concede three points to Rajasthan.
In the morning, Tamil Nadu starting their day at 66 for six, were all out for 85 with offie Arnab Nandi taking four for 9 and left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena getting three for 33. However Bengal's batting flopped once again as Malolan Rangarajan and Rahil Shah again wreaked havoc. This time Shah got six wickets (6/64) while Rangarajan took four (4/48).
Interestingly both spinners completed their 10-wicket hauls in the match. Only skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who smashed 46 off 25 balls with five fours and two sixes used his feet to perfection while dealing with a square turner. Left-handed Sudeep Chatterjee also batted responsibly scoring 39 off 82 balls with three boundaries.
While the two scored 85 runs between them and also added 58 runs for the fifth wicket, the others like Subhamoy Das, Abhimanyu Easwaran failed to make any impact. Nine Bengal batsmen scored 54 runs between them with eight of them gailing to reach double figures. When Tamil Nadu wins tomorrow, it will be a good comeback for a deserving team.
Brief Scores: Bengal 130 & 139 (LR Shukla 46, Malolan Rangarajan 4/48, Rahil Shah 6/64). Tamil Nadu 85 (Arnab Nandi 4/9) & (target 185) 102/1 (Dinesh karthik 56 batting).
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