Rest of India 179/4, Baroda restricted to 318

Published: Monday, October 15, 2001, 1:35 [IST]
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Nagpur: Rest of India recovered to reach 179 for four at close on the second day of the Irani Trophy cricket match in Nagpur on Sunday after a five-wicket haul by Sarandeep Singh had restricted Ranji Champions Baroda to 318 in its first innings.
 Rest, who lost its four wickets for 92 runs, did well later to avoid any further damage and reached within 139 runs of the Baroda total. Baroda, who was on 265 for six overnight, could add only 53 runs in 75 minutes in the morning session with captain Connor Williams finishing on 143. Williams was the first wicket to fall on Sunday after adding just 10 runs to his overnight tally. He was caught by wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra off lanky medium pacer Tinu Yohannan. New man Valmik Buch failed to last long and was adjudged lbw to off spinner Sarandeep Singh for two. Hard-hitting Rakesh Patel began briskly playing some bold shots in front of the wicket. He lofted Sarandeep over mid-on for a massive six besides hitting six fours in his knock of 44 as he helped Baroda cross the 300 mark. Sarandeep's fine line and length was rewarded as he finished with five for 78 off 35.1 overs. His two wickets on Sunday cost him just eight runs. Rest of India openers Akash Chopra and Vinayak Mane began cautiously and played the Baroda pace duo of Rakesh Patel and Irfan Pathan (Sr) quite easily. They put on 53 runs for the opening stand. At lunch Rest of India was 38 without loss in 15 overs. After lunch, Akash Chopra fell to Irfan (Jr) for 22. Rest of India captain V V S Laxman, who came in at the fall of Chopra's wicket, started off in style hitting Irfan (Jr) for three boundaries. But he seemed to have got carried away a bit, driving uppishly without getting to the pitch of the ball and offered an easy catch to Nayan Mongia off left arm spinner Valmik Buch for 13. Hrishikesh Kanitkar (2) fell cheaply, holing out a high catch to Williams at gully off a rising ball from Rakesh Patel as Rest of India was reduced to 91 for three. Irfan (Jr) struck again after the addition of just one run when trapped Vinayak Mane lbw wicket for 48. Dinesh Mongia and Ajay Ratra then halted the slide and kept the Baroda bowlers at bay as they guided their team to 111 for four at tea. The fifth wicket stand between Mongia (47) and Ratra (35) has so far added 87 runs. Both Mongia and Ratra mixed caution with aggression and ensured that no more wickets fell. Mongia played some fluent drives and square cuts against both pace bowlers as well as spinners. Baroda medium pacers Irfan (Jr), who took two wickets for 45, and Patel (1-33) bowled with fire and had the Rest batsmen struggling before Mongia and Ratra retrieved the situation.

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