Gujarat~~s Niraj scores ton against Hyderabad

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Hyderabad:Niraj Patel's seventh first class century against hosts Hyderabad helped Gujarat take first innings lead in the Ranji Elite Group-B encounter being played at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here today.

Gujarat, in reply to Hyderabad's first innings score of 205 all out, were 225 for two in 92 overs at stumps on day two.

Having joined Azhar Bilakhia at the fall of opener Modi's wicket with the score reading 35, Niraj not only rescued his team but also consolidated his team's first innings by adding 141 runs in 57 overs for the second wicket.

Resuming at four for no loss, Gujarat made 76 for the loss of one wicket in 40 overs at lunch. They added 96 runs in between lunch and tea in 33 overs.

Azhar Bilakhia (72 off 229 balls, 4x4)failed to convert his half century into a century. Trying to pull Arjun Yadav, he was caught at backward square leg by Suman. Niraj with the help of Thakar added 49 runs for the unfinished third wicket partnership. Niraj remained unbeaten on 109 off 210 balls with 11 hits to the fence.

Niraj, having finished as the top scorer in the Ranji Trophy for the year 2004-05 with 735 runs in seven matches, was greeted by the former India skipper Mohd Azharuddin, who witnessed the match and his chief coach Anshuman Gaekwad. Niraj said he was happy to score a ton when his team badly needed.

Brief Scores:

Hyderabad 1st innings 205 all out

Gujarat 1st innings : ND Modi c Vinay Kumar b PIS Reddy 17 AA Bilakhia c Suman b Arjun Yadav 72 NK Patel (batting) 109 BD Thaker (batting) 19 Extras (b 4, lb 1, nb 3) 8 Total (2 wickets in 92 overs) 225 Fall of Wickets: 1-35, 2-176.

Bowling: NP Singh 12- 4- 34- 0, PK Reddy 18-4-56-0, P Ojha 32-8-70-0, PIS Reddy 19-4- 34-1, TS Suman 2-1-3-0, AS Yadav 6-1-14-1, DB Ravi Teja 3-0-9-0.


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