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Rajasthan edge out TN to enter Ranji Final

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Published: Thursday, January 6, 2011, 18:18 [IST]
 
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Rajasthan edge out TN to enter Ranji Fin

Rajasthan advanced to the Ranji Trophy finals after nothcing up first innings points against Tamil Nadu in their semi-final match as Akash Chopra, Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Ashok Menaria made centuries towards their first innings total of 552. Then, Rajathan's Vivek Yadav, with 4/87 was instrumental in bowling out Tamil Nadu for 385, thus giving his side a 167-run lead and forcing the visitors to follow-on when the match was declared a draw.

Tamil Nadu won the toss and put Rajasthan into bat. The hosts began their innings in a solid manner with the openers Akash Chopra and Vineet Saxena putting on 181 for the first wicket. Chopra was the more aggressive of the two, completely dominating the Tamil Nadu bowers. After Saxena went for a well-made 72 to the spin of Suresh Kumar, Hrishikesh Kanitkar joined forces with Chopra and the two continued to wreak havoc till Kanitkar retired hurt with the score at 235.

The man to replace him at the crease, Vivek Yadav, just made 5 runs before departing to seamer Laxmipathy Balaji. But Robin Bist put on nearly 50 runs with Chopra before the latter was dismissed by pace-bowler Sam for a mammoth 139. Rajasthan were 294/3 at that point and still looking strong

Rashmi Parida tried to keep the momentum going with Ashok Menaria, but he fell to tweaker Ganapthy for 19, before Hrishikesh, who had partially recovered from his discomfort, returned to the crease and put on 136 runs for the 7th wicket with Menaria. Ganapthy eventually got Menaria out for 106 and after a couple more brief innings from the tail and just as Kanitkar reached an unbeaten 100, Rajasthan declared for 552 in 190 overs.

In their reply, Tamil Nadu was not very steady at first, losing opener Arun Karthik for just 7 with 18 on the board. But the other opener Abhinav Mukund, forged a decent 75-run partnership with premier one-down bat S Badrinath before the former was trapped in front to Pankaj Singh for 47. Dinesh Karthik then put on 46 with Badrinath before getting out to Vivek Yadav for 28 with the scoreboard reading 139/3 in 48.6 overs.

Middle-order batman Vasudevdas provided Badrinath the support he needed to get to his century, before departing for 38 to Pankaj Singh. Badrinath strung together a flurry of small partnerships with the latter order and remained unbeaten on 175 as Tamil Nadu folded for 385 in 140.2 overs and were required to follow on. Vivek Yadav was the most penetrative bowler picking up 4 wickets while Pankaj Singh and Sumit Mathur got two each.

The match was called off soon after the visitors began thier second innings and Rajasthan advanced by virtue of the fact that they had led in the first innings. Now the victorious team will play against Baroda for the coveted Ranji Trophy at Vadodara from Jan 11-15, 2011.

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