Rajasthan edge out Baroda to win Ranji Trophy

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Published: Saturday, January 15, 2011, 16:02 [IST]
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Rajasthan edge out Baroda to win Ranji

After allowing Rajasthan a 33-run lead in the first innings, Baroda had them in trouble at 61/4 in the second innings but a partnership of pure gumption between Rashmi Parida and Ashok Menaria put their side back on the rails, before the visitors set the hosts a huge target of 375 to win and reduced them to 28/4 when the match was called off. Rajasthan were declared winners of the Ranji Trophy for the first time.

Baroda won the toss and put in Rajasthan to bat. The visitors' first inning got off to a solid start with openers Akash Chopra and Vineet Saxena putting on 67 before Baroda offspinner Bhargahv Bhatt trapped Chopra plumb in front for 34. Just six runs later Saxena followed him back to the pavilion when he was run out courtesy an accurate throw from Bhatt. But then captain Hrishikeh Kanitkar and Robin Bist steadied the innings, putting on 117 for the third wicket before Adithya Wagmode struck to remove Kanitkar for 61. Rajasthan had slipped to 190/3 in 85.5 overs. At stumps on Day 1 of the five-day match, Rajsthan had just crossed 200.

On Day 2, Bist and Vivek Yadav picked up their partnership, but Bhatt returned with a vengeance to dismiss Yadav for 27 and the visitors were 240/4. Bhatt bowled Bist some19 runs later to reduce Rajasthan to 269/5. Then Rashmi Parida and Ashok Menaria put on a 77 run partnership before Bhatt broke that stand as well by sending back Menaria for 45. Parida built small partnerships with the tail and made his fifty before also getting out to Bhatt. Then pace bowler Vohra and spinner Swapnil Singh wrapped up Rajasthan's first innings for 394 in 147.1 overs.

In reply, Baroda got off to a decent start before opener Connor Williams was sent back by leg-break Vivek Yadav for 17 with the score at 63. The other opener Jaikishen Kolsawala, and Kedar Devdhar pressed on to take Baroda past 100 before Yadav effected a double strike to remove both the batsmen, thus reducing Baroda to a precarious 113/3 in 50 overs. Rajasthan pace bowler Deepak Chahar the trapped Amabati Rayadu in front for 12 as the hosts fell into further trouble at 136/4. But then Pinal Shah and Adithya Waghmode steadied the inning, putting on 90 runs for the 5th wicket. Yadav claimed his fourth wicket to break the stand by getting Waghmode out for 52. The tail wagged a bit with useful innings from Vohra (34) and Vahora (36) before Baroda folded for 361 in 137.3 overs, thus conceding a slim lead of 33 runs.Yadav and Chahar had taken four wickets a piece.

In their second innings, Rajasthan was against the ropes at 11/3 after losing Chopra, Saxena and Kanitkar for single digits with the pace bowlers Vohra and Vahora doing the trick. Bist and Parida tried to put on a rescue act, but the former was only able to take the score as far as 61 before he was out to Bhatt for 22. Then Parida and Menaria delivered Rajasthan from trouble, putting on a stabilising 165-run stand. Waghmode finally broke the partnership when he caught and bowled Menaria for 101, before Bhatt had Parida trapped in front for 89 as the scoreboard read 232/6. The latter order came to the fore and all put together innnings in double digits to take Rajasthan to 341 all out in 129.1 overs.

Set with a gigantic target of 375 for victory, Baroda slumped to 24/4 on Day 5 with Chahar doing the bulk of the damage, taking the wickets of Devdhar for 5, Waghmode for 4 and Swapnil Singh for 2. Meanwhile, pace bowler Pankaj Singh sent back opener Kolsawala for 13. At the end of 14 overs with the score at 28/4, Rajasthan were declared winners.


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