Rest of India crush Rajasthan by 404 runs, lift Irani Cup

Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 18:00 [IST]
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Rest of India beat Rajasthan by 404 runs

Jaipur, Oct 5: Rest of India won the Irani Cup for a sixth consecutive time on Wednesday, crushing a hapless Rajasthan by 404 runs with a superb bowling performance on the fifth and final day in Jaipur.

With Rest of India having already secured victory after taking the first innings lead, Rajasthan's only aim was to avoid an outright defeat, but they failed due to disciplined bowling by their opponents.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha led the charge, with four wickets for 60 runs, for a match haul of nine wickets.

Pacer Umesh Yadav and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma chipped in with two wickets apiece, while pacers Vinay Kumar and Varun Aaron got a wicket each.

Resuming at 28 for no loss, Rajasthan offered brief resistance in the morning session before folding after tea for 213 in 73.2 overs.

Lower-order batsman Madhur Khatri top-scored with a 53, while Rashmi Parida contributed 37.

Pragyan Ojha with the target out of reach, Rajasthan had only one option,  to save the match. It looked possible when opener Aakash Chopra and Vineet Saxena resisted Rest for nearly an hour in the morning session.

The breakthrough, however, came when Chopra failed to negotiate a turning ball off Ojha and Ajinkya Rahane took a fine catch at slips.

Chopra's 26 was off 69 balls, and had five fours in it.

One-down Hrishikesh Kanitkar did not last long; he was out three overs later for just one, Yadav extracting extra bounce and the batsman edging the ball to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

Midway into the morning session, two wickets fell, with Vinay Kumar first bowling Saxena (17), and, then, Ojha winning an LBW shout against Robin Bist (18) after the batsman missed an attempted sweep off a full length delivery.

Two wickets fell just after resumption in the post-lunch session and with that Rajasthan's resistance virtually ended.

Ashok Maneria (21) was out in the first over after lunch off Yadav, and, then, Rahul Sharma trapped Rohit Jhalani leg-before-wicket with a flipper for a duck.

Parida halted Rest of India's charge for a while before he was out midway into the second session off Ojha, holing out to Rahul Sharma at mid-off. His 37 came from 82 balls and had five fours in it.

Just before the tea break, Rahul Sharma scalped his second wicket of the day, cleaning up Deepak Chahar's furniture to put Rest on the brink of victory.

It took barely 20 minutes for the remaining two Rajasthan wickets to fall.

Khatri punished Aaron with a boundary to bring up his 50, but, off the next ball, the bowler had the last laugh as he induced the batsman into an edge for Abhinav Mukund to take the catch at third slip.

Khatri's 53 came from 98 balls and had nine fours in it.

Ojha then bagged his fourth wicket of the innings, and ninth of the match, having Sumit Mathur stumped-out by Patel after the bastman charged down the track for a big hit only to miss it.


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