Rajastan vs Rest of India: Vijay rocks
By S S Shreekumar / ENS - BANGALORE
23rd September 2012 10:38 AM
On a flat surface and a Rajasthan attack which lacked any sting, Rest of India had only one worry — how not to commit mistakes. They came off with some but they were let off and in the bargain amassed 328 for two at close of the second day in the five-day Irani Cup cricket match.
Rajasthan were all out for 253 and in effect, Rest of India are 75 runs ahead with eight wickets in hand and a lot of batting to come.
Tamil Nadu opener Murali Vijay hammered a patient unbeaten 151 which had its moments of aggression as he slammed 18 boundaries and five sixes.
The bearded Vijay was involved in an opening wicket stand of 173 with Ajinkya Rahane (81) and then put on another 153 runs in the company of skipper Cheteshwar Pujara (78) for the second wicket to keep the Rajasthan bowlers at bay for almost the entire day.
Rajasthan’s already depleted bowling suffered another setback when medium pacer Deepak Chahar stopped abruptly in his run-up with a sprained knee.
He limped off later. Rahane was run out as he called for a run but Vijay failed to respond and both were stranded at the same end while the bails were taken off.
The only success the struggling bowlers got was when Pujara tried to drive without getting in line with the ball outside the off-stump and edged Aniket Choudhary to wicket-keeper Dishant Yagnik who took a low catch. That was off the second ball in the first over with the second new ball taken after 87 overs, just three overs before stumps.
Rahane, who reached 5,000 runs in first-class cricket, compiled a confident 81 and middled everything with ease.
Vijay raced to his century, his 10th in first class cricket, picking up a single off Madhur Khatri after he had clouted him for a huge six over long off. Pujara played with a lot of caution and eschewed the tendency to go for his shots.
He was lucky to have been dropped in the slips by Vineet Saxena off Aniket when on 57. Rest were on the way to a big total. In any case, Rajasthan will have to do better with the ball and on the field if they are to restrict Rest from coming up with a repeat of the 2011 final at Jaipur which Rest won by 404 runs.
Rajasthan (1st innings): 253 all out; Rest of India (1st innings): Ajinkya Rahane run out 81, Murali Vijay (batting) 151, Cheteshwar Pujara c Yagnik b Choudhary 78, S Badrinath (batting) 1. Extras: (b-4, lb-2, w-5, nb-6) 17. Total: (2 wkts, 91 overs) 328.
Fall of wickets: 1-173, 2-326.
Bowling: Aniket Choudhary 19-5-57-1, Deepak Chahar 12.1-1-53-0, Sumit Mathur 15.5-2-51-0, Gajendra Singh 24-2-79-0, Madhur Khatri 19-1-72-0, Vineet Saxena 1-0-10-0.
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