Jaipur: Jan 1, 2013
Pacer Pankaj Singh once again rocked the Baroda top-order with three wickets as Rajasthan placed themselves in a strong position in their final Ranji Trophy Group B match on the third and penultimate day in Jaipur on Wednesday.
On a day when 15 wickets fell, Rajasthan took a 97-run first-innings lead, and then pushed Baroda onto the back foot by reducing them to 112 for six in their second innings with Pankaj taking three wickets for 55 runs.
When the stumps were drawn for the day, Irfan Pathan was batting on 52 along with Gagandeep Singh (0) with Baroda ahead by 15 runs, with just four second innings wickets in hand.
Baroda can only hope for a possible knock-out berth with an outright win from this match, which is unlikely at this stage with just a day left in the match.
It was pacer Deepak Chahar who got the first wicket when he forced Saurabh Wakaskar (12) to edge to wicketkeeper Azim Akthar. Pankaj then got the better of Abhimanyu Chauhan (1) and Aditya Waghmode (0), the first-innings centurion.
Pankaj sent Baroda opener Dhiren Mistry’s (21) off stump cartwheeling before Aniket Choudhary, the left-arm seamer, took a wicket off his first ball of the innings, getting Pinal Shah (5) caught behind.
Debutant Naman Kataria got his maiden First-Class wicket, an lbw decision against Abhijit Karambelkar (19). Irfan hit a four off Pankaj to bring up his first half-century of the season before play ended due to bad light.
Baroda captain Yusuf Pathan, who was recovering from a fever, did not take the field for the second day. It is not yet known if he will bat tomorrow.
Baroda had started the day on a positive note, with left-arm pacer Gagandeep Singh recording career-best figures of seven for 109.
At one point, Rajasthan were 191 for 5, still 45 behind Baroda. Gagandeep took three more wickets, but not before Rajasthan had taken an important 97-run lead.
Baroda 236 and 112 for 6 (Irfan Pathan 52 not out; Pankaj Singh 3/55) lead Rajasthan 333 (Vineet Saxena 66, Suryaprakash Suwalka 74; Gagandeep Singh 7/109) by 15 runs.
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