Jalaj Saxena and Harpreet Singh shared a 130-run stand for the second wicket © Getty Images (Representational Photo)
Jalaj Saxena and Harpreet Singh shared a 130-run stand for the second wicket © Getty Images (Representational Photo)

Dec 21, 2014

Opening batsman Jalaj Saxena survived thrice to remain unbeaten on 120 as Madhya Pradesh (MP) ended the opening day of their Group A Ranji Trophy encounter against Tamil Nadu (TN) on 250 for four at Chennai on Sunday.

Opting to bat, Madhya Pradesh were lucky to have reached this far in their first innings thanks to floppy fielding by the home side.

MP opening batsman Sanjay Mishra was dropped on 16 by Abhinav Mukund in the third slip in the fifth ball of L Balaji. But Mishra was out at the same score to Rahil Shah when debutant K Bharath Shankar took a catch.

Saxena was going after the bowlers from the word go using lofted shots but he would have ended his innings early when wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik‘s valiant running attempt for a high catch went in vain as as the ball slipped through his fingers.

Yet, when on 32, Saxena survived another chance when Balaji muffed with the catch at deep square leg of the bowling of Rahil Shah. Then on 95, Saxena was given yet another life by Malolan Rangarajan, who failed to gather the ball and break the stumps at the bowler’s end when the batsman was going for a second run. It was a good chance for Rangarajan as Saxena was at least about three feet from the crease.

Saxena’s unbeaten 120 came from 251 balls and was studded with eight fours and a six and he added 130 runs for the second wicket with Harpreet, who scored 65 from 87 balls including three boundaries and four sixes. Naman Ojha made 13 and Moshish Mishra 8.

At the draw of stumps, Devendra Bundela, who was dropped when on 3 by Aushik Srinivas at silly point, was batting with 21.

Brief Scores:

Madhya Pradesh 250 for 4 (Jalaj Saxena 120*, Harpreet Singh 65; Malolan Rangarajan 2 for 81) vs Tamil Nadu.