Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Elite C, Round 3, Day 1: Jharkhand eye lead after Varun Aaron keeps Rajasthan to 100

Rajasthan’s batting problems came to the fore on day one of their Elite Group C round three match in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy against hosts Jharkhand in Ranchi, where they were bowled out for 100 in 42.2 overs on Tuesday.

By stumps, they had taken five wickets but Ishank Jaggi’s unbeaten 44 had taken the home team to within eight runs of drawing level.

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Jharkhand opted to field and did well to strike regularly, with one-time India fast bowler Varun Aaron continuing his strong form by claiming 5/22 in 12 overs after Ajay Yadav carved up Rajasthan’s top order with the new ball. Yadav dismissed the openers Arun Gautam and Chetan Bist for ducks in his first two overs and then got the huge wicket of Robin Bist for 3 as Rajasthan slipped to 9/3 in 8.2 overs.

Aaron then got into the action by taking out Rajasthan captain Mahipal Lomror for 20 and ran through the middle order thereon. Rajesh Bishnoi’s 43-ball 33 was the best score of the innings. Aaron had claimed eight wickets in the last round as Jharkhand steamrolled Haryana in Lahli inside two days.

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Rajasthan’s bowlers had a say on proceedings too, with Tanveer-ul-Haq taking three wickets upfront and Nathu Singh getting the scalp of Jharkhand captain Mohammad Nazim. Tanveer struck in the fourth, eighth and 12th overs to set the home team back before Jaggi and Virat Singh put on 68. Tanveer’s fourth, that of Virat lbw for 18, ended the day.

Brief scores: Jharkhand 92/5 trail Rajasthan 100 (Aaron 5/22) by eight runs