Ranji Trophy final: Rajasthan on top as Saxena scores double ton

Resuming at 221 for no loss, Rajasthan 183 runs on day two of the Ranji final against Tamil Nadu

By R Eswar

Chennai: Jan 20, 2012

Opener Vineet Saxena scored one of the slowest double hundreds in recent times as Rajasthan crawled their way to 404 for two against Tamil Nadu at stumps on the second day of the Ranji Trophy final on Friday.

After scoring 221 for no loss on the first day, Rajasthan batsmen didn’t display any positive intent to up the ante as they added only 183 runs in 90 overs sent down.

Saxena, who became the second Rajasthan batsman after Hanumant Singh to score a double century in the final was unbeaten on 207. But he has already consumed a whopping 555 balls during which he hit 25 boundaries and a six.

Giving him company was tournament’s top-scorer Robin Bist who also played an excruciatingly slow knock of 16 off 74 deiveries. The batsmen dismissed today were Aakash Chopra (94, 307 balls, 10×4) and skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (67, 146 balls, 7×4).

With ball starting to keep low, a total in excess of 550 may be prove to be a daunting one for Tamil Nadu although they have a formidable batting line-up.

The slow approach of Rajasthan batsmen however have raised doubts whether their bowlers would get enough time to take 10 Tamil Nadu wickets on such an unresponsive pitch.

In case Tamil Nadu bats more than 30 overs and their innings is not completed then result will be decided on run-rate.

For eg, Rajasthan till now have scored their runs in 180 overs at a rate of 2.24. If Tamil Nadu bats more than 30 overs and their innings is not completed, they would need to score runs at an asking rate of 2.25.

Saxena has stayed at the crease for 12 hours and 27 minutes. The only thing disappointing about his effort was that he was more subdued today than what he was yesterday. The only time he did some thing positive was to lift offie Sunny Gupta over mid-wicket fence.

A thickish edge past gully off Yomahesh helped him reach the most coveted milestone in his 13-year career. He consumed 524 balls in the process.

Earlier, Chopra was adjudged leg before the wicket to left-arm spinner Raju Aushik Srinivas.

It was unfortunate that seasoned Chopra missed by only six runs as he made 94 (307b, 9×4, 440mts). By then, Chopra and Saxena have put on a solid and praiseworthy 236 in 104.1 overs.

As Saxena and his captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar, were up to their task in their efforts to remain at the wicket as much as possible.

While Saxena found the success for the second day in running, Kanitkar had to walk back as he edged to wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan 404 for 2 (Vineet Saxena 207*, Aakash Chopra 94, Hrishikesh Kanitkar 67; Sunny Gupta 1 for 82, Aushik Srinivas 1 for 105) vs Tamil Nadu