Hyderabad: Veteran opener Aakash Chopra`s dogged half century and an equally gritty effort by glovesman Dishant Yagnik helped Rajasthan reach 220 for five at stumps on first day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Hyderabad.
Chopra batted the whole day for his 82 facing 272 deliveries in the process. He hit six boundaries. With Yagnik, the former India opener added 91 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand.
Yagnik who is batting on 60 faced 130 deliveries and hit seven fours. The duo came in when Rajasthan were in a position of discomfort at 129 for five.
The slide started in the very first over with experienced Vinit Saxena was caught by Arjun Yadav off pacer Anwar Ahmed`s bowling. Skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (4) edged an outgoing delivery from the other new-ball bowler Kaushik Naidu into Ibrahim Khaleel`s hands.
The current highest scorer in the national championship Robin Bist (12) was adjudged leg-before off left-arm spinner A Lalith Mohan.
At 30/3, Rashmi Ranjan Parida (26, 6x4) joined Chopra and the two pros took the score to 63. Parida used his feet well against the spinners but nicked one to Khaleel off left-arm spinner Mehdi Hassan.
Puneet Yadav (33, 53 balls, 3x4) played confidently as his partnership with Chopra yielded 56 runs before a Mohan delivery caught the former plumb in-front.
However Chopra and Yagnik played with lot of caution. For Chopra, this was his 49th first-class half century and he now stands 18 shy of his 29th century in longer version.