Pankaj Singh’s five-wicket haul gives Rajasthan upper hand against MP

Gwalior: Seam bowler Pankaj Singh returned with a five-wicket haul to lead a disciplined bowling attack as Rajasthan dismissed Madhya Pradesh for a mere 115 in their first innings before themselves reaching 115 for three on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Group B match here today.

Pankaj finished with figures of 19-8-30-5, while his pace partner Rituraj Singh (3/33) took three wickets and Deepak Chahar (2/32) accounted for two at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium here.

The visitors are now just a run away from taking the first innings lead with seven wickets remaining.

Put in to bat by Rajasthan, only the top three Madhya Pradesh batsmen -- Satyam Choudhary (27), Jalaj Saxena (39) and Naman Ojha (21) -- could reach the double-digit mark.

Although the hosts got off to a decent start with the opening partnership between Choudhary and Saxena yielding 67 runs, a collapse saw MP`s innings folding in just 50 overs.

In reply, Rajasthan opener Siddharth Saraf (48) and one-down batsman in skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (21) put on a solid 55 runs for the second wicket.

At close of play, Robin Bist was batting on 11 and giving him company at the other end was Ashok Menaria on 17.

Brief scores:

Madhya Pradesh 1st innings: 115 all out in 50 overs (Jalaj Saxena 39, Satyam Choudhary 27; Pankaj Singh 5/30, Rituraj Singh 3/33).

Rajasthan 1st innings: 115 for three in 31 overs (Siddharth Saraf 48; Anand Rajan 2/39).