Saurashtra spinners sparkle against Rajasthan
Rajkot: A fine display by spinners on Tuesday put Saurashtra in a commanding position as they enforced a follow-on on Rajasthan in their Ranji Trophy Group B match at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here.
After declaring their first innings at the overnight total of 475 for seven, Saurashtra bundled out the visitors for a paltry 136 in just 43.1 overs in their first essay on the penultimate day of the four-day match.
At the close of play today, Rajasthan were struggling at 147 for four in their second innings, still needing 192 runs with six wickets remaining.
The spin trio of Dharmendra Jadeja, Vishal Joshi and Kamlesh Makwana ran through Rajasthan`s first innings before tightening their grip over the match by third day`s end.
Saurashtra spinners made good use of the turning track and tormented the Rajasthan batsmen, who could never settle down.
It was debutant seamer Abhishek Bhatt, who gave the first breakthrough to the hosts when he trapped S Chauhan (0) in front of the wicket. The three spinners then got into action and took wickets at regular intervals.
Robin Bist (29) and Ashok Menaria (26) put some resistance in the first innings, but both were sent back in quick succession by Makwana, cutting short any hope of a fightback.
Makwana, Jadeja and Joshi took three wickets each.
Chauhan and Vineet Saxena gave the visitors a much better start in the second essay as they put on 55 runs for the opening wicket. Chauhan made only 8 but gave good support to Saxena, who looked comfortable against spinners.
Saxena made 106-ball 70, hitting 11 fours and a six. He added 74 runs for the second wicket with Bist, who made 38.
Captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar was batting on 14 and giving him company was Rajesh Bishnoi (2) at the end of day three.
Leg spinner Jadeja was the most successful bowler for Saurashtra in the second innings, taking three for 51.
Saurashtra 1st inngs: 475 for 7 decl.
Rajasthan 1st inngs: 136 (Robin Bist 29; Kamlesh Makwana 3/30, Dharmendra Jadeja 3/39, Vishal Joshi 3?51) & 147 for 4 (Vineet Saxena 70; Dharmendra Jadeja 3/51).
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