Ranji Final: Rajasthan 198/3 against Baroda on Day 1
Vadodara: Skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (61) and Robin Bist (56) slammed twin half-centuries as Rajasthan reached 198 for three at stumps against Baroda on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Super League final here on Tuesday.
Kanitkar led from the front, adding 117 runs with Bist to lay the foundation of Rajasthan innings after Baroda skipper Pinal Shah won the toss and decide to bowl.
Night watchman Vivek Yadav (4) was giving Bist company when stumps were drawn at the Moti Bagh stadium here.
Earlier, openers Aakash Chopra (34) and Vineet Saxena (31) forged a 67-run partnership to give Rajasthan a slow but solid start.
The duo played patiently and worked the ball around for ones and twos, punctuated by occasional boundaries to keep the bowlers at bay.
Chopra was concentration personified as he made Baroda bowlers toil hard by his impregnable defence but at the stroke of lunch the former India opener was dismissed by left-handed spinner Bhargav Bhatt in the 36th over.
Chopra was trapped in front of the wicket as he tried to sweep a Bhatt delivery that landed in stumps. He hit just two fours in his 111-ball innings.
Kanitkar then joined Saxena at the crease as Rajasthan went into the break at 73 for one in 38 overs.
Rajasthan lost Saxena in the first delivery after lunch. The right-hander was a casualty of a terrible mix-up with his skipper.
However, Kanitkar and Bist then ensured that there were no more hiccups and shared a 117-run third wicket partnership to stable the Rajasthan ship.
On a day when runs were difficult to come by, Kanitkar showed glimpses of aggression right after Saxena`s departure, cracking two fours off Murtuja Vahora at square leg and cover boundary respectively.
Vahora was again at his receiving end in the 45th over, when Kanitkar guided a leg-side delivery down to the fine leg boundary and then brought up the team`s 100 with another four off the bowler.
Kanitkar also showed no mercy to left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh, hitting him to the long off fence for another four, before launching him over long on for a six.
He picked up another four in the 67th over off Bhatt as Rajasthan reached 142 for two at tea after managing just 69 runs in 30 overs in the second session.
Kanitkar brought up his fifty in the 71st over with a drive through the covers. He was finally dismissed by Waghmode caught at slips by Connor Williams.