Mathur bowls Rajasthan to 229-run victory over Saurashtra
Jaipur: A sensational display of pace bowling by Sumit Mathur (6/33) helped Rajasthan crush Saurashtra by 229 runs in their Ranji Trophy Elite Division match at the Sawai Man Singh stadium.
Chasing a victory target of 373, the visitors could not cope with the deadly bowling by veteran medium pacer Mathur and were bundled out for a modest 143 in their second essay in the Group A fixture.
Pankaj Singh (2/49) and Rituraj Singh (2/44) ably supported Mathur in the massive win.
Rajasthan earned five from this outing, taking their tally to 10 points and also rekindled their hopes for a knockout berth.
On the other hand, Saurashtra returned empty handed and are stranded at 11 points from six matches, making the race for knockout berths in the pool more interesting.
Resuming their second innings at 169 for 1 today, Rajasthan declared at 241 for four soon after the former India opener Akash Chopra (98; 208 balls, 12 x4, 1x6) fell two short of his hundred and Hrishikesh Kanitkar (52) reached his half century.
Saurashtra were set a difficult target of 373 and they had a good start but lost three quick wickets before lunch as all three medium pacers of Rajasthan -- Mathur, Pankaj and Rituraj striking once before the break.
With the top order of Chirag Pathak (17), Bhushan Chouhan (20) and Sagar Jogiyani (16) back in the dressing room it was a test of character for the remaining batsmen.
But all Saurashtra batsmen were found wanting in the challenge as Rajasthan bowlers spearheaded by Mathur extracted maximum out of the home conditions.
Skipper Jaidev Shah (35), Sitanshu Kotak (28 not out) offered brief resistance but that was never going to enough as Mathur ripped through the lower order.
Rajasthan skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar was a happy man with the performance if his team.
"Everything went according to our plans. It was also because our boys got a very good wicket to bowl on and they bowled at right areas. If we can manage an outright victory over Orissa in our last match we can hope for a berth in the knock out round," he said.
Rajasthan: 396 and 241 for 4 dec
Saurashtra: 265 and 143 all out in 56.5 overs (Jaydev Shah 35; Sumit Mathur 6/33).