Ranji Trophy: Chopra, Bist deny UP from registering outright victory

Jaipur: Centuries from veteran opener Aakash Chopra (135) and young Robin Bist (100 no) helped hosts Rajasthan get a solitary point against the formidable Uttar Pradesh in a Ranji Trophy Elite group match on Friday.

While three points from the match took UP`s tally to 12 points from four games while defending champions Rajasthan with only four points from four games are staring at relegation.

After being asked to follow-on on the penultimate day, Chopra, his opening partner Vineet Saxena (72) and Bist saw through the final day as Rajasthan finished on 349 for two. The match was called off after 78 overs of play on the final day.

Credit must go to Chopra who had been removed from captaincy after a match. He was in poor form before this match and needed a big score as the other batting mainstay Hrishikesh Kanitkar is out with an injury.

For Chopra who completed 10,000 runs in first-class cricket yesterday, it was his 28th first-class century. His opening partnership of 166 with Saxena ensured that Rajasthan had consumed 59 overs without any hiccups before left-arm spinner Praveen Gupta got rid of the latter.

Chopra then added another 106 runs for the second wicket with Bist who has now scored two centuries in two matches. Chopra hit 21 boundaries during 281-ball knock. He batted five minutes short of six hours.

For Bist this will be a morale boosting knock having failed to notch up a single three-figure mark in his past 27 first-class appearances, he has now helped himself with two in two matches. His knock came off 149 balls with the help of 13 boundaries and a six. The moment Bist reached his milestone, the play was called off.

Brief scores: UP 492.

Rajasthan 274 & 349/2 (Aakash Chopra 135, Robin Bist 100 no, Vineet Saxena 72). Points: UP 3 Rajasthan 1.


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