Rajasthan, facing a daunting 354-run first innings deficit, made 43 for the loss of opener Ankit Lamba in its second innings at stumps on day three of the Irani Cup against Rest Of India at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium here on Sunday.

Opener Vineet Saxena (17 batting) is in the company of his captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar (21 batting).

Highest score

Rest declared its first innings an hour after tea at 607 for seven, with the top five batsmen getting runs. Opener M. Vijay made his third first class double hundred with 266, the highest score in the Irani Cup, besting Pravin Amre’s score of 246 made for Rest Of India against Bengal at Bangalore in 1990.

Vijay (overnight 151 not out in the Rest’s score of 328 for two), piled on the runs and agony for Rajasthan.

Despite being beaten thrice in successive overs by left-arm pacer Aniket Choudhary, the opener played some pleasing shots both sides of the wicket.

Vijay also lofted the spinners with disdain, although one shot was spilled at the fence by Sumit Mathur off Gajendra Singh. The Tamil Nadu batsman, however, perished the same way, caught in the deep off off-spinner Madhur Khatri. Vijay’s knock came in 618 minutes off 394 balls, with 36 fours and nine sixes.

Ample support

Subramaniam Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik both provided ample support at the other end, with both reaching their half-centuries. Badrinath put on 141 runs for the third wicket with Vijay before being cleaned up by an incoming delivery from Deepak Chahar, which kept low.

An identical delivery undid Stuart Binny (3) too later in the day. Karthik then added 63 runs with Vijay, and after the latter’s dismissal, added some quick runs with wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha (not out 29). Stuart and Harmeet fell cheaply, and after Pragyan Ojha batted for about 12 minutes, Cheteshwar Pujara applied the closure.

Ishant Sharma got bounce and movement to get Ankit Lamba’s edge for Dinesh Karthik — who kept wickets in this innings — to pouch the catch to rock Rajasthan early.

But left-hander Hrishikesh Kanitkar brought in all his experience and ensured no further damage till close, smacking four boundaries in his unbeaten 21.

With the wicket tending to keep low at the pavilion end and offering some turn at the far end, Rajasthan batsmen will have to put their heads down to thwart the designs of both Ojha and Harmeet on the morrow, to avoid an early finish to the game.

The scores:

Rajasthan — 1st innings: 253.

Rest of India — 1st innings: A Rahane (run out) 81 (143b, 12x4), M. Vijay c Gajendra b Khatri 266 (394b, 36x4, 9x6), C. Pujara c Yagnik b Choudhary 78 (140b, 11x4, 1x6), S. Badrinath b Chahar 55 (124b, 7x4), D. Karthik lbw b Khatri 56 (104b, 10x4), W. Saha (not out) 29 (77b, 2x4, 1x6), S. Binny b Chahar 3 (4b), Harmeet Singh b Khatri 1 (7b), P. Ojha (not out) 0 (7b), Extras (b-14, lb-9, w-5, nb-10): 38; Total (for seven wkts. decl. in 165 overs): 607.

Fall of wickets: 1-173, 2-326, 3-467, 4-530, 5-596, 6-599, 7-600.

Rajasthan bowling: Choudhary 34-8-112-1, Chahar 27.1-2-99-2, Mathur 24.5-3-89-0, Gajendra 41-4-149-0, Khatri 37-4-125-3, Saxena 1-0-10-0.

Rajasthan — 2nd innings: A. Lamba c Karthik b Ishant 4 (4b, 1x4), V. Saxena (batting) 17 (31b, 3x4), Kanitkar (batting) 21 (37b, 4x4), Extras (lb-1): 1; Total (for one wkt. in 12 overs): 43.

Fall of wicket: 1-4.

Rest of India bowling: Ishant 4-0-17-1, Umesh Yadav 4-1-17-0, Binny 2-1-4-0, Ojha 2-1-4-0.

Keywords: Irani Cup

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