Chopra hits 210 but…

Sports Reporter

JAIPUR: Captain Aakash Chopra’s double century on Saturday put Delhi in the driver’s seat in its Ranji Trophy Super League match against Rajasthan, but the effort went in vain as far as the defending champion’s progress to the quarterfinals was concerned.

Even if Delhi wins with a bonus point tomorrow and ties with Saurashtra at 23 points, the latter is better placed with a superior nett run rate.

The third day of the match at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here went in Delhi’s favour. At stumps, the touring team was 505 for five in its first innings – enjoying a healthy lead of 210 runs.

Hectic pace

Resuming at the overnight total of 117 for no loss, Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan set a hectic pace from the start. Dhawan scored a stroke-filled 118 (181 balls, 17x4) which was his sixth first class hundred.

It was obviously difficult for Delhi to focus on the job. Kohli contributed 83 (123 balls, 10x4) in a 136-run stand with Chopra.

The youngster edged pacer Pankaj Singh to wicketkeeper Vikram Singh a few overs before the tea break.

Chopra continued with his good touch and achieved his fifth double hundred just after tea. The Delhi skipper, dropped on 180, consumed 324 balls and hit 20 fours and a six in his knock of 210.

Chopra, however, could not enjoy his success. “We are disappointed as we could not make the quarterfinals. Matches against Mumbai, Gujarat and Hyderabad hurt us,” he said.

Vijay Dahiya, the Delhi coach, backed his players. “It’s difficult to remain motivated after knowing that we are not reaching the quarters. Still we would try for a win,” he said.

The scores:

Rajasthan — 1st innings: 295

Delhi — 1st innings: Aakash Chopra c Vikram Singh b V. Chanwaria 210, Shikhar Dhawan c Gajender Singh b Mohd. Aslam 118, Virat Kohli c Vikram Singh b Pankaj Singh 83, Mithun Manhas c Y. V. Rao b Gajender Singh 12, Punit Bisht c Y.V. Rao b Mohd. Aslam 5, Rajat Bhatia batting 26, Yogesh Nagar batting 15; Extras (b-19, lb-3, nb-11, w-3) 36, Total (for five wickets in 125 overs) 505.

Fall of wickets: 1-280, 2-416, 3-435, 4-463, 5-465.

Rajasthan bowling: Pankaj Singh 26-4-91-1, Vikrant Yadav 24-4-71-0, Vinod Chanwaria 14-1-62-1, Mohd. Aslam 19-1-77-2, Gajender Singh 29-3-111-1, Y. Venugopal Rao 10-0-44-0, Kuldeep Singh 3-0-27-0.