An exciting finish on cards

Haryana need another 170 runs for win with eight wickets in hand

An intriguing third day is on the cards as hosts Haryana need another 170 runs to win with eight wickets in hand against defending champions Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy semifinal, being played at Bansi Lal stadium.

Rajasthan batsmen gave a better account of themselves in the second innings scoring 192, after Haryana’s first innings folded at 97 providing the hosts a slender lead of eight runs.

The hosts were precariously placed at 15 for two at stumps chasing 185, with in-form opener Rahul Dewan (0) and experienced No 3 Sunny Singh (1) both back in the hut.

A target of 185 is certainly achievable but what makes the total look competitive has been the lack of technique to battle it out on a seaming track.

The manner in which Dewan and Sunny poked at away-going deliveries without any feet movement, it showed that hosts were batting with a defensive mindset.
Promoting Harshal Patel as night-watchman was another indication.

Probably Haryana can do themselves world of good if they can take a leaf out of veteran Rajasthan opener Vineet Saxena’s (58, 119 balls, 10x4) book. Saxena is not one of the most attractive players but he had the guts to fight it out on a challenging strip where each and every run was important. Saxena looked good for a big score but an unfortunate misunderstanding with Robin Bist (44, 109 balls, 4x4, 1x6) saw him get run-out. Rajasthan’s chance for a bigger lead vanished with Saxena’s dismissal.

Bist along with senior-pro Rashmi Ranjan Parida (23) and Puneet Yadav (22) all got out after getting set. Sachin Rana’s medium pace got him four scalps while Harshal Patel and skipper Amit Mishra got two wickets each.
Harshal, thus, had career-best match-figures of 10 for 79. But on Thursday a few runs with the willow would certainly help his cause.

SCOREBOARD
RAJASTHAN (I Innings): 89 all out in 36.1 overs
HARYANA (I Innings, O/n: 82/8): Nitin Saini lbw Rituraj 5, Rahul Dewan lbw Rituraj 2, Sunny Singh c Chopra b Pankaj 0, Prateek Pawar b Rituraj 0, Sachin Rana c Yagnik b Pankaj 5, Priyank Tehlan c Pankaj b Rituraj 11, Amit Mishra c Bist b Rituraj 12, Jayant Yadav lbw Mathur 23,  Mohit Sharma c Bist b Rituraj 22, Harshal Patel lbw Rituraj 10, Ashish Hooda (not out) 3. Extras (B-4) 4. Total (all out, 47.5 overs) 97.
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-7, 3-7, 4-12, 5-12, 6-31, 7-40, 8-73, 9-88.
Bowling: Pankaj Singh 16-6-27-2, Rituraj Singh 18.5-5-45-7, Sumit Mathur 13-6-21-1.
RAJASTHAN (II Innings): Aakash Chopra b Rana 8, Vineet Saxena (run out) 58, Hrishikesh Kanitkar c (sub) Chahal b Patel 7, Robin Bist c Rana b Patel 44, Rashmi Ranjan Parida lbw Mishra 23, Puneet Yadav lbw Rana 22, Dishant Yagnik c Sunny b Mishra 2, Rituraj Singh b Rana 1, Gajendra Singh c Mishra b Rana 1, Pankaj Singh (not out) 13, Sumit Mathur c Rana b Mohit 1. Extras (LB-10, NB-2) 12. Total (all out, 68.5 overs) 192.
Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-56, 3-98, 4-144, 5-174, 6-174, 7-175, 8-177, 9-179.
Bowling: Mohit Sharma 14.2-1-42-1, Harshal Patel 17-5-45-2, Sachin Rana 14.3-3-26-4, Ashish Hooda 3-0-16-0, Amit Mishra 16-5-38-2, Jayant Yadav 4-1-15-0.
HARYANA (II Innings): Nitin Saini (batting) 9, Rahul Dewan c Yagnik b Rituraj 0, Sunny Singh c Yagnik b Pankaj 1, Harshal Patel (batting) 1. Extras (LB-4) 4. Total (for 2 wkts, 7 overs) 15.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-1.
Bowling: Pankaj Singh 4-4-0-1, Rituraj Singh 3-0-11-1.

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