Jharkhand struggles vs MP ; Saxena hits unbeaten ton

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Jamshedpur, Nov 4 (UNI) Hosts Jharkhand were on the backfoot after scoring 83 for five in the first innings in reply to Madhya Pradesh's 223 all out on the second day of the four-day Ranji trophy plate group B match at the Keenan stadium here today.

Replying to a modest first innings total of the visitors Jharkhand began disastrously as the home team lost opener Rahul Prasad without opening his account.

Ratan Kumar also followed suit after contributing seven runs.

But captain Manish Vardhan, who came to open the innings, did not loose his cool despite the wickets were falling at regular intervals at the other end. Aamir Hashmi (16) and Saurabh Tiwary (11) put some resitance with thier captain putting 34 and 32 runs in the fourth and fifth wicket stands respectively.

At stumps, Manish was unbeaten on 34 runs, facing 106 balls and hit three bourndaies in his 175 minutes stay. He was accompanied by wicket keeper Subroto Ghosh,who was yet to score.

For MP, medium pacer Anand Ranjan scalped two wickets for 28 runs while Sunil Dholpure, Jalaj Saxena and Asif Ali took one wicket each.

But the day belonged to MP middle order batsman Jatin Saxena,who slammed a patient unbeaten knock of 125 runs(9x4,281 balls) to give his team a chance for an outright victory.

Jaitn, who was not out on 69 overnight with the team's total at 100 for four, played some fine strokes. After the dismissal of another overnight bat Jalaj Saxena for nought, Rahul Bakshi joined Jatin and the duo stiched in valuable 102 runs in the sixth wicket partnership. But Rahul departed after the scoring a fine half century (56) and became the victim of Kuldeep Sharma, who picked up four wickets giving away 38 runs.

Shiv Shanker Rao, another paier for the home team, also bagged four wickets but he was a bit expensive giving away 66 runs. The Remaining two wickets were shared between Raj Kumar and Sunny Gupta respectively.

Brief score : Madhya Pradesh (1st innings) 223 all out (Jatin Saxena 125 n.o,R Bakshi 56, K Sharma 4/38, S S Rao 4/66) Jharkhand (1st innings) 83 for five (M Vardhan 34 n.o,Anand Raj 2/28) UNI

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