Maharashtra in strong position against Rajasthan

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Jaipur, Nov 16 (UNI) A solid 80 run knock by captain Venugopal Rao and his 73 runs fifth wicket stand with VR Bhilare (31) helped Maharashtra gain a vital 182 runs first innigns against hosts Rajasthan on the second day of their four-day Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match here today.

Rajasthan had made 160 for three at the close of play in their second innings with VA Saxena and R Bishnoi batting on 38 and 41 respectively.

Resuming at their overnight total of 155 for three, Maharashtra were all out for 287 runs with Venugopal Rao and Bhilare putting on in valuable 73 for the fifth wicket. Pankaj Singh-the medium pacer who had represented India A, bowled extremely well today as he caputured four wickets for 83 including the wicket of Rao. Pankaj who had finished with one for 49 on the previous day, today finished with figures of 83 for four. He bowled Venugopal Rao who occupied the crease for 286 minutes hitting eight fours and a six. Pankaj latter dismissed Takawale for 44 (4x4) and Bahutule for five.

Besides Pankaj Singh, Sumit Mathur, Afroz Khan and Rahul Kanwat captured two wickets each for Rajasthan.

Rajasthan begain their second innings shakily as they lost opener Rohit Sharma for only six. Gagan Khoda and Rahul Kanwat then batted sensibly but the former had to retire hurt following a thigh injury off Munaf Patel delivery for 34 with seven fours. Rajasthan lost two quick wickets of Rahul Kanwat (16) and R Bist (0) both to Bahutule.

Bahutule took two for 45 while Sayyed capturued one for 36 for Maharashtra.

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