Solanki, Pathan help Vadodara take 145-run lead in 1st innings

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Vadodara, Nov 17 (UNI) Two career best scintillating century knocks by Rakesh Solanki (186) and Yusuf Pathan (183) helped hosts Vadodara take a huge 145-run first innings lead against Bengal as the side piled up a mammoth 515 runs on the penultimate day of their four-day Ranji Trophy Elite group 'B' match at the Motibaug Palace ground here today.

At close, Bengal who came to bat the remaining two overs of the day's quota, were one down for one run after they lost the prize wicket of Anustup Mazumdar. He was adjudged lbw for a duck off Yusuf Pathan in the last over.

Resuming at 129 for 2 in reply to Bengal's first innings total of 370, Vadodara turned the table in their favour with a record 276 runs partnership for the sixth wicket between Solanki and all-rounder Pathan. The duo scored 276 runs from 290 balls.

Their 223-minute-long partnership was broken by Bengal's off-spinner Saurasish Lahiri soon after tea, who claimed Pathan's wicket through mid-wicket fielder Anustup Mazumdar.

Pathan, who hit his first century in first class cricket, made a blazing 183 from just 150 balls with 24 boundaries and four sixes, while southpaw Solanki, struck 22 fours and a six in his career best 186. Coming to bat with his overnight score of 43, Solanki held up one end for almost the entire day as he was the last Vadodara batsman to go, being run out by Arindam Das, a couple of overs before the close of play. This was Solanki's second century in first class cricket.

Lahiri, who bowled the maximum 56 overs, chipped in with four wickets conceding 184 runs, while leggie Murtaza Lodhgar and skipper Laxmi Ratan shukla claimed two wickets each giving away 66 and 29 runs respectively.

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