Rajasthan 198/3 against Baroda on day one of Ranji finals

Vadodara, Jan 11 (PTI) Skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (61)and Robin Bist (56) slammed twin half-centuries as Rajasthanreached 198 for three at stumps against Baroda on the openingday of the Ranji Trophy Super League final here today.

Kanitkar led from the front, adding 117 runs with Bist tolay the foundation of Rajasthan innings after Baroda skipperPinal Shah won the toss and decide to bowl.

Night watchman Vivek Yadav (4) was giving Bist companywhen stumps were drawn at the Moti Bagh stadium here.

Earlier, openers Aakash Chopra (34) and Vineet Saxena(31) forged a 67-run partnership to give Rajasthan a slow butsolid start.

The duo played patiently and worked the ball around forones and twos, punctuated by occasional boundaries to keep thebowlers at bay.

Chopra was concentration personified as he made Barodabowlers toil hard by his impregnable defence but at the strokeof lunch the former India opener was dismissed by left-handedspinner Bhargav Bhatt in the 36th over.

Chopra was trapped in front of the wicket as he tried tosweep a Bhatt delivery that landed in stumps. He hit just twofours in his 111-ball innings.

Kanitkar then joined Saxena at the crease as Rajasthanwent into the break at 73 for one in 38 overs.

Rajasthan lost Saxena in the first delivery after lunch.

The right-hander was a casualty of a terrible mix-up with hisskipper.

However, Kanitkar and Bist then ensured that there wereno more hiccups and shared a 117-run third wicket partnershipto stable the Rajasthan ship.

On a day when runs were difficult to come by, Kanitkarshowed glimpses of aggression right after Saxena''s departure,cracking two fours off Murtuja Vahora at square leg and coverboundary respectively.

Vahora was again at his receiving end in the 45th over,when Kanitkar guided a leg-side delivery down to the fine legboundary and then brought up the team''s 100 with another fouroff the bowler.

Kanitkar also showed no mercy to left-arm spinner SwapnilSingh, hitting him to the long off fence for another four,before launching him over long on for a six.

He picked up another four in the 67th over off Bhatt asRajasthan reached 142 for two at tea after managing just 69runs in 30 overs in the second session.

Kanitkar brought up his fifty in the 71st over with adrive through the covers. He was finally dismissed by Waghmodecaught at slips by Connor Williams.

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