Rajasthan on top against Baroda in Ranji final

 
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Vadodara, Jan 13 (PTI) Despite three half-centuries,Rajasthan bowlers emerged on top as they reduced Baroda to324 for eight at the end of the third day''s play in the RanjiTrophy Super League final here today.

At stumps on the penultimate day of the four-day match,Baroda still trail Rajasthan by 70 runs in reply to thevisitor''s 394.

Vivek Yadav (4/73) and Deepak Chahar (3/72) forced Barodabatsmen to commit mistakes as they maintained a tight line andlength, giving the home team batsmen little opportunity toscore easy runs at the Moti Bagh stadium here.

Even as Jaykishan Kolsawala (64), Aditya Waghmore (52)and skipper Pinal Shah (77) chipped in with crucial runs,Baroda kept losing wickets at regular intervals, which forcedthem on to the back foot.

Resuming at the overnight score of 73 for one, Kolsawala,and Kedar Devdhar started on a positive note but runs soondried up when Yadav came into the attack.

In his first seven overs, Yadav just conceded nine runsand dismissed both the overnight batsmen Kolsawala and Devdharin quick succession to leave Baroda suddenly reeling at 113for three from a comfortable 110 for 1.

Kolsawala became Yadav''s first victim of the day when thespinner saw him off for a well-made 64 off 151 balls, whichwas studded with 12 fours, and then followed it up by sendingback Devdhar for 19.

New batsmen in Waghmore and Ambati Rayudu (19) tried tosteady the boat for a while but the latter, who though startedoff well by hitting two fine cover-drives, failed to sustainand his stay at the crease was cut short by Chahar.

However, skipper Shah in the able company of Waghmorefought back hard. The duo kept on picking up quick singles,besides punishing the loose deliveries to keep the scoreboardmoving.

Riding on some sensible batting, the duo stitched avaluable 90-run stand before Waghmore, soon after reaching hishalf-century, fell victim to Yadav, brilliantly caught byRajasthan captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar.

Waghmore''s dismissal on 52 (131, 7x4) with Barodascorecard reading 226 for five, left Shah in the company oftailenders to overcome a huge total of 394 runs set byRajasthan in their first innings.

Swapnil Singh (17) continued for a while but Pankaj Singhsaw him off, and then Chahar was quick to remove AbhijitKarambelkar for a duck before getting the prized wicket ofShah, trapping him leg before.

But just when it seemed it was all over for Baroda at 288for eight, Sankalp Vohra and Murtuja Vahora showed characteras they shared an unbeaten 36-run stand for the ninth-wicket,before stumps were drawn for the day.

At end of day three, Vohra was batting on 16 while Vahorawas on 21. But Rajasthan require just two wickets to take thefirst innings lead, which could well give them the trophy. PTICM SSC

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