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Chopra, Yagnik put defending champions on road to recovery

cricket Updated: Jan 03, 2012 00:32 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
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The opening day of the quarterfinal between champions Rajasthan and Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Upal, was a see-saw affair. The former would be relieved at finishing at 220 for five, after being 84 for four in the first session.

It was the patience of veteran opener Akash Chopra and some attacking batting from wicketkeeper-batsman Dishant Yagnik which bailed the tourists out.

Starting off in overcast conditions on Monday, it seemed as if Rajasthan had made a bad decision when they lost opener Vineet Saxena for a duck, in the first over, to pacer Anwar Ahmed Khan.

In the following 13 overs, they lost three more wickets — Robin Bisht, Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Rashmi Ranjan Parida.

After lunch, the conditions eased out with the sun making an appearance. Middle-order batsman Puneet Yadav, who replaced Ashok Menaria as the latter is out with hernia, played some attacking shots even as Chopra held fort at the other end.

The two added 66 runs before left-arm spinner Lalit Mohan trapped Yadav leg before.

Dropped on 15, Yagnik finished on an unbeaten 60. Chopra faced as many as 272 deliveries for his 82. Though not a spectators' delight, he was certainly a saviour. Brief scores: Rajasthan 220-5 (A Chopra batting 82, D Yagnik batting 60, Mohan 2-63) v Hyderabad.