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Rest in peace, champs!

The only hope for Rajasthan to salvage a draw was to grind out the Rest of India attack on the final day of the Irani Cup tie here on Wednesday. Shalabh Manocha reports. Starwatch from the Irani cup

cricket Updated: Oct 06, 2011 01:32 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha

Rest-of-India-team-with-Irani-Cup-pose-for-photographers-at-SMS-Stadium-in-Jaipur-on-Wednesday

The only hope for Rajasthan to salvage a draw was to grind out the Rest of India attack on the final day of the Irani Cup tie here on Wednesday. Their batsmen were slow but could hardly steady their innings as the Rest of India bowlers prised out all 10 second innings wickets to win by 404 runs, the biggest margin of victory in Irani Cup in terms of runs.

Resuming on 28 for no loss, Rajasthan were bowled out for 213. Brought under pressure by the Rest bowlers, it was still some poor shot selection by Rajasthan batsmen that brought about their downfall.

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The experienced Aakash Chopra and Vineet Saxena batted cautiously and had added just 20 runs from 12 overs when Pragyan Ojha, fresh from his five-wicket haul in the first innings, got Chopra to edge to Ajinkya Rahane in the slips. It was the Hyderabad spinner's first of four wickets as he finished with nine in the match. Hrishikesh Kanitkar followed the opener three overs later after he poked at a Umesh Yadav delivery outside off-stump and was held by his opposite number Parthiv Patel. Vinay Kumar then bowled Saxena with one that came in sharply and uprooted his off-stump.

Bad choice
After that two poor shots brought the inevitable closer for the Ranji champions. First Robin Bist missed trying to sweep and was adjudged lbw. Ashok Menaria then edged an attempted cut against Yadav and Patel pouched it. That dashed all Rajasthan hopes of escaping with a draw. Punjab leg spinner Rahul Sharma then bowled a flipper to trap Rohit Jhalani plumb in front, the first of his two victims.

For a brief while, Rajasthan would still have thought they could salvage a draw when Rashmi Parida and Madhur Khatri were batting. The two had managed 37 runs together before Parida gave an easy catch as Ojha got another one. Sharma then bowled Chahar before tea.

Though Khatri did get a half century as consolation Varun Aaron got him caught in the third slip to pick his only scalp of the match. Rest of India stamped their authority when Ojha got Sumit Mathur stumped as he came down the wicket, giving Ojha his ninth wicket of the match.