A SWASHBUCKLING unbeaten century by Kalpesh Rajvaidya helped the Saurashtra pile up 340 runs for the loss of six wickets against J&K on Wednesday, the first day of the three-day Vijay Merchant Trophy Cricket Tournament match that began at Bab-e-Aali Stadium here.
This is the second match of the prestigious Vijay Merchant Trophy at the same venue. Earlier, Maharashtra defeated Sikkim. After winning the toss, Saurashtra skipper Sandip Odedra opted to bat first. He and Dhruvin started the innings. They looked set for a big opening partnership when Dhruvin was bowled by an in-swinging delivery of Saqib Majeed. At the same score, the skipper was also caught off the same bowler.
At 58, Saurashtra lost two wickets. The next three batsmen also lost their wickets without any significant contribution to the score.
When the team was struggling at 75 runs for the loss of five wickets, Kalpesh Rajvaidya proved his importance for the team. In a flawless innings of 127, that included 20 boundaries, Rajvaidya demonstrated almost all strokes and was good in defense.
His invaluable innings brought the team back in the match. At stumps Shoaib (35) was giving company to Rajvaidya. Saqib, Zahoor and Akash scalped two wickets each for the J&K.
Earlier, the teams were introduced to MPCA vice-president Dr Shafquat Mohammad Khan. In his address he extended good wishes
‘It’s a sporting pitch’
CURATOR HAMIDULLAH Khan ‘Mamu’ said it was a sporting pitch. The playing conditions are ideal for cricket. “The pitch has been prepared in a way that would help the bowlers who use the seams correctly. At the same time, it would also help the batsmen who play with a straight bat”, said Khan. He denied that the pitch would turn slow over the next two days.