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Crown stays in royal custody

Twice in a row Rajasthan beat Tamil Nadu to lift the premier title again. Abhijeet Kulkarni reports.

cricket Updated: Jan 24, 2012 01:35 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Abhijeet Kulkarni
Hindustan Times

With the outcome of the Ranji final already decided in Rajasthan’s favour, the final day’s play was a formality.

The defending champions had the first innings lead, and also the crown, which allowed them to approach the final day’s play as an on-field celebration before the grand reception that awaits them in Jaipur.

They frustrated the Tamil Nadu bowlers for two sessions to extend their overall lead to 520 runs and then claimed two quick wickets before breaking into celebrations that will continue through the night.

Big league

While the team was busy counting down time, Robin Bist had another countdown going for him as the skipper’s decision to not enforce the follow-on had provided him with the opportunity to become only the 12th batsman to score more than 1000 runs in a Ranji season.

Bist, who needed 58 runs on Monday to reach the landmark, was promoted to No. 3 and the Delhi-born cricketer was keen to display the strokes in his repertoire.

He cut, pulled and played a couple of eye-catching straight drives before flicking J Kaushik for a fine leg glance to complete his 1000th run.

The 24-year-old said the turning point for him was the pep talk from captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who challenged him not to throw his wicket away after getting a good start. “I also worked on my temperament thereafter and that is showing in the results now,” said Bist, who missed out on a century while trying to score some quick runs.

First Published: Jan 24, 2012 00:11 IST