Home rule in Jaipur as visitors hop

Published on Jan 27, 2006 09:12 AM IST

The match seems as good as finished and had Gagan Khoda not been so generous in the slip position, the game might have been over by Day Two itself.

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None | By, Jaipur

The match seems as good as finished and had Gagan Khoda not been so generous in the slip position, the game might have been over by Day Two itself.

Orissa, after bowling out the hosts for 250, have eaten up 91 of the 156-run lead that Rajasthan secured in their first innings. In the process though, they've lost five of their batsmen, including one in the last over of the day.

However, Orissa coach Sritam Das sees hope and feels that a 150-run lead can make a match of it. But so far, the hosts look in a position from where they can force an innings win too!

On a day when the pitch got a bit friendly, certainly as compared to Day One, even while live grass remained on the surface, everything went against the Oriya plans, much to the delight of the holiday crowd. Ajay Jadeja and Nikhil Doru --- the latter working himself out of poor form --- saw off the morning session. Both Mohanty and Mangaraj, the visitors' leading pacemen, tried their best but by the time Jadeja was detached from the greenish wicket, he had added 70 more to the overnight 108 for 5 with Doru.

Doru, on his part, looked sedate and with the ball doing a bit, he restricted his strokes. Three of his five fours came square off the wicket while he made sure that he was dismissed late in the innings. His stay helped tail-enders like Sanjay Gill (37 not out, 2 sixes and 4 fours) and Pankaj Singh (15) rake up quick runs to stretch the lead to over 100, something that had looked impossible after Mangaraj struck two quick blows, catching Jadeja leg before and exposing Afroz Khan's inability to play in the cordon.

A late charge by the tail, overseen by Doru, helped Rajasthan reach 250.

The Orissa batting was disgraceful again. Despite the fact that the ball was flying around and an odd ball was keeping low, the Oriya batting showed how too much cricket on paata tracks can make your big figures look flattering. Agreed that the bowling was in the channel, the wicket was green, but there must be a way to tackle all that, instead of driving through the off.

Both the openers, SS Dass, who's having a miserable run this year, and Paresh Patel, fell that way to Pankaj Singh, who used the windy conditions in this open ground to good effect. Pankaj's height gives him that extra bounce and he made the track at KL Saini his own.

Dass was caught behind and Paresh was consumed in the slips. In fact, Paresh had earlier been dropped by Khoda off Pankaj. Pankaj then sent back Subit Biswal's off-stump for a cartwheel.

Rajasthan's third seamer Afroz, who is slightly shorter in height but has a very athletic run-up, got his first breakthrough when he made PM Mullick hook one. The ball rose sharply and caught the top-edge. Mullick, their highest run-getter this season, was gone in no time and it looked the game would end on the day itself. But luck played truant and Afroz saw a catch get dropped of his bowling - by Khoda who, by now, had become public's bunny.

Then Sourav Saigal, who was the last man dismissed, edged one to the keeper but Afroz was penalised for a no ball. Apart from who gets ahead, this match throws an interesting question - why does a green and lively wicket makes the batsmen hop? Players who otherwise look solid -- on flat tracks -- dance around when they see a green floor. The batsmen here showed that and no surprises for guessing that there has been just one fifty.


Orissa 1st innings: 94

Rajasthan 1st innings: (Beerala lbw Mohanty 0, Yagnik c Patel b Mangaraj 11, Gehlot b Mohanty 6, Khoda c Saigal b Satpathy 37, Doru c Behera b Mangaraj 67, Kanwat lbw Mohanty 4, Jadeja lbw Mangaraj 40, Afroz c Pradhan b Mangaraj 0, Pankaj c Behera b Satpathy 15, Gill not out 37, Aslam c Pradhan b Mangaraj 2. Extras -- b-5, lb-6, nb-14, wd-6 -- 31).

Total: 250

Fall of wkts: 1-0, 2-13, 3-25, 4-90, 5-102, 6-178, 7-178, 8-206, 9-231.

Bowling: Mohanty 21-6-39-3, Mangaraj 21.1-2-97-5, Mullick 11-2-20-0, Saigal 8-3-34-0, Satpathy 11-1-40-2, Behera 6-2-9-0.

Orissa 2nd innings: (SS Dass c Yagnik b Pankaj 9, Paresh Patel c Kanwat b Pankaj 4, Saigal c Jadeja b Aslam 34, Biswal b Pankaj 3, Mullick c&b Afroz 10, RR Parida batting 20. Extras -- b-6, lb-1, nb-4 -- 11).

Total (For 5 wkts) 91

Bowling: Gill 11-6-9-0, Pankaj 14-3-29-3, Kanwat 5-2-9-0, Afroz 12-3-26-1, Aslam 3.1-0-11-1.

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