Kotak anchors Saurashtra after MP speedsters fire | india | Hindustan Times
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Kotak anchors Saurashtra after MP speedsters fire

Sitanshu Kotak anchored Saurashtra reach a respectable 226 for 6 on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Plate Group semi-final against Madhya Pradesh here on Wednesday.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2006 09:32 IST

Sitanshu Kotak anchored Saurashtra reach a respectable 226 for 6 on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Plate Group semi-final against Madhya Pradesh here on Wednesday.

Having already scored his highest score of the season, Kotak was unbeaten on 95 -- five runs short of his ninth first-class ton.

Rakesh Dhruve was batting on 34 at the other end. The southpaw duo shared an unbeaten seventh wicket stand of 106 to stabilise Saurashtra's innings after they had a disastrous start.

Coming in to bat after the hosts were reduced to 64 for 3 on the first morning, Kotak stabilised the innings by adding 44 off 159 balls in partnership with Firoz Bambhaniya.

However, after applying himself in the second session, he scored at will on the Rajkot Municipal Corporation's Madhavrao Scindia Ground's wicket that eased later in the day, after helping seamers early.

The stylish left-hander hit the MP bowlers to all corners of the park. The new ball, taken after 86 overs, made no impact. A lifeline by glovesman Naman Ojha and Devendra Bundela off part-time off-spinner S Abbas Ali with Kotak on 18 cost MP dearly.

Earlier, MP pacers justified their skipper's decision to field first on a seamer-friendly wicket, reducing Saurashtra to 67 for 4 at lunch.

Anand Rajan struck the early blow by forcing an edge off opener Kanhaiya Vaghela (4) to Sachin Dholpure in the sixth over. After a short spell of four overs, Rajan changed ends and again succeeded in the first over of second spell. Sagar Jogiyani (26), the other opener, slashed at an outgoing delivery to give Dholpure his second catch.

Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Shah was involved in a horrible mix up with Prashant Joshi and was run out for four with both batsmen stranded in the middle of the wicket.

Saurashtra were soon reduced to 66 for 4 when paceman Sanjay Pandey produced a brilliant in-cutter that zipped in to shatter into Joshi's middle and off-stump. Rajan, with a haul of 4 for 81, took his season's tally to 22 wickets.

First Published: Jan 26, 2006 09:32 IST