Maniyar rocks Rajasthan
Medium-pacer Sandeep Maniyar bowled his heart out on a pitch that was keeping low to pick up five wickets and restrict Rajasthan to 201 on the opening day of the five-day Ranji Trophy Plate Division final at the Madhavrao Scindia cricket ground here on Thursday.Updated: Feb 02, 2006 23:26 IST
Medium-pacer Sandeep Maniyar bowled his heart out on a pitch that was keeping low to pick up five wickets and restrict Rajasthan to 201 on the opening day of the five-day Ranji Trophy Plate Division final at the Madhavrao Scindia cricket ground here on Thursday.
Saurashtra were 36 without loss at stumps, with the left-right combination of Kanhaiya Vaghela and Sagar Jogiyani at the wicket. The duo was shaky in the beginning but then settled down to see off 13 overs successfully.
Rajasthan's innings received some respectability, courtesy skipper Ajay Jadeja's top-score of 71 and his 89-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Nikhil Doru, who made 31.
However, it was Maniyar who hogged the limelight. He has learnt the trick of picking up five wickets in an innings in domestic matches. His five for 59, including the concluding and decisive spell of 11.3-5-24-4, was his fourth in his last four fixtures, swelling his tally of wickets this season to 38 from seven games.
Jadeja, his experience not only coming from his vast international representations but also playing across the country in the domestic circuit for Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi before opting to lead Rajasthan this season, did not err when he chose to bat. A trace of grass, though not dangerous for batting, might have forced Jadeja to bowl but the loss of his main speedster Sanjay Gill to a hamstring on the morning, made him take first strike.
Rajasthan batsmen, barring Rahul Kanwat at the top and the sixth-wicket duo, lacked application.
Disaster began in the fourth over when the Karnataka-import, Mithun Beerala attempted a rash stroke against Maniyar and edged to wicket-keeper Jogiyani. The stroke was uncalled for, especially so early in the innings. Maniyar's new ball partner, left-armer Sandeep Jobanputra dislodged the other opener Rohit Sharma with a delivery that straightened and knocked down the off-stump. With the visitors making slow recovery through Kanwat and the experienced Gagan Khoda with their 44-run stand for the third wicket, Saurashtra had to work harder and force the rivals into mistakes.
Kanwat settled down nicely with sweetly-timed strokes, beginning his onslaught on Maniyar through the off-side and continuing in the same vein against Jobanputra on the on-side. However, he lost the momentum soon after Gagan Khoda edged left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhruv to first slip Sitanshu Kotak in the bowler's first over. The very next over, Jobanputra, who had been picked for 18 runs including four boundaries in one over by Kanwat (50), returned for his second spell and trapped his nemesis in front.
At 69 for four, Rajasthan required some big partnerships to bail them out. Jadeja has been bringing himself lower down the order to give the others in the team a chance. He has often batted with the tail and made more-than-vital contributions.
Thursday's was nothing surprising. He dealt in boundaries, guiding the ball along its way to the fence 11 times in his two-and-a-half hour stay. At the other end, Doru played the waiting game, giving most of the strike to his skipper. Doru was unlucky when the ball rolled on to the wicket after he had played a defensive shot against Maniyar.
Here began Maniyar's successful third spell. He found the gap between Jadeja's bat and pads to castle the former skipper's woodwork. Among the last five wickets to fall, Maniyar had a hand in four, the other being a run out when Saurashtra captain Jaydev Shah, from covers, brought the stumps down at the non-striker to send Shailendra Gehlot back.
Rajasthan 1st innings: Beerala c Jogiyani b Maniyar 1, Rohit Sharma b Jobanputra 10, Kanwat lbw b Jobanputra 50, Khoda c Kotak b Dhruv 8, Doru b Maniyar 31, Yagnik b Makvana 12, Jadeja b Maniyar 71, Afroz c Jogiyani b Maniyar 9, Gehlot run out Shah 0, Singh not out 8, Aslam c Kotak b Maniyar 0.
Extras: (w 1) 1
Total: (all out, 74.3 overs) 201
FoW: 1-7, 2-25, 3-69, 4-69, 5-91, 6-180, 7-192, 8-192, 9-193, 10-201
Bowling: Jobanputra 21-7-73-2, Maniar 20.3-7-59-5, Vaghela 2-1-4-0, Dhurv 14-1-31-1, Makvana 16-6-34-1, Kotak 1-1-0-0,
Saurashtra 1st innings: Vaghela not out 15, Jogiyani not out 17,
Extras: (nb 4) 4
Total: (for no loss, 13 overs) 36
Bowling: Gehlot 5-1-18-0, Singh 5-1-12-0, Aslam 2-1-2-0, Afroz 1-0-4-0