Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Ashok Menaria to the rescue again for Rajasthan

Ashok Menaria scored his second half-century in the contest against Andhra Pradesh as Rajasthan lived to fight another day.

Ashok Menaria scored 79 off 143 balls on day three for Rajasthan. (File photo)   -  FILE PHOTO/ K. PICHUMANI

Just as Rajasthan found itself falling behind on day three, a fighting performance from middle-order batsmen Ashok Menaria (79, 143b, 13x4) and Rajesh Bishnoi (49, 89b, 6x4, 1x6) lifted its spirit at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday. By stumps, Andhra had reduced the home side to 243 for 8 in its second innings, a lead of just 137.

Maneria’s dismissal in the final session restored the status quo after Andhra’s bid to consolidate its position was thwarted in the afternoon session. He edged K. V. Sasikanth to the slips where Hanuma Vihari, the captain, took the catch. Andhra’s fielders celebrated loudly, evidently glad to see the back of the batsman who had been a thorn in their flesh. Tailender Rituraj Singh fell soon after.

Picking up the pieces after Rajasthan had been reduced to 96 for 5 soon after lunch, Menaria and Bishnoi played assertively to provide some respite for the home side. Menaria was strokeful right from the outset, driving Sasikanth through extra-cover and flicking C. V. Stephen for a boundary mid-on early on in his innings.

Besides his regular strokes, he employed the lofted strokes as well, to get the runs. Bishnoi drove and cut the deliveries as well, and out of the blue, when all seemed to be going well for the duo, he was trapped lbw by a delivery from Stephen that pitched around leg stump and straightened.

Earlier, Yash Kothari (41, 125b, 4x4) and Robin Bist (30, 93b, 3x4) steadied the ship after a mix-up between Kothari and Mahipal Lomror resulted in the latter’s dismissal. Kothari and Bist were subdued for considerable periods but seemed assured in their defensive strokes and leaves. They survived some jitters as well; Kothari survived a loud and confident appeal for lbw when a delivery from off-spinner Mohammed Shoaib thudded into his pads. The opener went on to play a number of elegant strokes, including a steer through point and two fluid drives off P. Vijay Kumar.

Eventually Stephen got rid of Bist by inducing an edge off him to the slips, and Kothari was dismissed, too, leaving their side in tatters. It was up to the next pair to disallow the side from folding up quickly.

 

The scores

 

Rajasthan – 1st innings: Y. B. Kothari c Bharat b Sasikanth 11, Chetan Bist lbw Sasikanth 10, Mahipal Lomror c Gnaneswar b Stephen 15, Robin Bist lbw Sasikanth 0, Ashok Menaria c Vihari b Sasikanth 74, Rajesh Bishnoi b Stephen 0, Salman Khan c Vihari b Stephen 0, Rituraj Singh b Stephen 5, Tanveer-ul-Haq c Gnaneswar b Vijay Kumar 13, Aniket Choudhary run out 7,  Khaleel Ahmed (not out) 6, Extras (lb-10) 10. Total (in 49.5 overs) 151.

Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-27, 3-27, 4-41, 5-47, 6-57, 7-79, 8-112, 9-122.

Andhra bowling: Vijay Kumar 13-4-24-1, Stephen 20-4-67-4, Sasikanth 16.5-3-50-4.

 

Andhra – 1st innings: C. R. Gnaneshwar lbw Kothari 73, D. B. Prashanth Kumar c C. Bist b Rituraj 31, Hanuma Vihari c C. Bist b Rituraj 0, Ricky Bhui lbw Rituraj 10, K. S. Bharatc R. Bist b Rituraj 52, Karan Shinde lbw Khaleel 3, Jyothi Sai Krishna c sub b Haq 7, Shoaib Mohammed Khan run out 1, K. V. Sasikanth lbw Lomror 54, C. V. Stephen b Lomror 10, P. Vijay Kumar (not out) 1, Extras (nb 5, b 1, lb 9) 15. Total (in 91.5 overs) 257.

Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-61, 3-82, 4-177,  5-180, 6-182, 7-185, 8-201, 9-256.

Rajasthan bowling: Haq 20-6-60-1, Choudhary 17-1-61-0, Khaleel 23-4-65-1, Rituraj 26-9-36-4, Lomror 4.5-0-24-2, Kothari 1-0-1-1.

 

Rajasthan-2nd innings: Yash Kothari c Bharat b Sasikanth 41, Chetan Bist lbw Sasikanth 9, Tanveer-ul-Haq c Vijay Kumar b Shoaib 1, Mahipal Lomror run out 4, Robin Bist c Vihari b Stephen 30, Ashok Menaria c Vihari b Stephen 79, Rajesh Bishnoi lbw Stephen 49, Salman Khan (batting) 16, Rituraj Singh c Krishna b Vijay Kumar 2, Extras (lb 11, w 1) 12. Total (for eight wickets in 95.2 overs) 243.

Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-15, 3-26, 4-88, 5-96, 6-199, 7-235, 8-243.

Andhra bowling: P. Vijay Kumar 21.2-7-51-1, C. V. Stephen 27-8-78-3, K. V. Sasikanth 31-12-57-2, Mohammed Shoaib 16-1-46-1.

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