Gill and Pankaj Singh rout Orissa for 94
Rajasthan 108 for 5 lead Orissa 94 (Gill 6-20) by 14 runs
Sanjay Gill and Pankaj Singh shared ten wickets between them as Rajasthan knocked Orissa over for a paltry 94 and then took a first-innings lead - albeit with the loss of five wickets - on the opening of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group semi-finals at Jaipur. Winning the toss and electing to field, Ajay Jadeja's decision reaped immediate rewards as Orissa's batting order capitulated to Gill and Singh's outstanding display.
Gill proved too hot for any Orissa batsmen to handle, picking up career-best figures of 6 for 20 - from 17 nagging overs of right-arm medium pace - while Singh, in just his sixth match, bagged 4 for 26 to complete the rout. Pravanjan Mullick, Orissa's highest scorer this season, was one of three batsmen to fall for a duck.
However, Debasis Mohanty, the Orissa captain and former Indian bowler, proved he had a few tricks up his sleeve by reducing Rajasthan to 108 for 5 with a good opening spell. Gagan Khoda, also a former national player, looked good for his 37 before falling to the offspin of Sanjay Satpathy. With Jadeja at the crease, however, Rajasthan have a good chance of extending their lead tomorrow.
Orissa, riding into this match on the basis of a great season - they accumulated a league-leading 18 points while remaining unbeaten - need to come back strong if they aspire to make the finals. Mohanty, with 27 wickets this season, will need to call on all his domestic experience in restricting Rajasthan to a total that his side can overhaul.