October 31, 2000

Rajasthan - UP game at interesting stage

The Central Zone Ranji Trophy match between Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh was in an interesting stage at the end of the second day. At the KL Saini stadium in Jaipur on Tuesday, the hosts were 183 for five at stumps in reply to UP's first innings total of 270.

A fine all round show by AW Zaidi highlighted the day's play. First he scored 53 at No 8 and played a leading role in UP, 196 for six when they resumed, reaching 270. The two overnight batsmen Zaidi and Mohd Saif (67) added 68 runs for the seventh wicket. Though there was precious little batting after this, Zaidi kept the innings going until he was ninth out at 262 in the 120th over. While Saif batted four hours, faced 202 balls and hit five of them to the ropes, Zaidi faced 109 balls and hit five fours.

When Rajasthan batted, Zaidi continued his good work with the ball and took three of the first four wickets that fell with only 78 runs scored. Among them was the important wicket of skipper Gagan Khoda (20). Saket Bhatia and PK Kumar (41) then added 63 runs for the fifth wicket and finally Bhatia and Sanjeev Sharma put on 42 runs during an unbroken sixth wicket partnership till stumps. For his unbeaten 52, Bhatia has faced 98 balls and has had eight boundary hits. Sharma is on 22 and much will depend on this pair on Wednesday. Zaidi by close had figures of three for 49. Play was stopped 3.2 overs early due to bad light.