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November 8, 2013
Baroda 228 (Wakaskar 70, Rayudu 65, RP Singh 4-50) trail Uttar Pradesh 302 (Patel 5-78) by 74 runs
After missing the entire 2012-13 Ranji season, RP Singh had marked his comeback to first-class cricket with a three-wicket haul against the touring West Indians recently. He went one step further in his first Ranji match in nearly two years, taking 4 for 50 to send Baroda collapsing to 228 on the second day in Moti Bagh. On a pitch dominated by the spinners, RP found sharp swing late in the afternoon to lead UP's fightback after Baroda were sitting comfortably at 184 for 3.
The day began with the Baroda offspinner Utkarsh Patel taking his fifth wicket to bowl out UP for 302. Patel and the left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt both finished with five-wicket hauls. Seeing the amount of turn and bounce available on a surface that was only a day old, the captain Suresh Raina brought himself on and struck with two wickets very early in his spell. The left-handed opener, Saurabh Wakaskar, steadied the innings with 70 before he fell to the left-arm spinner Praveen Gupta.
Rakesh Solanki and Ambati Rayudu then added 84 for the fourth wicket, the highest of the innings. Baroda dominated the second session, but like UP did on the opening day, let the advantage slip in the third.
The slide began when Solanki was caught at short leg off Gupta before the captain Yusuf Pathan holed out to long-off off the legspinner Piyush Chawla. Yusuf began the season with an explosive 70 in a one-day game for India A against West Indies A, but since then his performance has slipped. Looking to attack early, he charged Chawla and fell for a disappointing 7.
RP claimed the first wicket by a seamer in the match when he trapped Pinal Shah lbw from round the wicket. Bowling from wide of the crease, RP got the ball to swerve in to the right-handers, hitting the stumps on two occasions. RP, who last played for India during the England tour of 2011, has struggled with injuries over the last few years. His aim would be to play as many four-day games as possible to convince the selectors he can make a comeback for India's future tours.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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