Rest inflict 404-run defeat on Rajasthan to win Irani Cup

October 5th, 2011 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, Oct 5 (IANS) Rest of India (ROI) inflicted a 404-run defeat on Ranji trophy champions Rajasthan to claim the Irani Cup for the sixth straight time on the fifth and last day of their encounter here Wednesday.

Chasing an impossible target of 618 runs, Rajasthan — who began the day on 28/0 — folded in for 213 to give ROI an outright win. The visitors were anyways on an unbeatable position because of their 263-run first innings lead.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha finished with an overall haul of nine wickets, with figures of 4-60 in the second innings. ROI opener Shikhar Dhawan, who struck two centuries in the match, was named player of the match.

Rajasthan’s openers Aakash Chopra (26) and Vineet Saxena (17) made a cautious start but just when the two looked to have settled down, Ojha struck. He lured Chopra to drive a flighted delivery, which took the edge and was caught by Ajinkya Rahane at the first slip.

Captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar was caught behind off a bouncy Umesh Yadav (2-14) delivery and Rajasthan lost two of their most experienced batsmen in quick succession.

The ROI bowlers pressed on relentlessly. R. Vinay Kumar bowled Saxena and Ojha followed it up by trapping Robin Bist lbw to reduce Rajasthan to 73/4 before lunch.

Rashmi Parida (37) and Ashok Menaria (21), who led the Rajasthan fightback in the first innings, looked poised for an encore but Yadav separated the two. Menaria went for a short, wide ball from Yadav and Patel made no mistake in gobbling it up behind the wickets.

Few overs later, Parida mis-hit an Ojha delivery to be caught at mid-off by Rahul Sharma.

Madhur Khatri stood firm amidst the ruin with his 98-ball 53. His innings ended when he edged Abhinav Mukund at third slip, the ninth wicket to fall.

Ojha wrapped up the match two overs later when he got Sunil Mathur stumped.

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