For the entire day, Rajasthan’s Robin Bist toiled hard for an unbeaten century as the Ranji champions found themselves in a tight spot. While Bist deserved every bit of the spotlight, it was Rest of India’s Umesh Yadav who walked away with the day’s honours. His late spell saw Rajasthan being pushed into the dunes on Day One of the Irani Cup tie at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday. A five-for from the Vidarbha pacer saw Rajasthan succumb to 253 all out from a sound 215 for four at one stage.
Yadav lacked control in his first spell and seldom exploited the freshness of the wicket. Thus, Pujara’s decision to toss the ball to Yadav late in the day, with new ball due in seven overs did come as a surprise.
This time, however, Yadav was spot on with his length. He pitched the old ball further up, getting it to move away. Dishant Yagnik was the first of Yadav’s five victims in what was an incisive fourth spell. It must be noted though that most of his wickets were lower-order batsmen. Yet, it was a significant spell as Rajasthan finished well short of a feel-good total, leaving Bist stranded at the other end. Remember, Rest of India have a formidable line-up. Apart from Stuart Binny, their top seven have international caps.
Rajasthan weren’t on a firm footing early in the innings after ROI skipper Cheteshwar Pujara invited them to bat. They had a wobbly start, losing Vijay Saxena with just 13 runs on board. The opener nicked an Ishant Sharma delivery that deviated just a shade.
Stuart Binny, with his gentle medium pace, bowled a probing spell, first dismissing Hrishikesh Kanitkar leg-before. Ankit Lamba was pouched at gully off Binny after getting his eye in, making it 46 for three.
All this while, Bist played a pivoting role. First, he strung together a 105-run partnership off 195 balls with Rashmi Parida to lift Rajasthan to 151 for three before the latter fell misjudging a Sharma delivery that blew his off stump.
Bist was involved in a brief, enterprising half-century stand with Yagnik too. However, ROI stuck every time a partnership threatened to flower. Bist was unbeaten on 117 off 187 balls, a knock studded with 14 fours and two sixes. The unwavering focus and precision in shot selection were on full view. Bist was a prolific run-getter in the last Ranji season; and going by his Irani Cup knock, it appears that the 24-year-old is here to stay.
Rajasthan 1st innings: A Lamba c Rahane b Binny 29, V Saxena c Saha b Sharma 0, H Kanitkar lbw b Binny 8, R Bist not out 117, R Parida b Sharma 34, D Yagnik lbw b Yadav 40, D Chahar c Saha b Yadav 0, M Khatri c Saha b Yadav 0, G Singh c Badrinath b Yadav 6, A Choudhary b Yadav 0, S Mathur run out (Pujara) 4
Extras: (B5, LB7, NB3) 15
Total: (all out; 86.3 overs) 253
(2.92 runs per over)
Fall of Wickets: 1-13 (Saxena, 4.1 ov), 2-41 (Kanitkar, 20.4 ov),
3-46 (Lamba, 24.1 ov), 4-151
(Parida, 56.1 ov), 5-218 (Yagnik,
73.4 ov), 6-218 (Chahar, 73.5 ov),
7-220 (Khatri, 75.4 ov), 8-234
(Singh, 79.2 ov), 9-238 (Choudhary, 81.6 ov)
Bowling: I Sharma 12-6-17-2, U Yadav 20-7-55-5, S Binny 15-2-38-2, P Ojha 25.3-5-78-0, H Singh 13-2-45-0 (NB3), S Badrinath 1-0-8-0
Rest of India 1st innings:
A Rahane batting 2, M Vijay batting 0
Total: (0 wickets; 1 over) 2
(2.00 runs per over)
Bowling: A Choudhary 1-0-2-0