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    Ranji Trophy: Mumbai openers reply well to Rajasthan

    Aditya Tare and Kaustubh Pawar put on 78 after Dishant Yagnik and Pankaj Singh took the defending champions past 400.

    Aditya Tare and Kaustubh Pawar put on 78 after Dishant Yagnik and Pankaj Singh took the defending champions past 400.

    Jaipur: Mumbai openers Aditya Tare and Kaustubh Pawar gave a solid riposte to Rajasthan's mammoth first-innings total of 478 by taking the score to 76 for 0 at stumps
    on day two of the big Group A encounter here on Saturday.

    Starting from their overnight total of 269 for 2, Rajasthan lost Vineet Saxena for an overnight 114 in the fourth over when the seasoned opener played forward to a back-of-the-length delivery from Dhawal Kulkarni and edged to Tare, the wicketkeeper. Ashok Menaria and Robin Bist then added 45 for the fourth wicket. While Menaria hit a string of boundaries by delicately flicking and driving the ball, Bist was obdurate and scored just 1 run off 30 balls in the first hour.

    Bist broke the fetters by smashing consecutive boundaries off Kshemal Waigankar and moved into the 20s. After a grueling first day, the seamers got some assistance off the wicket in the first session as the ball deviated considerably. The Maneria-Bist partnership was broken the former Menaria was caught behind on the bowling of Pawar for 26, and the part-timer soon got rid of Bist when he flirted outside the off stump. Bist scored 34 off 119 balls.

    Dishant Yagnik and Rashmi Parida steadied the innings through a fine partnership. Parida was watchful while Yagnik scored at a fair clip, especially in the region of backward square leg with some deft leg glances. From 380 for 5 at lunch, however, wickets fell in a heap.

    Parida (28) was the first to go to Kulkarni and Rituraj Singh and Gajendra Singh perished in quick succession as Rajasthan were reduced to 399 for 8. A 62-run stand between Yagnik and Pankaj Singh got the score past 400, with Yagnik batting sensibly as he made sure to keep strike by taking singles at the end of overs. Pankaj tried numerous times to hit Ramesh Powar out of the ground and did connect once in the 148th over, before Suryakumar Yadav got him to pick out Ankeet Chavan at long-on.

    Last man Aniket Choudhary started off well by hitting a couple of boundaries off Abhishek Nayar but Yadav castled him in his next over. Yagnik remained unbeaten for 76 which included 13 boundaries. At that point, tea was declared. Kulkarni was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets while Yadav and Pawar grabbed two each. Powar was the unlucky bowler as he toiled for 20 overs without any reward. He tricked batsmen on a lot of occasions but wickets eluded him.

    Tare and Pawar then negotiated the new ball with patience. Tare was more aggressive between the two, collecting his first boundary in the second over off Rituraj before walloping a straight drive and cover drive off Pankaj. Pawar held one end doggedly and only put the loose balls away.

    Brief scores: Mumbai 76 for 0 in 28 overs trail Rajasthan 478 in 152 overs (Dishant Yagnik 76*) by 402 runs