Vineet Saxena's double ton puts Rajasthan on top in Ranji final

Riding on Vineet Saxena's double century, holders Rajasthan showed their intent to wear down Tamil Nadu, piling up 404 for two in the first innings on the second day of the Ranji Trophy final at Chepauk yesterday. Going by Rajasthan's crawl on a pitch that has proven to be the villain with its slow pace and low bounce, the five-day game appears heading for a tame draw unless Tamil Nadu collapse dramatically to inject some life into the proceedings.

Vineet Saxena celebrates his double ton yesterday. 

There was little to commend about on a day that saw openers Saxena (207, 25x4, 1x6) and Aakash Chopra (94) going about their task with as much, if not more, caution than they had shown the previous day. Chopra missed out on a century that was there for the taking as he was foxed by the low bounce and was trapped leg-before to left-arm spinner Sunny Gupta to provide Tamil Nadu their first success of the match.

Aakash Chopra

H Kanitkar

Thereafter, skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who showed far more aggression and enterprise to put some momentum into the innings, added 126 for the second wicket while Saxena inched his way to a double century. Kanitkar fell attempting a drive off a tossed up delivery by off-spinner Sunny Gupta and edged to wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik.

In came Rajasthan's most prolific batsman this season, Robin Bist and there was no reprieve for Tamil Nadu bowlers who continued to toil and sweat more in hope than with any degree of confidence as the surface offered no assistance.

Power of concentration
Saxena displayed remarkable powers of concentration as also his fitness to bat two full days, though the pace at which he scored could ultimately work against Rajasthan should the net run rate come into equation in the event of Tamil Nadu not being able to complete their first innings.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan 404-2 in 180 overs (Aakash Chopra 86, Vineet Saxena 207 batting; Sunny Gupta 1-8, Aushik Srinivas 1-105) vs Tamil Nadu

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