Vadodara: Bengal speedster Ashok Dinda continued his fine show in Ranji Trophy this season, as his third five-wicket haul helped visitors restrict hosts Baroda to 284 for nine at stumps, on the first day of their Elite Group match at Motibagh ground.

While a first innings lead would be enough to take Baroda through to the knock-out rounds, Bengal need atleast three to beat the drop while a win with bonus points can take them through to next round.

Dinda, who is back in contention for a berth in national side, took five 96 from 24 overs - his 10th five-for in first-class cricket. The most important part was that all of Dinda's wickets came off the old ball as he got his first wicket in the 46th over of the innings. Dinda now has 32 wickets in the competition.

With a seaming track on offer, Bengal captain Sourav Ganguly didn't hesitate to field after winning the toss.

After comeback man Sourav Sarkar bowled his trademark in-swinger to get rid of left-handed opener Anupam Gupta who edged one to Shreevats Goswami behind the stumps, Aditya Waghmode (62, 143 balls, 9x4) and Rakesh Solanki (73, 113 balls, 14x4) added 124 runs for the second wicket before the former was trapped leg before.

Solanki, Ambati Rayudu (20) and skipper Pinal Shah (30) and Shatrunjay Gaekwad (9) were out cheaply with Dinda taking three of the four wickets. Veer Pratap Singh dismissed the dangerous Rayudu as Baroda were 222 for six.

Irfan Pathan (42) and Swapnil Singh (24) added 56 runs for the seventh wicket after which Dinda cleaned up the latter to complete his five-wicket haul.

With the ball seaming around a fair bit, Bengal skipper Ganguly also rolled his arm over and got two wickets in the process with his cutters. First it was Irfan who nicked one to Shreevats and a ball later also induced an edge of Sankalp Vohra (0).

Brief Scores: Baroda 284/9 (Rakesh Solanki 73, Aditya Waghmode 62, Ashok Dinda 5/96, S Ganguly 2/1).

Vineet, Kanitkar propel Rajasthan

Resolute half centuries from Vineet Saxena and skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar propelled defending champions Rajasthan to 209 for three on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Elite division match against Orissa at the Sawai Man Singh stadium on Wednesday.

Put into bat by the visitors on a wicket which had a tinge of green, Rajasthan lost former India opener Aakash Chopra (7) in the eighth over of the day before Saxena (74) and Kanitkar (64) combined together to add valuable 149 runs for the second wicket.

However, the fall of both well-set batsmen in quick succession came as welcome relief for the Orissa bowlers, who otherwise had to toil hard for rewards.

Saxena, who hit a fine hundred in the previous match against Saurashtra, continued the good work to notch up yet another half-century that was laced with eight hits to the fence, while Kanitkar looked at ease during his 178-ball stay at the crease before Biplab Samantray accounted for his wicket in the Group A match.

Saxena followed suit a few balls later as Alok Mangaraj got through his defense to leave the hosts at 158 for three.

Rajasthan, who are chasing a big victory to keep their hopes of a knockout berth alive, were at that stage not very comfortably placed, but Robin Bisht (24) and Rashmi Ranjan Parida (25) batted sensibly to help them to a respectable position at the the draw of stumps.

For the visitors Deepak Behera, Mangaraj and Samantray shared a wicket each.

Brief scores: Rajasthan first innings: 209 for three in 90 overs (Vineet Saxena 74, Hrishikesh Kanitkar 64; Mangaraj 1/27).

(Agencies)