Ranji Trophy final: Saxena, Chopra power Rajasthan to 221 on Day 1

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 19, 2012 14:03 hrs

CHENNAI: Rajasthan openers Aakash Chopra and Vineet Saxena showed loads of patience on a placid strip as Rajasthan walked away with the honours on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy final against Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

At stumps, Rajasthan opting to bat, were 221 for no loss with Saxena batting on 120 in company of Chopra who scored a dogged 86.

Interestingly, it was same opening pair that had frustrated Tamil Nadu during the semi-finals in Jaipur last year when they added 181 for the first wicket. They have already bettered their earlier effort.

With 22-yard at Chepauk offering nothing much for the bowlers, Rajasthan who boasts of domestic heavyweights like Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Rashmi Ranjan Parida and Robin Bist would certainly look to put up a total in excess of 550.

The gameplan for the past two seasons have been simple for both Saxena and Chopra. They have a risk-free approach towards batting. Both showed enormous patience as they waited for the loose deliveries and never really played any shots that involved risk.

The lifeless track helped their cause but one can't take away any credit from the duo who had to toil hard in humid conditions.

Chopra, who had left almost anything and everything outside the off-stump had faced 273 deliveries hitting nine fours while Saxena played 269 balls hitting 16 boundaries in the process.

Tamil Nadu skipper Laxmipathy Balaji tried every sort of bowling change that he could have made using as many as eight of them without much luck.

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