Nath, Rajpoot rumble in their Ranji Trophy opener

Akshdeep scored his highest score in First Class cricket while Ankit bagged a five-wicket haul.

Uttar Pradesh captain Akshdeep Nath led from the front to stroke his highest First Class score while fellow Kings XI Punjab player Ankit Rajpoot picked up a fifer to guide their side to an innings victory over Goa in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group C opener in Kanpur on Sunday.

Photo credit: Akshdeep Nath/Instagram

Electing to field first, Goa were shot out for 152 in their first innings with Shivam Mavi taking 4/25 and Rajpoot ending up with 2/53. Yash Dayal and Saurabh Kumar too picked up two wickets each as the bowling unit came together.

UP made the most of the paltry Goa total as their batsmen piled on the runs. Mohammad Saif scored 126, Priyam Garg an unbeaten 117 while Nath top scored with a near-double ton. His 194 came at a strike rate of 63.81 with 15 fours and 2 sixes. It was only his third First Class ton and his highest score in the format.

In the process, Nath crossed the 1000-run mark in First Class cricket as well.

When Goa came out to bat in the second innings, after UP declared at a mammoth 564/4, their stay at the crease was not to last long. Rajpoot thundered his way through the first three wickets leaving the visitors reeling at 35 for 3. They couldn't quite recover from the early blows as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

Rajpoot came back into the attack and cleaned up the final two batsmen to pick his sixth First Class five-wicket haul with Goa all out for 165. The fast bowler ended the innings with 5/41 and a match-haul of 7/94.

 

After a long time i achive this...its beginning not end....#rajpoot

A post shared by Ankit Singh Rajpoot (@ankitrajpoot.412) on

It gave UP an innings and 247 run-win, seven points while Nath picked up the Man of the Match award for his efforts.

Skippers' day out

It was a good opening set of matches for other domestic batting captains too. Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary scored 55 against Himachal while Mandeep Singh, who was announced to return to Kings XI Punjab recently, crafted 68 against Andhra. Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin turned up for Tamil Nadu and picked up 4/85 against Madhya Pradesh in the only innings he bowled. All three matches were drawn.

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