Pandey, Ojha help Madhya Pradesh to safety

After being outplayed on the first two days in Jaipur, Madhya Pradesh ended the third in a better position by restricting Rajasthan’s first-innings lead to 123, and then setting up a strong second innings. They may now escape with a draw, and not suffer outright defeat.

Fast bowler Ishwar Pandey and wicketkeeper-opener Naman Ojha made MP’s recovery possible. Rajasthan were dismissed 379 due to Pandey’s six-wicket haul, and then Ojha’s unbeaten century took MP to 200 for 1 at stumps, ahead by 77. With the green wicket not offering much assistance to the bowlers, and without a quality spinner, Rajasthan may find it difficult to force a result on the final day.

Pandey had taken four wickets on the second day, including those of stand-in captain Vineet Saxena, Ashok Menaria and centurion Rashmi Parida. He claimed two more on the third morning. Resuming at 306 for 6, wicketkeeper Sidhant Yagnik and Madhur Khatri began the day well for Rajasthan, hitting four boundaries in four overs. But then Pandey settled into a nagging line to left-hand batsman Yagnik, who edged one in the ninth over of the day to keeper Ojha. Read more
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