Speedster Varun Aaron grabbed a five-wicket haul as Jharkhand bundled out Rajasthan for 100 on the opening day of their Elite Group C Ranji Trophy game on Tuesday. In response, Jharkhand were 92 for 5 at stumps, trailing Rajasthan by eight runs. After Jharkhand opted to field, 29-year-old Aaron, an India discard, wreaked havoc as he returned with exceptional figures of 5-22 in 12 overs at the JSCA International Stadium Complex here.
Aaron had powered Jharkhand to a nine-wicket win in their last game against Haryana at Rohtak, when he bagged 6-32 in the second outing. The right-arm fast bowler continued his brilliant form and was ably supported by medium pacers Ajay Yadav (3-35) and Rahul Shukla (1-22). Spinner Anukul Roy (1-8) also played his part to perfection.
Aaron’s wickets included those of Rajasthan skipper Mahipal Lomror (20) and Rajesh Bishnoi (35). Apart from these two, no other batsman contributed with the bat, as the visitors were eventually shot out in 42.2 overs.
Jharkhand also lost their four wickets early, but then Ishank Jaggi (44 batting) and Virat Singh (18) steadied the ship. The duo compiled a crucial 58-run stand for the fifth wicket, which has taken Jharkhand on the cusp of a first innings lead.
At Ranchi: Rajasthan 100 all out (Rajesh Bishnoi 33, Varun Aaron 5-22, Ajay Yadav 3-35) against Jharkhand 92/5 (Ishank Jaggi 44 not out, Virat Singh 18, T M Ul Haq 4-29). Jharkhand trail by 8 runs.
At Guwahati: Assam 121 all out (Ranjeet Mali 28, Riyan Parag 24, Rajesh Mohanty 5-31) versus Odisha 86/3 (Anurag Sarangi 61 not out, Mukhtair Hussain 3-27). Odisha trail by 35 runs.
At Rohtak: Haryana 263/9 (Himanshu Rana 86, N R Saini 64; Krishna Das 5-69) versus Goa.
At Srinagar: Tripura 124 (Ninad Kadam 34, Smit Patel 21, Parvez Rasool 5-30) against Jammu and Kashmir 154/1 (Shubham Khajuria 52, Irfan Pathan 47 not out). Jammu and Kashmir lead by 30 runs.
At New Delhi (Palam): Services 256/8 (Devender Lohchab 71 not out, Nitin Tanwar 39, Shivam Mavi 3-44) versus Uttar Pradesh.