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Paul strikes vital blows

Jaipur: Opener Gagan Khoda’s fighting half-century went in vain as hosts Rajasthan slumped to 205 for six against Bengal on the first day of the Ranji Trophy elite group B match at the K.L. Saini Stadium on Friday.

Khoda made 86 from 163 balls with the help of 11 fours and a six. He added 82 runs for the third wicket with Nikhil Doru (46), after Rajasthan were put in by Bengal captain Rohan Gavaskar.

Opening bowler Shib Shankar Paul exploited the wet conditions to claim four for 52 and justified Bengal’s decision to field first.

Paul had Vineet Saxena caught behind in the first over and also sent back Rohit Jhalani. Khoda and Doru then revived the home team’s innings but Bengal succeeded in claiming more wickets after their dismissals.

At stumps, Anshu Jain was batting on 22 with veteran Sanjeev Sharma on 18.

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