Goa let Himachal Pradesh off the hook


Debutant Gaurish Gawas took 2 for 69 but hosts Goa let visitors Himachal Pradesh off the hook on the opening day of their Group C Ranji Trophy match at GCA academy grounds, Porvorim, Saturday.
It was Himachal Pradesh who won the toss and elected to bat. The visitors were tottering at 36 for 4 at one stage, but recovered to reach 210 for 5 at stumps off 90 overs after half centuries from Amit Kumar (76*) and Mukesh Sharma (73) did the recovery job with a 154-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Shadab Jakati was the other successful bowler for Goa claiming 2 for 56. Sourab Bandekar took 1 for 33.
Former India opener Akash Chopra, who opens for HP, was dismissed cheaply for 2 after being trapped leg before by Gaurish Gawas to give Goa early breakthrough at the score of 12.
Left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati, who went on to claim two more wickets, along with newcomer Gawas reduced the visitors to 36 for 4 in the 27th over to unsettle their rivals.
It seemed after the early burst of wickets that HP would be bowled out cheaply. However, Amit Kumar and Mukesh Sharma had other ideas as they both showed the right temperament and technique to wriggle out of a tough situation and frustrate the Goans with a dogged stand of 154 for the fifth wicket which lasted for almost 60 overs. In the process both the batsmen stroked
Goa heaved a sigh of relief towards the close of play when Sourab Bandekar dismissed Sharma for 73 to reduce HP to 190 for 5.
With just under five overs left to be completed for the day, Rishi Dhawan (18*) and Amit Kumar, unbeaten on 76, added another 20 runs for the sixth wicket to share honours on the opening day.
Brief Score: Day 1- Himachal Pradesh 1st innings 210/5 (Amit Kumar 76*, R Dhawan 18*, 90 overs) vs Goa. [NT]