Jaipur: Buoyed by his performance on day one of their Ranji Trophy match against Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, Rajasthan medium pacer Pankaj Singh said that it's the result of bowling in the right areas that worked for him as well as for his fellow seam bowlers.
Pankaj, along with Rituraj Singh and Aniket Choudhary, bowled with venom to restrict MP to a modest 256 in their first innings. Pankaj and Rituraj shared four wickets between them, while Aniket got the remaining two wickets for the home side. "We bowled in the right areas, although there was not much lateral movement available," Pankaj said after the day's play at the KL Saini Stadium here.
Pankaj also conceded that at one point of time they had MP reeling at 71 for 5 and should have dismissed the opposition below 200. "We started extremely well and should have restricted them to a much lesser total than what they eventually managed," Pankaj added.
Praising his new-ball partner Rituraj, who was the wrecker-in-chief by picking up the first three wickets, Pankaj said "Rituraj was exceptional with his line and length and he was duly rewarded."
Pankaj has been the best bowler for Rajasthan so far in this season. He started with a nine-wicket haul against Bengal in the season opener in Kolkata, while he toiled hard for his one wicket in the second game against Mumbai.
His effort on Saturday also came after his magnificent first spell in which he beat the batsmen outside their off stump consistently before getting the prized scalp of opposition skipper Devendra Bundela in the third spell. Bundela was batting well for 53 until Pankaj trapped him right in front.
He was also given the second new ball by Vineet Saxena, the stand-in skipper for Rajasthan for this game, to break the stand between Rameez Khan and Anand Rajan, who had shared 88 runs for the eighth wicket and the 27-year-old paceman responded by claiming the wickets of the two set batsmen and the No. 11 Ishwar Pandey. "After putting in a lot of effort in the earlier spells, I was waiting for the second new ball to strike further and it worked well for me," he said.
MP coach Mukesh Sahni said the batsmen from his team didn't apply themselves well and they should have given respect to the conditions, especially the pitch, which was favouring the bowlers in the first session. "Our batsmen didn't apply themselves well," Sahni said. "The shot that some of our batsmen played and got out were not expected of them. They should have played out the first session as it was favouring the bowlers."
Sahni also said one of the batsmen, who got the start, should have gone on to make a big score. "Devendra [Bundela] generally plays a big knock whenever he gets set but today that was not the case. Rameez [Khan], Jalaj [Saxena] and Anand [Rajan] also played well but one of them needed to make a big score which couldn't happen."