Seamer Ankit Rajpoot emerged as the leading wicket-taker for Uttar Pradesh in his third consecutive Ranji Trophy Elite Group C match as he bagged five crucial wickets that led to a draw against Services at Delhi’s Palam A stadium.

Photo credit: UPCA/Twitter

In the first innings, while Shivam Mavi ended up with the best bowling figures of 4/44, it was Rajpoot’s strikes that stood out. The tall pacer, who plays for Kings XI Punjab in the VIVO Indian Premier League, managed to usurp key members of the top order, including Services’ leading batsmen Rahul Singh, captain Rajat Paliwal along with Ravi Chauhan.

He dismissed the trio in succession to reduce the opposition from 93/2 to 106/5. Services managed to stablise their innings as Devender Lochab steadied the ship with the tail. The wicketkeeper top-scored for his side with 75 before succumbing at the end to Rajpoot’s pace with Services bundling out for 260. Rajpoot ended the innings with figures of 4/74.

Uttar Pradesh posted a massive 535/9 in response leaving Services with an uphill task, made even tougher when Rajpoot struck in the seventh over with the wicket of opener Anshul Gupta. However, Services ensured they battled out a draw ending with 225/2.

With Gupta’s wicket, he edged out Mavi to become the highest wicket-taker of the match, with a haul of 5/122, in his third straight outing following his performances against Goa and Odisha.