Irani Trophy: Vidarbha Limit Rest to 330 After Vihari-Mayank Show
Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha fought back superbly after a dogged hundred from Hanuma Vihari and a stroke-filled 95 from Mayank Agarwal to bowl Rest of India out for 330 on the opening day of the Irani Trophy at Nagpur on Tuesday, 12 February.
Vihari and Agarwal, both members of India’s historic Test series-winning team in Australia in January, shared a 125-run stand for the second wicket, but once Agarwal’s free-flowing knock came to an end, the innings withered away after a middle-order collapse.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s problems against slow bowling continued as he fell to Aditya Sarwate (3/99) for 13, to add another prized scalp to the left-arm spinner’s possession after he dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara twice in the Ranji Trophy final last week.
Sarwate was well supported by ambidextrous spinner Akshay Karnewar (1/45) and veteran off-spinner Akshay Wakhare (3/67).
Vihari, who had scored a hundred in the last Irani Cup too, held the innings together scoring 114 off 211 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. It was in complete contrast to Agarwal's innings, which was laced with 10 fours and three sixes.
27-year-old Agarwal, who made his India debut against Australia in the Boxing Day Test last year, missed out on a deserving hundred after being dismissed by seamer Yash Thakur.
Agarwal paced his innings well as he repeatedly peppered the off-side field and was in a mood to punish anything on his pads.
Vihari, who took time to settle, was later in his usual element. The Andhra batsman, however, survived a scare on 24, when he edged to first slip off Sarwate, but the ball touched the ground even as Vidarbha skipper Faiz Fazal claimed a catch.
However, once Rahane was gone, edging a turning delivery to gully, the Rest innings lost its fizz. From 231/3, suddenly, they slumped to 258/7 as Vihari reached his 16th first-class hundred.
Shreyas Iyer (19) and Ishan Kishan (2) failed to contribute, which brought about Rest's downfall.
Vihari, despite the fall of partners at the other end, continued to flourish as he took the team past the 300-run mark before Sarwate bowled another classical left-armer's delivery that turned away from the right hander to take the edge.
Brief Scores: Rest of India 330 all out (Hanuma Vihari 114, Mayank Agarwal 95, Akshay Wakhare 3/67, Aditya Sarwate 3/99) versus Vidarbha.