Report: Irani Cup 2013 – Mum vs ROI, Day 1
Murali Vijay (116) notched up is 11th first-class century to ensure Rest of India (ROI) have an upper-hand after the first day of the Irani Cup against Mumbai. ROI were 330/5 by the time stumps were called at the Wankhede Stadium.
This was Vijay’s second consecutive Irani Cup century, after the 266 he scored against Rajasthan five months ago. His knock against the former Ranji champions in 2012 is the highest individual score in the history of Irani Cup.
Although the Tamil Nadu batsman batted beautifully, his innings wasn’t without a few lucky breaks. He was beaten multiple times by the new ball on the swinging Wankhede wicket and was dismissed off a no-ball once.
Leading Mumbai in the absence of Ajit Agarkar, Abhishek Nayar called the toss right and inserted ROI in to bat. However, the ploy that had worked like a dream against the Saurashtra batting line-up in the Ranji Trophy final, proved ineffective against the seasoned ROI batsmen.
Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan (63) looked at ease against the depleted Mumbai bowling attack. The duo raced to a 144-run opening stand at close to four runs per over.
Dhawal Kulkarni, who ran through the opposition to bag a five-wicket haul in the Ranji final, failed to provide early breakthroughs this time around. There was help from the wicket and the new ball did do a bit. But the movement was nothing that ROI’s experienced first-class batsmen couldn’t handle.
Shardul Thakur provided Mumbai their first wicket in form of Dhawan who went fishing outside off without moving his feet and played onto his stumps. After that fortunate breakthrough, Thakur’s luck ran out. An over later he drew Vijay forward for a drive, got the edge and it was successfully taken by the ‘keeper. But it all happened off a no-ball. Vijay was then batting on 79.
Manoj Tiwary, returning from an injury, looked a bit rusty. He survived a couple of early lbw appeals and scored dodgy boundaries. He seemed to get into the groove just when Nayar trapped him on his legs. Tiwary’s struggle ended at 37 runs after 66 balls.
Nayar continued to impress with his seam-up medium pacers as he got rid of the centurion Vijay in the first over after Tea. He did Vijay in with a peach of an inswinger – a delivery with which he also got Tiwary out.
Rohit Sharma got rid of Ambati Rayudu (51), while Kulkarni finished off the day by dismissing Wriddhiman Saha. Suresh Raina (36*) and skipper Harbhajan Singh (0*) were at the crease for ROI at the end of day’s play.
Day 1: Rest of India 330/5 (Vijay 116; Nayar 2-49) vs Mumbai