Report: Irani Cup – Mum vs ROI, day 4
After action-packed first three days, the fourth day of the Irani Cup was a rather sedate affair. Rest of India slowly but surely went about stretching their lead to 413 runs over Mumbai. At stumps ROI were 296 for 4 with Ambati Rayudu (118*) and Suresh Raina (40*) at the crease.
Murali Vijay (35) put up a half-century partnership with night watchman S Sreesanth (18) for the second wicket. The stand ended when Rohit Sharma affected a direct-hit from covers to send Sreesanth packing.
After calling Sreesanth for a suicidal run, Vijay threw his wicket away as well. Trying to swing at a wide ball from Shardul Thakur, he holed out at short cover where Rohit came into action again.
After the two quick wickets, Manoj Tiwary (69) and Ambati Rayudu stitched a 140-run partnership to take ROI’s lead past 300. The duo countered the Mumbai attack with solidity, eliminating any risk whatsoever. They both scored at the strike-rate of mid-40s during their stand.
Tiwary’s innings ended on a bizarre note as his attempt to paddle Vishal Dabholkar resulted in a top edge that flew in the hands of Wasim Jaffer. Tiwary stood his ground, suggesting the ball had gone off his forearm. However, in the end, the umpire made the correct decision.
Rayudu continued to anchor the ROI innings with Suresh Raina as company. The scoring-rate upped to a certain extent after Raina’s arrival at the crease. Rayudu, whose strike-rate was meandering in mid-40s, became touch more positive. He smashed three sixes in his innings, including a straight hit to Ankeet Chavan.
Rayudu brought up his century in the 89th over, off Shardul Thakur, who tried to disrupt Rayudu’s concentration by peppering bouncers at him. Not only did Rayudu negotiate the short stuff well, he got to his hundred by cutting Thakur for a four in the same over.