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Irani Cup | Spinners lead Saurashtra fightback after Sai Sudharsan’s 72


Proven performer: Sudharsan showed no signs of tiredness in his impressive innings for RoI after representing Surrey in the County championship just a couple of days ago.

Proven performer: Sudharsan showed no signs of tiredness in his impressive innings for RoI after representing Surrey in the County championship just a couple of days ago.
| Photo Credit: File photo R.V. MOORTHY

It’s as easy as breathing to accept that, for a viewer, multi-day cricket is the most unpredictable of all forms of cricket. It lets you relax, even slouch and yawn, and suddenly stir and gasp!

At the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium here on Sunday, a few impatient kids chanted ‘Wiiick-ate, Wiiick-ate’ even as early as half an hour after the start of first day of the Irani Cup 2023. They gamely kept at it, occasionally going off like cooker whistle.

They were adequately rewarded in the second session. With each wicket that Saurashtra took, there was glee.

For, the first session was such. Rest of India (RoI) skipper Hanuma Vihari won the toss and opted to bat, and openers Mayank Agarwal (32, 53b, 6×4) and Sai Sudharsan (72, 164b, 7×4) gathered 69 runs off 112 balls. For his six fours, Mayank square drove, cover drove, played inside-out, swept, and danced down the track, and it was all merry. That’s why, when he was dismissed caught at slip off left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, he was disappointed and frustrated as he yelped and grunted on his way back.

Solid knock

Sudharsan was largely assured as he barely swept or stepped out of the crease. He played an uppish drive between the midwicket and mid-on fielders off Chirag Jani, cover drove Prerak Mankad, pulled off-spinner Yuvrajsinh Dodiya to the midwicket boundary, and cut Dharmendrasinh for boundaries.

He had his struggles as well. He edged for four and to no man’s land, was beaten, got unsettled by unexpected bounce at times, and was drawn out of his crease for the ’keeper to miss gathering the ball and get him stumped off the spinners.

Aptly, the spinners proved to be more effective in the second session, which yielded four wickets for 79 runs off 30 overs. Three more fell in the third as left-arm spinner Parth Bhut finished the day with four for 85.

The scores:

Rest of India: Sai Sudharsan c Mankad b Parth 72, Mayank Agarwal c Mankad b Dharmendrasinh 32, Hanuma Vihari c Vyas b Parth 33, Sarfaraz Khan c Harvik b Dharmendrasinh, Yash Dhull c Jackson b Parth 10, K.S. Bharat c Jani b Parth 36, Shams Mulani lbw b Dodiya 32, Saurabh Kumar (batting) 30, Pulkit Narang c Vyas b Dodiya 12, Navdeep Saini (batting) 8; Extras (b-6, lb-6, nb-4): 16; Total (for eight wkts. in 90 overs): 298.

Fall of wickets: 1-69, 2-138, 3-161, 4-179, 5-183, 6-242, 7-248, 8-286.

Saurashtra bowling: Unadkat 10-2-18-0, Jani 4-1-10-0, Dharmendrasinh 27-3-89-2, Mankad 2-0-10-0, Dodiya 20-2-74-2, Parth 27-2-85-4.



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