Irani Trophy, Day 4: Rest Of India Secured Irani Cup Again




There is an element of risk needed to succeed but if you are afraid, then you can’t expect to win.

Irani Trophy, Day 4: Rest of India secured Irani Cup again

Irani Trophy, Day 4: Rest of India secured Irani Cup again

Rajasthan could not have asked for anything better from Rest of India (ROI) at the end of day 4 than asking to bat for just 97 overs at maximum in 2nd innings to earn a draw in the match after being bowled for under follow-on target in 1st innings.

Rajasthan started the day 4 with the hope to bat for as long to reach the follow-on target of 463 and also bribe the valuable playing time to stop ROI from having plenty of time to force the result in the match. Sadly they have fallen short of their first wish but ROI decided to gift their second wish of playing less time in 2nd Innings. Starting from the overnight total of 307/6, Menaria and Charar safely negotiated the first hour but soon after both fell into Ojha trap to leave Rajasthan in tatters. Menaria fell on the last ball of the Ojha’s first over of the day when trying to clear the long on and Charar played for turn that came with angle from Ojha in his next over. Just when it looked over for Rajasthan, Khatri and Mathur played a cameo to take the total into 400 and lessen the trail by atleast 50 runs through their valuable efforts. In mean time, Ojha got another five wicket haul in his first class career to show his ability to Indian selectors.

ROI started the 2nd Innings with huge 1st innings lead of 263 runs and they needed just 200 more runs to force the result in the match. Rajasthan bowlers instead of either dismissing or protecting ROI batsmen from scoring, they offered freebies to them just like they did in 1st innings. From the start of the innings, ROI batsmen were scoring at nearly 6 an over with a boundary in almost every over. At tea, both Mukund and Dhawan are in nineties with the lead climbing to 463 runs. Surely another half an over of aggressive play is enough to put the Rajasthan out of the game but ROI team had another idea in their mind.

First over after tea, Dhawan scored another century in the match and became first player in 49 years of Irani Trophy to score a century in each of the innings. Soon after that Mukund too reached his hundred and this is third successive hundred in Irani Trophy match. Both batsmen started to break free after reaching the milestone and surprisingly they are allowed to continue bat for longer than needed which eventually minimized the chance for ROI win rather than Rajasthan win in the match. Even after both Mukund and Dhawan got dismissed for 154 and 155 runs respectively, declaration never came. After the lead reached 618 runs, finally ROI decided enough is enough and let’s give our bowlers a chance now.

Rajasthan ended the day with 28 for no-loss and they have to play out 90 more overs at maximum tomorrow to earn an undeserved draw in the match. Since ROI got huge lead in 1st innings which will automatically ensure Irani Trophy for them if match ends in draw as per the rule but they actually had more than a chance to beat the Rajasthan team on their den.

Score:

Rajasthan 400 (Bist 93, Parida 85, Menaria 79, Ojha 5-86) and 28 for 0 trail Rest of India 663 and 354 for 2 dec (Dhawan 155, Abhinav 154) by 590 runs.

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