Irani Trophy, Day 1: Bist scores ton but Rajasthan collapse and Yadav five boosts ROI




Rest of India takes the first day against determinant Rajasthan team in Irani Trophy.

Robin Bist continues impressive domestic form from last season. Are the Indian team selectors watching?

Robin Bist, last year leading run scorer in Ranji began the new season in style with an unbeaten century against the bowling line-up that includes three prime bowlers of Indian test team. Selectors recently showed hard sticks to Bist by not selecting him in India A team for New Zealand tour and also not giving him a game in previous tour of WI despite his impressive domestic season.

As always India’s domestic kicked off quietly with last season Ranji champions Rajasthan taking on the Rest of India team in the traditional season opener of Irani Trophy. Rajasthan who were missing key batsmen Maneria and strike bowler Pankaj Singh due to injuries, negotiated the new ball decently in seaming track despite losing their regular opener Saxena in sixth over. After seeing through the pace attack of Ishant and Umesh, Kanitkar and Lamba fell to medium pace of Binny. Struggling at 46/3, Bist along with seasoned campaigner Parida and keeper Yadnik rescued the team.

Bist was at his comfort zone from the beginning as he was timing and placing the ball beautifully. He raced to fifty in just 82 balls and marched along for more runs. Parida, 34 runs, gave good support to Bist in 105 runs fourth wicket partnership, made a poor judgement of leaving the ball of Ishant Sharma, that actually came in and knocked off his off stump. With pitch easing out, ball getting older and ROI spinners, Ojha and Harmeet not getting much assistant, Rajasthan went along steadily and crossed 200 runs for loss of four wickets after wobbling initially. With just 17 overs left for the day, Yadav returned to take five wickets as Rajasthan collapsed to 253 all-out from 218/4.

Yagnik, 40 runs, was found at the wrong end of fortunes to a close LBW shout and thus Yadav began his fray in the day. Soon after, Yadav run through the tail of Rajasthan batting in no time. Deepak Charar gone for first ball duck, Khatri in his sixth ball for zero runs and Singh in his 12th ball for six runs. Although wickets kept falling at one end, Bist, who was in his zone, completed the well deserved fighting century. Bist unbeaten innings of 117 runs included 14 fours and 2 sixes.

With a time still left for a over to be bowled, Rest of India openers Rahane and Vijay safely ended the day at 2/0.

Brief Score: Rest of India 2/0 trail Rajasthan 253 (Bist 117*, Umesh Yadav 5/55, Ishant Sharma 2/17) by 251 runs

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