Rest of India beat Saurashtra by 175 runs to win the Irani Cup as 21 wickets fell on the third day at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium in Rajkot on Tuesday.
Parth Bhut’s seven-wicket spell in the second session hit the Rest of India (RoI) like a zooming bus as he ended up with figures of seven for 53. The RoI camp would have clutched at anything that looked like a lifeline as it lost nine wickets for 64 runs in the session to be bowled out for 160 in its second innings.
Chasing 255, though, Saurashtra was tasered and tied up in the third session as it was bowled out for 79, courtesy of left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar (six for 43, match haul of ten for 108).
The first session, in stark contrast, was a mushroom cloud of casual. Mayank Agarwal (49, 93b, 6x4) and Sai Sudharsan (43, 104b, 3x4) added 85 runs off 172 balls for the first-wicket partnership and the Rest of India camp would have felt jolly good with the world at large.
After lunch, it got perfectly rotten for Rest of India. Parth had Sudharsan at midwicket by Pujara, Sarfaraz Khan bowled as he attempted the reverse sweep, and Yash Dhull caught and bowled. Left-hander Shams Mulani came down the track and missed a ball that did not turn and went with the angle to be stumped.
KS Bharat top-edged a reverse sweep to be caught by the bowler himself. Pulkit Narang missed a ball that minutely straightened to get bowled through the gate, and Vidwath Kaverappa was out leg before wicket.
Effectively, Parth (twelve for 147) became the first bowler from Saurashtra (and Gujarat) to get a ten-wicket match haul in the Irani Cup. This is the third time that two bowlers, that too from either team, have got ten-wicket hauls after leg-spinners Baloo Gupte (for Bombay) and B.S. Chandrasekhar in 1964, and Sairaj Bahutule (for Mumbai) and Anil Kumble in 1997.
The scores (day three):
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