Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s coverage of Day 4 of the Irani Cup. This is Lalith Kalidas bringing you the updates.
Dipak: Bad light stops play. Looks like that is stumps for the day. MP 81/2 while chasing 437. A solid start but still a long road ahead on the final day.
Madhya Pradesh needs 356 to win on Day 5.
FIFTY for Himanshu Mantri. He reaches the mark off 76 balls and the MP dressing room rises to applaud the captain’s effort.
Dipak: MP 75/2 with skipper Himanshu Mantri batting well on 48. The light has come down drastically in the last few minutes. The light meter is out and the umpires are checking if it is good to carry on. And they carry on. 20 minutes of play left in the day. I think the umpires have allowed play as long as spinners are in action.
Harsh Gawali has dropped anchor behind skipper Mantri is moving nimbly towards a well-crafted half-century. Madhya Pradesh would want them to see off the next 20 minutes.
Saurabh to Shubham, OUT!
Dipak: Saurabh Kumar strikes. Has Shubham Sharma bowled with a delivery that didn’t bounce. He had a bat-pad appeal that the umpire referred earlier in the over. Before they checked the catch, Saurabh had over-stepped.
Shubham Sharma 13(53) b Saurabh Kumar
50 up for Madhya Pradesh. Short ball angling in. Mantri adjusts well to the low bounce and drags it front of square for FOUR.
Atit Sheth to Shubham Sharma, CHANCE!
Dipak: Oh dear. Shubham Sharma survives a close run out. He tried to go for a 2nd run and there was a superb direct hit from Abhimanyu Easwaran from cover point. Replays show he had just a small part of the bat behind the line. But it was needless. absolutely needless.
Dipak: After that first wicket, MP has survived with both batters finding the boundaries with ease. Navdeep Saini has not bowled as he did in the first innings. He looks a bit flat. In these conditions, Atit Sheth might be a good option. He is more of a swing bowler and will like the breeze that’s blowing across the ground.
And just as I type it, Mayank Agarwal signals to Atit to warm up. Could expect him to replace Saini from the pavilion end. Mukesh Kumar has looked the better bowler so far.
While Mukesh has lured Shubham into a couple of nervy drives outside the off-stump, Mantri has used Saini’s pace to find two crisp FOURs through cover and long-off. There comes the third boundary as Mantri gets a sharp inside-edge through square-leg.
Final innings of the final First-Class match of the domestic season. Mukesh Kumar bowling to debutant Arham Aquil.
Mukesh to Aquil, OUT!
Dipak: Oh my god. The debutant Aquil is out for a pair! Arham felt he got a rough decision in the first innings when given caught behind. Looks like it was another marginal call. Was it drifting down leg? Not according to the umpire. Nightmarish start to your first-class career.
The ROI fielders walk out as Arham Aquil and Himanshu Mantri walk out for Madhya Pradesh.
Dipak: After lunch, only 45 runs came for Rest of India. Not sure if it is going to make a difference. From the looks of it early Tea has been taken here at Gwalior. 54 overs bowled so far in the day and that leaves MP with anywhere between 34-36 overs to bat out in the last session.
Shubham to Saini, OUT!
Dipak: Ninth wicket down. Shubham Sharma strikes. dismisses Navdeep Saini for duck. 246/9 . MP coach Chandrakant Pandit signalled to his team to bring the off-spinner on instead of Kumar Kartikeya and it has worked.
Navdeep Saini 0(21) lbw Shubham Sharma
Shubham to Mukesh, OUT!
Dipak: And it is all over. Like the first innings, the last two RoI wickets fall off successive deliveries. It was Avesh then and now Shubham who takes the last two wickets. He has dismissed Mukesh Kumar off the first ball, stumped. Good work by skipper Himanshu Mantri. Mukesh dragged his back leg out and didn’t get it back enough.
Mukesh Kumar 0(1) st Himanshu Mantri b Shubham Sharma
Seven runs have come in the last seven overs. Narang and new batter Navdeep Saini continue to dead-bat and consume overs. Wonder what’s the motive behind such a session of batting for ROI.
Saransh to Jaiswal, OUT!
Dipak: Jaiswal’s stay comes to an end finally. out for a well-made 144. Misses out on 150 as he is bowled by Saransh Jain.
The ball was changed recently after it went out of shape and the change has worked for MP. Beautiful delivery from Saransh. Turned away from the left-hander, just enough to beat his outside edge and hit off-stump. Still no signs of declaration as drinks is taken.
Yashasvi Bhupendra Jaiswal 144(156) b Saransh Jain
Dipak: A half-hour after lunch, don’t see a point in RoI batting. Not a lot of intent is being shown by Jaiswal or Pulkit Narang. With a lead of over 400, the declaration makes sense. Jaiswal is now on 139. The old ball is not helping the bowlers either. The spinners don’t look threatening.
Dipak: Jaiswal hoicks Avesh Khan over midwicket for a SIX and that takes Rest of India’s lead over 400.
Second session begins. Kumar Kartikeya is up with the ball. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Pulkit Narang return to the crease for ROI.
Dipak: It is lunch on day 4. It was an exciting session. MP got six wickets but the session belonged to that man again, Yashasvi Jaiswal. At 21 years of age, he has become only the third player to score a century in each innings of the Irani Cup.
It looked like he was batting on a different pitch even as batters were falling at the other end. Unbeaten on 121 off just 132 balls with 15x4 & 2x6. He had a subdued Ranji season after missing a few games due to illness. But has now come back strongly. He started the first-class season with a double hundred against North East Zone in the Duleep Trophy and has bookended it with a double hundred and a century. In between, he also scored a match-winning double hundred in the Duleep Trophy final for West Zone.
Rest of India 201/7, leads by 391 runs. Regarding a declaration, Jaiswal played out a maiden in that last over before lunch. So it looks like RoI will bat until he gets out or maybe even get another 200. MP did well to take four quick wickets before Atit Sheth counter-punched a bit and took the lead beyond 350. Don’t see a viable path for MP to comeback into this game.
Dipak: Big question now is will we have a lunch declaration from Rest of India? Nearly 400 runs ahead. But five sessions are still left in the match. Considering the conditions are still pleasant, it is something worth considering.
Saransh to Saurabh, OUT!
Dipak: Make it 7 down. Saurabh Kumar is trapped leg before by Saransh Jain for 0. Came in with the arm and is beaten on the inside edge of the bat. Plumb.
Saurabh Kumar 0(9) lbw Saransh Jain
Atit Sheth, OUT!
Dipak: Oh, disaster. Atit Sheth is run out. Misunderstanding with Jaiswal. Sheth hits to covers and Jaiswal doesn’t respond. Sheth out for 30. Have to say, it was a bit of an ambitious call from Sheth. Also, no need for quick singles when your side is ahead by 373. Nonetheless, RoI 183/6. last 30 minutes before lunch on Day 4. Jaiswal too didn’t help things there by responding to the call initially before backing out. Poor stuff overall.
A Sheth 30(57) Run Out Anubhav Agarwal
HUNDRED FOR YASHASVI JAISWAL!
Dipak: Jaiswal now quickly moves from 89 to 97, first a sweep off Saransh Jain through square leg and then whips him off the backfoot through wide of long on. What a knock so far. The MP spinners have not been effective enough. A bit quicker, and flatter. not using the breeze to get drift in their deliveries.
100 for Jaiswal, a gentle late cut behind slip. 3rd boundary of the over and he goes from 89 to 101 in a flash.
Dipak: Atit Sheth, from Baroda, has quickly taken the game away from MP. He is batting on 28. He started with two boundaries off Avesh Khan through the leg side before hitting Anubhav Agarwal through the off-side for consecutive boundaries. After surviving a close leg-before shout, he hit Saransh Jain over long on for a six.
Quite an eventful session so far. Jaiswal has added 35 to his overnight total but has witnessed four wickets fall around him
Dipak gives a recap: An eventful first 75 minutes of play on day 4. MP have fought back strongly, taking four wickets. 51/4 in 14 overs so far in the day.
MP bowlers after the first day, have been very disciplined in targeting the stumps. The weather has been pleasant too, giving some help to the pacers. It is overcast, the sun is still not out yet and a gentle breeze is blowing across. Helps the speedsters to stay fresh for longer.
Despite this with a lead of 323, RoI is still in the driver’s seat. The bounce is variable and we are seeing more deliveries keeping low. Yashasvi Jaiswal, on the other hand, has looked untroubled but hasn’t had a lot of strike. He hit Kushwah for two consecutive boundaries early in the day, guiding towards the third man and has quietly moved on to 86 off 86 balls. Another ton beckons.
Ankit to Upendra, OUT!
Dipak: Make it 5. Upendra Yadav is out leg-before. The batter though was not impressed with the decision. Shows the bat to the umpire. And he has every right to be, had a huge inside edge.
Upendra Yadav came and hit a few nice back-foot punches through the offside. Tries to pull a delivery that didn’t rise and gets a inside-edge on to his pads. But the umpire gives it out.
Upendra Yadav 13(11) lbw Ankit Singh Kushwah, Rest of India
Atit Sheth is in at 7.
Ankit to Dhull, OUT!
Dipak: Make it 3 for the day. It is all happening! Yash Dull is out for a golden duck as he tries to play on the up and is on the move. He edges the ball to the first slip. A poor shot from Dhull, facing his first ball and trying to walk across and hit it on the rise. Slight movement for Ankit, enough to find the edge.
An overcast morning, the sun is not out here and MP bowlers have made full use of the conditions
Upendra Yadav in at 6.
Yash Dhull 0(1) ct Harsh Gawali b Ankit Singh Kushwah
Avesh to Indrajith, OUT!
Dipak: Avesh strikes again. has B. Indrajith trapped leg-before for a duck. poor outing for the TN batter. It was a problem Indrajith had in the first innings as well, falling over towards the off-side and getting into a tangle trying to play across. The bounce saved him quite a few times in the first innings. This time not so much. Hits him just below the knee roll.
B Indrajith 0(9) lbw Avesh Khan
Yash Dhull walks in at 5.
Avesh to Easwaran, OUT!
Dipak: First wicket of the day for MP. Avesh Khan strikes, has Abhimanyu bowled. A brief wait as they checked the no ball, but Avesh Khan was well behind the line. Just like for Mayank Agarwal yesterday, the ball kept low. Abhimanyu rooted on the crease and it skidded off the surface.
Abhimanyu played for the length there and the ball just didn’t rise. Considering the previous ball was a short one, and he missed trying to roll his wrist over it, understandable why he didn’t press forward..
A R Easwaran 28(63) b Avesh Khan
Baba Indrajith in at 4.
100 up for Rest of India as Jaiswal plays the latest of late-cuts off the top of off-stump against Ankit Kushwah. He guides the ball past a straightish third for FOUR. Exquisite.
A brief halt in play as Avesh hits Easwaran with a rising delivery to the helmet. Easwaran seems to have recovered quickly from the sharp blow. Avesh concedes five from his first over.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Abhimanyu Easwaran return to the middle. Avesh Khan up with the ball.
Irani Cup Day 3 Recap
Yash Dubey’s valiant century (109, 258b, 16x4) was not enough to prevent Madhya Pradesh from conceding a huge first-innings lead against the Rest of India on day three of the Irani Cup here at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium on Friday.
MP was bowled out for 294, with off-spinner Pulkit Narang taking four wickets to help RoI secure a 190-run lead.
First-innings double-centurion Yashasvi Jaiswal continued from where he left off, racing to an unbeaten half-century (58 batting, 53b, 8x4, 1x6) as RoI finished the day on 85 for 1 in its second innings and with a lead of 275 runs.
Jaiswal played some delightful shots, hitting Avesh Khan for three consecutive boundaries before lofting Ankit Kushwah for a six and four down the ground.
Earlier, MP resumed the day on 112 for three and was on the back foot immediately when Navdeep Saini breached overnight batter Harsh Gawli’s (54) defence ending his 114-run partnership with Dubey.
From 145 for five, Dubey and Saransh Jain (66) steadied things with a 96-run stand for the sixth wicket to help the home team avoid the follow-on.
Dubey, who started his innings with fluent drives through covers and down the ground on day two, had to play within himself on Friday against some tight bowling.
The 24-year-old was also the beneficiary of some poor catching by RoI fielders as he was dropped twice, first on 84 by the keeper Upendra Yadav off Narang in the last over before lunch.
Crucially, Dubey - who made a match-winning century in the Ranji Trophy final last year - got another reprieve on 99 when Mayank Agarwal dropped him at first slip off Saini, allowing him to complete a brace and get to his landmark.
For RoI, Narang was the best bowler on the day, with the off-spinner showing impeccable control over his length and creating chances.
He eventually bowled Dubey with a classical off-spinner’s delivery that spun in sharply from outside the off-stump before accounting for Jain, who also was dropped off his bowling.
- S Dipak Ragav