Karnataka skipper Mayank Agarwal scored a valiant 249 against Saurashtra, to put his side in the driver’s seat in the second semifinal of Ranji Trophy 2022-23 at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday.
Agarwal fought a lone battle for the home side as he took on the potent Saurashtra attack, which had reduced Karnataka to 112-5 in the first day.
“One of the most satisfying knocks in recent times. I am very proud of it,” said Mayank. “I had to be focussed ball after ball. This is not the wicket where you can get into your comfort zone and say ‘I am set and I can play these shots.’
“Yesterday [Wednesday] the need of the hour was to grind it out, keep batting and play a lot of defensive cricket which is exactly what I did. Today [Thursday] was a different challenge after we lost a couple of wickets.
“It was about putting pressure back on them, scoring at a fast rate. A lot of credit should go to the way our bowlers batted. Saurashtra didn’t know what to do after a point and they were getting frustrated.”
Along with Srinivas Sharath, the second-highest scorer in the Karnataka innings with 66, Agarwal rebuild his side back into a fighting position.
After Sharath’s departure, the 31-year-old teamed up with lower-order batters Vidwath Kaverappa and Vasuki Koushik to push his side beyond 400 and take himself to the double-century landmark.
Agarwal was the last man to be dismissed after he was run out while attempting a risky double, which would have got him to his 250.
During his memorable knock, Agarwal also went past Dhruv Shorey (859 runs) to become the top scorer in this Ranji trophy season with 935 runs.