Dhawan, Mukund tons leave Rajasthan gasping
Success comes when one learns from mistakes and keeps improving. Rest of India openers Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund put on a record opening partnership in the Irani Cup - 310 runs. Shalabh Manocha reports.cricket Updated: Oct 05, 2011 00:19 IST
Success comes when one learns from mistakes and keeps improving. Rest of India openers Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund put on a record opening partnership in the Irani Cup - 310 runs. As Dhawan cruised to his second century of the game for another first, the latter did not throw his wicket away like he did in the first innings and got his third consecutive ton in the event.
When Rest declared their second innings at 354 for two, Ranji champions Rajasthan were left staring at a mountain of runs. With a day to go, the hosts will have to entirely focus on how to stave off defeat.
Rajasthan, who fought back to 307 for 6 overnight, were bowled out for 400 before lunch. The only challenge for Dhawan and Mukund was to see off the new ball as they had the cushion of 263 runs, having piled up 663 in their first innings.
Once they saw off the early threat, Delhi's Dhawan took over the attacking and raced to his 12th first class hundred off 90 deliveries. Their partnership was the first time an Irani Cup opening stand was surpassing the 300-mark.
Tamil Nadu's Mukund, dropped after failing in the first two Tests in England, took only 126 deliveries to reach triple figures.
The Rajasthan bowlers had no answer as the two left-handers hit every shot in the book. Dhawan hit off-spinner Robin Bist for four boundaries and a six in one over to reach 150 but holed out Sumit Mathur to long on (22x4, 3x6). Four overs later, Mukund (19x4, 2x6) was also caught at the long on fence.
Mukund said having batted with Dhawan on the A tours made things easier. "Shikhar is an attacking batsman while I am more of an accumulator. We were just playing our game and not trying to match each other."
Hyderabad left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha captured five wickets to hasten the end of Rajasthan's innings.
Ashok Menaria, who began cautiously in the morning, tried to hit Ojha out of the park, only to be caught by Mukund at long on for 79. Ojha trapped Chahar leg before and wrapped up the innings by taking his 12th five-wicket haul in first class matches.