East Zone's Ishank Jaggi, who was not included in the Duleep Trophy semifinal against South Zone but got the nod in the final, grabbed the opportunity with both hands by not only preventing a first-innings collapse, but also leading his team to a respectable total against Central on Tuesday.
The right-handed batsman smashed his sixth first-class ton and helped his side to a fighting 232 on the third day of the Duleep Trophy final at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
No sooner had Jaggi hit the century that Jalaj Saxena bowled Alok Mangaraj to take his second five-wicket haul and bring an end to the East innings.
Central were 12 without loss at close on a day when nearly two hours of play was lost to rain after lunch.
Jaggi, who came in following the departure of Manish Vardhan, would not have had fond memories of the last Duleep final against Central in February, as the Jharkhand batsman had contributed only nine runs in his team's victory.
However, it was a different tale at Chepauk. Down three wickets, Jaggi began his innings cautiously.
Lack of momentum
The innings could not gather momentum as wickets kept falling regularly and Jaggi could only watch in disappointment.
Shiv Gautam, aided by two dropped catches, was the only one who hung around for a while and gave Jaggi some respite.
With the tail-enders making a beeline to the dressing room, Jaggi decided to play freely. With only the last man, Mangaraj, for company, the well-set batsman started playing some courageous hook and pull shots and also stepped out to Murali Kartik and Saxena, smacking them over the head.