A 400-plus score in one day is not great news for bowlers. But it was here at the Madhav Rao Scindia Stadium that India and Sri Lanka notched up scores in excess of 400 during a one-day international in December last.
The scenario was similar on Monday after West Zone opted to bat on the opening day of their Duleep Trophy match against North. Four batsmen scored fifties and Abhishek Nayar got to a well-crafted century (102 n.o.) as West ended at a massive 425 for five.
Even as Nayar added another feather to his cap, after the hundred against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy semifinal, Parthiv Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma would be kicking themselves for failing to convert their half centuries to three figures. The wicket offered almost no help to the bowlers and the ball kept low and came on at an easy pace. North did not have an attack to boast of and the dead track made their task difficult.
Coming in at the fall of Pujara soon after lunch, Nayar got his runs quickly. He got stuck into young left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra and hit him for three straight sixes. He also scored 15 boundaries with his usual array of shots, predominantly the cuts and pulls.
Nayar reached his century with a cross-batted shot to the mid-wicket fence off spinner Ravi Inder Singh. The hundred put an end to the string of promising innings that were cut short by reckless shots. Patel, Pujara and Sharma looked comfortable but gifted their wickets away to innocuous deliveries.