Virender Sehwag marked his international retirement with a scintillating ton for Haryana as Jayant Yadav also joined the century-makers’ list to help the side post 319 for eight on a dramatic Day 1 of their Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka in Mysore on Thursday.
Sehwag, who announced his international retirement on Tuesday, did not disappoint the spectators as he cracked a strokeful 136 runs in 170 balls with 16 fours and 3 sixes. Yadav, whose 100-run knock was laced with 11 fours and a six, also joined the party as the duo stitched together a 206-run third-wicket partnership.
When stumps were drawn, Haryana were in a strong position with tail-enders Harshal Patel and Ashish Hooda, batting on zero and six, respectively.
Defending champions Karnataka, though, showed courage to strike back after the tall stand as the bowlers bagged five wickets for just 54 runs in the final session. Sharing the new ball with captain Vinay Kumar, HS Sharath led the charge with a hat-trick to end the day with impressive figures of 4-47.
His hat-trick wickets were that of Sachin Rana (33), Rahul Dagar (0) and Nitish Saini (0). The hat-trick, though, was claimed in separate overs. David Mathias bagged two wickets while Vinay Kumar and left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith claimed a wicket each.
Arriving at the crease after the fall of Rahul Dewan (9), Sehwag quickly got into his groove and executed some of his trademark hand-eye coordinated shots on both sides of the wicket.
As he was looking ominous on the other side of the wicket, scoring freely, the Nawab of Najafgarh lost his partner Chaitanya Bishnoi (13) after he stitched a 35-run stand for the second wicket with the opener. Notwithstanding the early blows, the former Delhi swashbuckler, along with Yadav, shouldered the responsibility of stabilising the tottering Haryana innings.
Sehwag and Yadav, sent the Karnataka bowlers for a leather hunt in their marathon stand, which they crafted in just 290 balls.
Electing to bat first, Haryana lost their first wicket in the eighth over of the match in the form of Dewan, when he was claimed by Sharath after Karun Nair held on to the catch. The visitors lost their second wicket when Bishnoi was sent back to the pavilion by Mathias after Chidambaram Gautam gloved a clean catch, leaving Haryana struggling at 53 for two in under 20 overs.