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Irani Cup: Rajneesh Gurbani puts record-breaking Vidarbha in control vs Rest of India

Rajneesh Gurbani broke the back of Rest of India’s batting after Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha posted a record Irani Cup total in Nagpur.

cricket Updated: Mar 17, 2018 20:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
Irani Cup,Rajneesh Gurbani,Vidarbha
Vidarbha’s Rajneesh Gurbani celebrates after dismissing KS Bharat of Rest of India during the Irani Cup match at VCA stadium in Nagpur on Saturday. (PTI)

Rest of India rode Hanuman Vihari’s unbeaten 81 and a 51 by opener Prithvi Shaw to finish Day 4 of the Irani Cup at 236 for six wickets in Nagpur on Saturday. Rajneesh Gurbani bowled hosts Vidarbha to a commanding position after the Ranji Trophy champions declared at 800 for seven, a record.

Rest of India trail by 564 runs and the fact that Vihari will only have the tail for company means only an extra-ordinary fightback on Sunday can deny Vidarbha the Irani Cup.

Rajneesh Gurbani, who made the headlines during the Ranji Trophy final, was the wrecker-in-chief as his four wickets for 46 runs rocked the Rest of India’s batting. The right-arm pacer carried the good work done by the batsmen and put the new ball to good use.

Rest of India lost half their side for 90 with batting mainstay Karun Nair scoring 21 and Mayank Agarwal just crossing double digits.

Earlier in the day, Vidarbha continued to pile on the runs. Apoorv Wankhede, the 26-year-old from Amravati, scored an unbeaten 157 as Gurbani too chipped in with a quickfire 22 off 27 balls. Wasim Jaffer (286) and Ganesh Satish (120) were Vidarbha’s other centurions.

Vidarbha’s 800 for seven declared in 226.3 overs is the highest ever in a Irani Cup match. It was also seventh highest total on Indian soil in first class cricket. Rest of India, who scored 737 for seven declared at Bengaluru in 1990-91, held the previous record.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 20:03 IST