Rajasthan v Rest of India, Irani Cup 2011-12, Jaipur, 1st day October 1, 2011

Dhawan, Rahane put Rest of India in charge

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rest of India 400 for 3 (Dhawan 177, Rahane 117*) v Rajasthan

Two centuries - an aggressive, substantial one from Shikhar Dhawan and a solid, unbeaten one from Ajinkya Rahane - almost ensured that Rest of India couldn't lose the Irani Cup outright. They scored quickly on the opening day against Ranji Trophy champions Rajasthan, lost only three wickets, and amassed 400 by stumps in Jaipur.

Dhawan scored 177 off 165 balls, an innings that contained 32 fours and one six. Having been dropped from India's one-day squad after the tour of West Indies, Dhawan did not waste this opportunity to stake his claim again. He added 190 runs for the second wicket with Rahane, who adapted smoothly to the change in format. Having impressed during the limited-overs games in England, Rahane switched into five-day mode and batted with patience to end the day on 117 off 212 balls. He will have to revert to one-day mode against England after the Irani Cup tie is settled.

Rajasthan's bowlers struggled, with last season's hero Deepak Chahar going wicketless for 120 runs in 21 overs. His new-ball partner Aniket Choudhary also conceded more than four an over in 17 overs.

Dhawan began to attack as early as the day's fifth over, when he hit four consecutive boundaries off Chahar. The first two were driven through mid-off, the next two pulled and cut as the bowler dropped short. The other opener, Abhinav Mukund, wasn't as quick, his first fours coming in the 12th over when he drove and glided Choudhary down the ground and through gully. Dhawan reached his 50 off the first ball after drinks, off 51 balls.

Rajasthan's first bit of relief came in the 19th over, when Mukund edged medium-pacer Sumit Mathur on to his stumps. Rest of India were 77 for 1. Choudhary should have dismissed Dhawan, on 80, in the final over before lunch but Chahar misjudged the top-edge at long-leg. The Dhawan-Rahane stand took Rest of India to lunch on 122 for 1.

There was little joy for Rajasthan in the second session. Dhawan got to his century off 119 deliveries, sweeping offspinner Madhur Khatri for two, and celebrated with a six over midwicket next ball. He and Rahane added 145 runs to their partnership and only shortly before tea were they separated. Dhawan had clouted Chahar down the ground for three successive boundaries but in the next over, from Khatri, he missed a slog sweep and was bowled. Rest of India went into tea on 280 for 2.

Choudhary began the final session positively for Rajasthan, trapping Manish Pandey lbw for 16. The dismissal cut short a bright start, for Pandey had struck four boundaries during his brief stay. Rahane then led a period of consolidation for Rest of India, moving steadily towards his century, which he reached with a straight drive to the boundary off Chahar. He had a solid partner in Parthiv Patel, who was unbeaten on 55, and they added 113 runs for the fourth wicket before stumps.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    manish pandey is a useless batsman india have produced .He is a lottery ticket and inconsistant player.He is the most inconsistant player who plays for just money

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    @Biju.. Does selection comittee have hand in preparing pitches too? @Ayush.. I wouldnt like to put the word fluke but Chahar does need this type of matches to evolve as a pace bowler is tough tracks.. @AbAdvani.. Even VVS was same like this until the monumental innings.. Hope Dhawan does get that type of break n utilise his talent at the international level..

  • AB on October 2, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Dhawan will keep plundering centuries against hapless bowling attacks but will keep getting exposed against quality pace bowling --it goes to show how much the gulf is between international bowling and Indian bowling -A guy who barely did anything in WestIndies stands tall among runs in the domestic cricket -it is a worrying sign for India as it reflects the lack of quality pace bowling -maybe we should encourage our friends (pace bowlers) from across the border to start playing in domestic cricket -hopefully their pace will rub on some of our bowlers too

  • Jayaesh on October 1, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    I got to say Manish Pandey got a rough decision by the umpire who was simply inconsistent.... Manish Pandey was looking in omnious touch before he got out....hope he gets a big one in 2nd innings......Deepak Chahar looks like a pale version of Praveen Kumar.....Sad

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    I believe the RoI are to hot too handle.............bcoz they have many players representing India and will play well to stake a cliam in Indian side and Rajasthan could have only won this Cup had there been a normal Ranji Team.I strongly believe that Deepak Chahar was a fluke in the Ranji season.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    It is such a pity to see the National Champions' insipid and schoolboy bowling.. can't even say bowling attack.. you can't bowl at 110-120s! Atleast 135s! Cmon!

  • Sumeet on October 1, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Manish Pandey had a brilliant opportunity today but he messed it up. I don't think he would have got a better wicket than the Jaipur one. It's as flat as they come.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    selection committee nothing learn from England tour. other wise they will not prepare like this pitch. Sikhar Dawan how much struggled to face fast bowlers. but here he playing so easily. This pitch only batsman helping pitch. not for fast bowlers. what will get from this match. we need fast bowlers helping pitch there we can see our indian batsman struggling. there they will get some experience atleast.

  • Sudhi on October 1, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Manish Pandey missed a good opportunity... Dhawan's innings was really good

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    @Sanjay_Dixit hope u r not the same dixit who was made to cry by Warnie.

    Rajasthan winning the title itself shows standard of Indian cricket, they hardly won a match outright last season. I won't be surprised if they relegated to plate division again.

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