Mumbai v Rest of India, Irani Cup, Mumbai, 4th day February 9, 2013

Rayudu ton swells ROI lead to 413


Rest of India 526 and 296 for 4 (Rayudu 118*, Tiwary 69) lead Mumbai 409 by 413 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rest of India tightened their hold over the Irani Cup, a trophy they've won for seven straight seasons, by consolidating the dominant position they had reached after gaining a 117-run lead in the first innings. They stretched that advantage to 413 by the close on the fourth day, with Ambati Rayudu throwing his hat into the ring for a middle-order slot as the selectors meet on Sunday to pick the squad for the Australia Tests, scoring an attractive century after falling short in the first innings.

The Mumbai bowling lacked the ammunition needed to fight back in the second innings, their spinners unable to support an already depleted pace attack. Dhawal Kulkarni and Shardul Thakur got some early movement, and Abhishek Nayar continued to give Manoj Tiwary a torrid time, but the pressure created by a couple of early wickets gradually wore off with the introduction of spin, with persistent attempts to bowl a leg-stump line failing to contain the flow of runs as the batsmen improvised.

Kulkarni and Nayar didn't bowl after lunch, and from then until the close there were just eight overs of pace. "I didn't bowl because the two spinners were bowling well," Kulkarni said at the end of the day's play. "They were containing runs and there was no need for me to bowl." In the 60 overs bowled after lunch, Rest of India scored at a healthy rate of 3.4. Sachin Tendulkar was off the field all day, but Kulkarni said he was "perfectly fine," and that there were no fitness issues.

M Vijay and Sreesanth, the overnight batsmen, weren't made to work hard in the first half hour. Sreesanth, the nightwatchman, looked sound against the Mumbai seamers but was run out, with his partner sharing the bulk of the blame. In the 18th over off Thakur, Vijay refused a second run when it was clearly on, took the strike and called for a risky single off the last ball to try to retain strike for the next over. Rohit Sharma scored a direct hit from short cover to catch Sreesanth short, and the dismissal seemed to play on Vijay's mind as he spooned a catch to gully next ball, only to be dropped, but eventually fell, playing a loose drive to extra cover.

Tiwary and Rayudu put together a century-stand to help Rest of India recover, but not before Tiwary appeared clueless in a spirited spell from Nayar, his nemesis in recent times. Nayar bowls around 120kmph, sometimes even less, but Tiwary looked vulnerable against him from the outset, unable to read his lines, leaving one that almost kissed off stump, shuffling way across, rapped in front of the stumps against an inswinger, poking at the ones that held their line outside off and inside-edging a couple that darted back in. He played out a spell of 21 dot balls, ended unsurprisingly by an inside edge that fetched a couple, and would have been relieved when Nayar took himself out of the attack after lunch, paving the way for a release against spin.

Rayudu, in the meantime, was a contrast at the other end, fluent, just as he had been in the first innings, and got going with a flick and a couple of neat off-drives on the up against Thakur. Rayudu was harsh against the seamers down the ground and countered the leg-stump line bowled by Ankeet Chavan and Vishal Dabholkar, Mumbai's left-arm spinners, by stepping out, lofting them inside out or going straight through the V.

Chavan was struck for a six over long-off, then threaded through a narrow gap between two short covers, as Rayudu marched into the nineties and brought up his 14th first-class hundred, and his second of the season, with a slash off Thakur past point. The man who congratulated him from the other end was Suresh Raina, fresh from a century of his own in the first innings and higher in the pecking order to be considered for a slot in the Indian Test batting line-up.

Tiwary overcame his early struggles to reach a half-century, dispatching the left-arm spinners for three sixes, before top-edging an attempted sweep to be caught by slip. Rayudu and Raina feasted on a generous offering from Dabholkar and Chavan, who were smacked for 10 sixes in all on the fourth day, leaving the Ranji champions deflated in pursuit of a title they haven't won since 1997-98.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Desmond on February 10, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Rayudu is not being considered because he was playing for ICL. I think BCCI will NEVER select him, or, if selected, he will be benched! Good that they are fined by CCI though the fine is too low.

  • prasanna on February 10, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    why no sachin tendulkar yet???

  • Raavan on February 10, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy because of their batting strength! Mumbai have inexperienced bowling attack (Javed 3 FC, Shardul 4 FC, Vishal 3 FC) they were struggling throughout the Ranji Trophy so I'm not surprised ROI batters did well against them. No comments on ROHIT (Shaapit Rajhans)

  • Vikram on February 10, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    @ Dhanno: you seemed to have missed the royal hat - Sachin Tendulkar, who scored a colossal hundred on a seaming surface on day 3, consistent with his sparkling international form for the past two years!

  • Par on February 10, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Oh shoot.. Raina is out for 71. if he would have gotten a hundred, the AOTA* would have declared that Raina has thrown his hat for middle order position, again! I mean cmon, that would have been so cool. There would be two hats from raina in the ring. Now Sandeep patil the selector picks one of the hats (remember the others in ring: Vijay on back of one hundred and fallow season otherwise, Rayadu on basis of his collosal effort on flat surface and flatter bowling attack, rohit on basis of well cause he being rohit). So the first hat Patil picks is Raina written on it. Now wait for it, here comes second hat, oh my god and this is also Raina written on it. Now raina would have made it twice to indian squad. Alas but he got out, now it can be only once per series/ per match Raina can bless us in Test cricket. I am so bummed :(

    Thank you! * AOTA - Author of the article

  • Tanmay on February 10, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    @shrastogi - a case of sour grapes for you isn't it?? what was Mumbai's fault if they had to face Services & Saurashtra in semi final & final ?

  • Par on February 9, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    Perspective: Missing ingredient with the author and commentators. for 4 days the same reporter has put so many hats in the mix for opening/middle order positions I am thinking there will be 22 ppl representing india in next series. No body cares the kind of bowling attack Raina/ Vijay and rayadu have feasted upon. Nobody cares Vijay had flop season prior to this and only gets to ROI team due to his connections. Raina is utter failure at higher level. rayadu, he has had a decent season (several 50s) but then a hundred here isnt really such a glorious achievement. Look at the bowlers, the flat pitch (on 3rd/4th day atleast). Contrast this with fact that Jaffer/ Rahane played against guys who are competing (and surely will make) for test places. I dont mean to see, bhajji/sree/ mithun/ojha are any good, but the fact is 2 of those will make it to india squad. Now these two deserve a chance. But lo-behold, It will be raina and rohit sharma (remember his promise) vijay who will make it!

  • Abraham on February 9, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    Ambati Rayudu should have been included in our Test side a long time ago. He obviously lacks a God Father in the BCCI. This is another example of how the BCCI has squandered the career of an excellent young prospect.

    I guess he does not appear on Seenu Mama's Radar.

  • Shantanu on February 9, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    ROI is going to win the Irani trophy. Isnt it strange that when Tendulkar doesnt score runs the Mumbai team does well (Ranji SF/ Final) but when he does score a record equalling hundred Mumbai doesnt win. This only shows how lucky Mubai were with sides they faced in SF & Finals of Ranji Trophy. Tendulkar's presence should have calming affect on the team but look at what Rohit Sharma & Abhishek Nayar do. What appears is Tendulkar should have scored 257 and not 140. Does this have any message/strategy for Indian team against Australians ? Yes - dont give Tendulkar more importance in your game plans. Hope that he does well but if he doesnt have plan B ready and prepare the side mentally for plan B.

  • Rama Gopal on February 9, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Consistent performer Rayudu must be selected in the upcoming aussies tests. He looks a solid batsman for 5/6 position. He scored atleast 50+ runs in the last 7 odd FC matches and also had good ranji season this year. Raina even after scoring century in this match is still vunerable in tests. Its a sin to ignore consistent performers for such a long time. Wake up selectors. No Raina and Yuvraj this time plz