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The Report by Siddhartha Talya in Mumbai
February 10, 2013
Rest of India 526 (Raina 134, Vijay 116) and 389 for 5 dec (Rayudu 156*, Raina 71) drew with Mumbai 409 (Tendulkar 140*, Rahane 83, Jaffer 80) and 160 for 4 (Jaffer 101*)
Rest of India take the Irani Cup on first-innings lead
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Rest of India won the Irani Cup for the eighth consecutive time, based on a first-innings lead after any hopes of an outright result were erased when their two overnight batsmen came out to bat on the final morning. Suresh Raina struck a half-century to follow up on his ton in the first innings, Ambati Rayudu was unbeaten on 156 before Rest of India declared, and Wasim Jaffer completed his prolific first-class season on a high. Neither featured in India's squad for the first two Tests against Australia, which was picked today.
However, Harbhajan Singh returned to the India squad and picked up two wickets, including Ajinkya Rahane, who has been retained. Mumbai were given 63 overs to chase 507, and Rest of India would have been crying for them to self-destruct if they seriously hoped of winning outright. Both Aditya Tare and Ajinkya Rahane were caught at short leg off Harbhajan, but Jaffer was calm and comfortable at the other end, smoothly moving to another century, his 48th in first-class cricket, and going past 1000 runs in the Irani Cup. Jaffer was a strong contender for an opening role in the Indian squad after averaging 76 in the Ranji Trophy but Murali Vijay and a surprise pick, Shikhar Dhawan, were preferred over him.
Sreesanth, Ishwar Pandey, and Abhimanyu Mithun, aspirants for a place in India's attack, bowled just 11 overs between them without any success, but they didn't have a game as disappointing as another Test hopeful, Rohit Sharma. He had thrown his wicket away in the first innings, top-edging a slog-sweep when on zero, and fell for 1 today, going after India's spin regular Pragyan Ojha but only getting as far as long-off to offer an easy catch. Neither of his dismissals in the game would have sat well with selectors.
The captains called off the game with nine mandatory overs remaining. It was only the second time in the last 14 years that the winner of the Irani Cup has been decided by a first-innings lead.
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddhartha Talya
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
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Josh Hazlewood has been on Australian cricket's radar since he was a teenager. The player that made a Test debut at the Gabba was a much-improved version of the tearaway from 2010
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
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After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test