Jaiswal 213, Abhimanyu 154 flatten Madhya Pradesh on first day
The duo put on a massive stand of 371 for the second wicket in Gwalior
Rest of India 381 for 3 (Jaiswal 213, Abhimanyu 154) vs Madhya Pradesh
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Abhimanyu Easwaran put on a massive stand of 371 for the second wicket to flatten last season's Ranji Trophy champions Madhya Pradesh on the first day of the Irani Cup in Gwalior. Jaiswal smashed his third first-class double-century studded with 30 fours and three sixes whereas Abhimanyu scored his fourth 150-plus knock of the season to punish MP on a pitch that had nothing for the bowlers once the ball got old.
The early wicket of RoI captain Mayank Agarwal, who edged Avesh Khan behind for 2 in the third over, was the only moment to celebrate for MP. Once Jaiswal and Abhimanyu got together, they went after the bowlers as the day progressed to score at 3.84 an over in the first session, 4.25 in the second and 5.15 in the third.
Jaiswal was uncharacteristically slower compared to Abhimanyu until the tea break as the Bengal batter turned his form around after low scores in the Ranji Trophy semi-finals and final. He started off by driving and flicking the quick bowlers whereas Jaiswal attacked offspinner Saransh Jain by coming down the pitch often to collect boundaries. In the same over as Abhimanyu got to his fifty, Jaiswal smashed Jain over wide long-on for a six in a 15-run over.
Abhimanyu was the first to reach the century, with a heave over wide long-on for six off Jain and soon Jaiswal crunched Kumar Kartikeya for four through the covers for his own hundred. The two batters were on nearly identical scores at the tea break, and that's when Jaiswal cut loose.
He struck three consecutive boundaries off Ankit Kushwah by driving him down the ground twice and pulling him to the midwicket region with a crunching sound, that took him to 150 and the team past 300. Jaiswal was also blessed with two lives - on 176 and 181 - when he was dropped at first slip off Avesh and Shubham Sharma. He then ramped Avesh for four and late cut Shubham to let out a roar for his double-hundred, racing from 100 to 200 in 73 balls; Abhimanyu in the same time had only gone from 118 to 142. He reached 150 with a sweep but was troubled by cramps immediately.
MP finally removed the set batters in consecutive balls when Avesh knocked over Jaiswal's middle stump with the second new ball and Abhimanyu was run out when nightwatcher Saurabh Kumar called for a run on his first ball but Abhimanyu couldn't make it at the keeper's end despite a dive.
The day ended three overs short of 90 despite taking the extra half hour.
Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo