An unbeaten 111-run partnership for the fifth wicket between southpaw Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Paul Valthaty helped Air-India finish the first day at 347 for 4 against D.Y.Patil in the four-day-final of the Times Shield A Division Cricket tournament at the MIG ground,Bandra here on Monday.
Air-India,after winning the toss,elected to bat. Their openers Onkar Gurav and Sushant Marathe batted steadily to put 134 runs for the first wicket in 137 balls,before Gurav was out for a well-made 58 with the help of nine fours after facing 99 balls. Just after four runs Marathe was also back in the pavilion. His knock of 72 was studded with a six and 11 hits to the ropes in 94 balls. At lunch Air-India were 143 for 2 in 34 overs.
After the break Hrishikesh Kanitkar who came at No.4 was going strong,though at the other end he saw semi-final centurion Rohan Kerkar (17) and Prashant Naik (18) get out. Kanitkar was joined by Paul Valthaty,who carried the total from 236 to 246 at tea.
In the last session,Kanitkar and Valthaty added 101 runs and gave their side a respectable total . Kanitkar who is batting on 103 which included a six and 12 fours after facing 163 balls. This is Kanitkars second successive century. Valthaty giving him a stand batting on 57 had three sixes and seven fours in his 95-ball-innings. Left arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla was the most successful bowler with 2-117 off 30 overs. While other spinners Siddharth Chitnis and Abhishek Raut took one wicket each.