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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Ajinkya Rahane scores century on County debut for Hampshire

Ajinkya Rahane has become just the third Indian cricketer to score a century on debut in the County Championship. Piyush Chawla (for Sussex in 2009) and Murali Vijay (for Essex in 2018) are the two others in this list.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: May 22, 2019 9:08:52 pm
India vs Australia 1st Test Day 4 Live Cricket Score Streaming: India take on Australia. (AP Photo) Ajinkya Rahane made his debut in the County Championship for Hampshire this season (File Photo)

Ajinkya Rahane might have missed out on making it to the 2019 World Cup, but on Wednesday, the day the 15-man India squad landed in England, he stole the thunder by scoring a century for Hampshire. In the process, Rahane became the third Indian cricketer to reach the triple-figure mark on debut in the County Championship. Piyush Chawla (for Sussex in 2009) and Murali Vijay (for Essex in 2018) are the two others in this list.

Rahane was given a standing ovation by the Newport crowd as he walked to the pavilion after having scored a 197-ball 119 on Wednesday, the third and penultimate day of the match. He was dismissed just before the tea break on Day 3, his off stump knocked over by Nottinghamshire spinner Matthew Carter.

Rahane’s knock, which was laced with 14 fours, came at a handsome strike rate of 60.41. Resuming on his overnight score of 0*, Rahane combined with Hampshire skipper Sam Northeast to bat out the whole of the first two sessions of the day. The pair put on 257 runs for the third wicket, after Hampshire had been reduced to 9/2.

Playing his first knock on the County circuit, Rahane had earlier been dismissed for 10 in the first innings of the match on Monday.

With four sessions of cricket still to be played, Hampshire currently have a lead of 337 runs in the match, already having secured the first innings lead over Nottinghamshire.

Meanwhile, one of the biggest concerns which are dogging the Indian team, with a little over a week left for the World Cup, is the absence of solid middle order batsmen.

Days after the World Cup squad announcement, Hampshire had signed Rahane as their overseas player. Rahane had then said, “I am excited to be the first Indian to play for Hampshire, a county which has a glowing reputation. I hope to score runs and win as a team and would like to thank BCCI for allowing me to play.”

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