India Test specialist Hanuma Vihari notched his 16th first-class hundred in the ongoing Irani Trophy on Tuesday. Batting at number three for Rest India (ROI), Vihari reminded why he belongs to the Test level as he held the fort for his side to remain the constant amidst a batting collapse. His fluent knock featured 11 fours and two huge sixes. Vihari was finally dismissed towards the end of day one for 114 (211 balls) as ROI were bowled out for 330.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) 12 February 2019
Vihari came in to bat at a tricky period when ROI lost Anmolpreet Singh early on for 15. Along with national teammate Mayank Agarwal (95 off 134 balls), Vihari stitched a 125-run partnership to help ROI take the ascendancy in the first session of play. Vihari exquisite batting was in full view as he brought up his fifty with a six over the bowler’s head and then whipped a boundary the mid-wicket to get to his fifty.
Vihari, who made his first-class debut at 17 for Hyderabad, showed patience at the crease and fought his way to the three-figure mark. Batting on 96, Vihari danced down the track and drove Aditya Sarwate down the ground to get to a fantastic hundred of 188 balls.
Vihari was finally dismissed for 114 when he was caught in the slips by Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal off Sarwate.
Last year, Vihari had made the cut into the Indian Test team after a brilliant 183 in the Irani Trophy. The 24-year old, who became the first player from Andhra in over 18 years to be selected to the Indian Test squad.
Meanwhile, Vidarbha made a terrific comeback at the end of day one after a fruitless morning session. From 170/1 ROI were wrapped up for 330. Spinners Aditya Sarwate and Akshay Wakhare did the bulk of the damage with three wickets apiece.
Vidarbha: Faiz Fazal (c), Sanjay Raghunath, Mohit Kale, Ganesh Satish, Akshay Wadkar (wk), Aditya Sarwate, Atharwa Taide, Akshay Karnewar, Akshay Wakhare, Yash Thakur, Rajneesh Gurbani
Rest of India: Ajinkya Rahane(c), Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Anmolpreet Singh, Hanuma Vihari, Ishan Kishan (wk), K. Gowtham, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, TM Ul-Haq, Ankit Rajpoot