Seen as a future India Test regular, Young Lokesh Rahul on Friday cracked a memorable triple century – the first from Karnataka to achieve the feat in Ranji Trophy as well as first-class cricket – guiding his side to a mammoth total in their match against Uttar Pradesh.
By stumps on the second day, the hosts declared their first innings at a formidable 719 for five in their Group A Ranji match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The 22-year-old Rahul showed tremendous character and discipline to make 337, spending 11 hours at the crease. He was finally caught by Mukul Dagar off left-arm spinner Ali Murtaza.
Rahul, who resumed his innings at the overnight score of 150, played his normal game, belting and blocking according to the merit of the balls.
Rahul scored the bulk of his runs against the spinners and, even as the visiting pacers bowled in the right areas initially, the prolific batsman never went into a shell.
“Early on, the pacers were bowling in good areas and it was difficult to score off them, but the wicket was easy to bat on and except in post-lunch session the wicket was two-paced and cracks opened up,” Rahul told reporters after the day’s play.
Rahul, who made a century against Australia in only his second Test in Sydney, scored 89 in the previous Ranji match against Baroda.
“The century which I got in Australia really helped me to gather confidence and carry it forward in the domestic season. Yeah, that really helped me – that makes me happy,” Rahul said.
Rahul’s innings, which was studded with 47 boundaries and four sixes, came off 448 balls. After Rahul went past Barrington Rolland’s 283, he became the first Karnataka batsman to score a triple hundred in domestic cricket.
Rahul also became the highest scorer ever against Uttar Pradesh in first-class match after he went past 327 runs scored by Kedar Jadhav of Maharashtra.
Abrar Kazi also joined in the party, notching up his maiden century. He made an unbeaten 117 off 190 balls with the help of 14 fours and four sixes. He was involved in a 225-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Rahul.
The lacklustre Uttar Pradesh bowlers struggled to get wickets and conceded far too many runs.
They succeeded in seeing the back of Shreyas Gopal early on after he added two runs to his overnight 88.
Rahul and Chidambaram Gautam (57) then put on 105 runs partnership for the sixth wicket to take the game away from Uttar Pradesh, who are placed at the bottom of the points table.
After the departure of Gautam at 434 for six, Rahul figured in a double century stand with Kazi.
After the departure of Rahul, Karnataka lost Vinay Kumar (2) and Abhimanyu Mithun (8), prompting Vinay to declare the innings after crossing the 700 mark.
The most successful bowler for Uttar Pradesh was Praveen Kumar, who picked up five for 88 in 36 overs.
New skipper Tare hits 127 not out; Mumbai in strong position
New Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare struck an unbeaten century before his side shot Baroda out for 184 to take a big first innings lead on the second day of their Ranji Trophy cricket match on Friday.
Tare, who just took over from Suryakumar Yadav, resumed the day at 67 and added another 60 runs to remain unconquered on 127 as Mumbai were all out in 287 in 124 overs.
In fact, Tare scored 60 of the 69 runs Mumbai added in 34 overs on Friday after resuming at 218 for 6. He stitched 50 runs for the last wicket with Akshay Girap (7).
Baroda: 184 all out in 54.3 overs (Hardik Pandya 53; Balwinder Sandhu 4/35, Harmeet Singh 4/52).
Rawat shines as Railways inch towards 1st innings lead vs Bengal
Skipper Mahesh Rawat’s fluent half-century kept Railways with a bright chance of getting the first innings lead against hosts Bengal in a group league encounter of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament on Friday.
In reply to Bengal’s first innings score of 268, Rawat’s unbeaten 56 helped Raiwlays reach 219 for six in 70 overs after one and half hours of play was lost in the opening session due to bad light.
Rawat’s 76 run fifth wicket stand with another Bengal discard Arindam Ghosh (49) kept Railways in the hunt after burly all-rounder Arnab Nandi’s quickfire 53 off 62 balls laid the platform.
Veteran off-spinner Saurashish Lahiri finally came good as he grabbed four out of the six wickets but it was disappointing show otherwise by the Bengal spin troika.
Brief Scores: Bengal 268 in 94.3 overs. Railways 219/6 (Mahesh Rawat 56 batting, Arnab Nandi 53, Arindam Ghosh 49; Saurasish Lahir 4/72).
J&K reach 175/8 on Day 2, trail by 196 runs against MP
Jammu and Kashmir suffered a top-order batting collapse before reaching 175 for 8 as they found themselves in a difficult situation on the second day of their Ranji Trophy cricket match against Madhya Pradesh on Friday
In reply to MP’s first innings big total of 371 all out, J&K were reduced to 57 for 5 in the 14th over before a half century from Aditya Singh (64) and his 72-run stand with Bandeep Singh (33) saved them from disaster at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.
Aditya hit nine fours and a six in his 102-ball innings.
J&K are still not out of trouble as they trail by 196 runs with just two first innings wickets remaining. They need another 47 runs more to avoid a follow-on.