Nagpur: Hanuma Vihari on Friday scripted history by becoming the first player to score a hat-trick of hundreds in the Irani Cup, helping Rest of India rally and set Vidarbha a tricky 280-run target here. Enjoying a good run of form, the 25-year-old Vihari created the record with a single down the ground on the fourth day, his second century of the match and third straight in Irani Cup.
The India player had scored 183 for Rest of India during last year’s Irani Cup match against Vidarbha, who recently retained the Ranji Trophy with another exemplary showing. Besides Vihari’s 180, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane made 87 and Shreyas Iyer raced to a 52-ball 61, helping Rest of India to declare their second innings at 374 for three, a day after conceding a big first-innings lead.
Needing 280 for an outright win, Ranji champions Vidarbha were 37 for one at close of play, still 243 runs shy of the target with nine wickets in hand. While Akshay Karnewar’s gutsy century on the third day powered Vidarbha to a 95-run first-innings lead, RoI rode on a third-wicket partnership of 229 runs between Vihari and Rahane to grab the initiative on the penultimate day.
Brief scores: Vidarbha 37-1 (Sanjay 17*, Taide 16*) & 425 trail Rest of India 330 and 374-3 d (Vihari 180*, Rahane 87, Iyer 61*, Sarwate 2-141) by 243 runs