Virender Sehwag enjoyed the high of a victory in the Irani Cup 2009 on first innings lead over Mumbai, despite a low-key performance individually in the five-day season opener against Mumbai on Monday.
Umpires ruled out play on the fifth day due to a wet outfield at the VCA Stadium, leaving Rest at its overnight score of 352 for four. Sehwag scored 10 in the first innings, sat out the next three days due to fever and did not get a chance to bat in the second innings.
“I enjoyed each one of the 14 balls I played,” said Sehwag about his contribution to the Rest total on the first day.
“Ajit (Agarkar) bowled a really good ball (to dismiss me). It happens in cricket,” he said, singling out Jadeja’s 77 in the first innings as the crucial factor which helped Rest take first innings lead.
“We were in a winning situation due to Jadeja, whose runs enabled us to post a decent total.”
The left-hander top-scored in Rest’s score of 260 on the opening day. S. Badrinath, the acting captain for Rest in Sehwag’s place, talked about the similarity in the bowling approach of Munaf Patel and S. Sreesanth and then noted the different way both respond to situations.
Focus on the job
“Munaf has mellowed down. It was seen in the way he focussed on the job. Sreesanth has to do the same. I keep telling that he should be making his point by taking wickets. That is the maximum I can do.”
Munaf’s five-wicket haul, supported by three wickets from Sreesanth, restricted Mumbai to 230, giving Rest a first innings led of 30 runs.
Sreesanth was fined a portion of his match fee for an incident involving Mumbai all-rounder Dhaval Kulkarni, who was also warned.
Sehwag lauded youngsters Ravindra Jadeja, Abhinav Mukund, Murali Vijay and Manoj Tiwary for their application in batting.
“I am happy the way Rest youngsters Jadeja, Mukund, Vijay and Tiwary shaped up.”
No play was possible on the final day, leaving Tiwary just 20 runs short of a century.