R. Rohith’s patient century (110 batting, 207b, 16x4) and medium-pacer L. Vignesh’s five-wicket haul (five for 67) were the highlights as Vijay took the upper hand against Alwarpet on the second day of their TNCA first division league semifinal match here on Monday. At close, Vijay was 252 for one in reply to Alwarpet’s 323.
Jolly Rovers, meanwhile, consolidated its position after declaring at 599 for five against Globe Trotters. The latter finished the day on 157 for four and faces the daunting task of either reaching 574 for four (according to quotient rule), or taking the first innings lead to enter the final.
Alwarpet, resuming at 280 for four, folded up for the addition of just 43 runs as overnight centurion P. Shijit Chandran finished with 143 (255b, 19x4, 1x6).
Vignesh removed Bilva Prasath (40, 93b, 5x4), Garry Dumenil, Tinu Yohanan and Vijay Anand with the second new ball, conceding 24 runs in six overs.
Openers Abhinav Mukund and K.B. Arun Karthick took the crease for Vijay. But after six overs, the latter retired hurt with back pain. Rohith and Mukund (74, 145b, 9x4) then put on 131 in 40.4 overs.
After Mukund was caught behind by S. Karthik while trying to cut left-arm spinner Anand, in walked skipper S. Badrinath. He began with a straight drive off medium-pacer S.K. Balaji and then upper-cut medium-pacer Dumenil for his second boundary.
The best of his six boundaries was the pull over the mid-wicket fence off Dumenil. Rohith’s 121-run unbroken second-wicket stand in 25.2 overs with Badrinath (45 batting, 78b, 6x4) helped the team inch closer to Alwarpet’s total.
N. Einstein joined the party, after centuries from K.H. Gopinath and K. Bharath Shankar, as Rovers declared at 599 for five. Einstein’s 126 (198b, 15x4) and sizeable contributions from skipper C. Hemant Kumar (84) and R. Satish (41) added to Trotters’ misery.
In reply, S. Sriram (41) and Y. Venugopala Rao (54) offered some hope but both perished after getting starts.
S. Anirudha and K. Mukundh both fell to excellent catches from M. Prabhu at deep square leg and Satish at first slip respectively.
The scores: At IC-Guru Nanak: Jolly Rovers 599 for five decl. in 137 overs (K. Bharath Shankar 168, K.H. Gopinath 118, N. Einstein 126, C. Hemant Kumar 84, R. Satish 41) vs. Globe Trotters 157 for four in 41 overs (Y. Venugopal Rao 54, S. Sriram 42).
At MAC: Alwarpet 323 in 100.3 overs (P. Shijit Chandran 143, M. Bilva Prasath 40, L. Vignesh five for 67) vs. Vijay 252 for one in 72 overs (Abhinav Mukund 74, R. Rohith 110 batting, S. Badrinath 45 batting).