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28 Jun 2022, Edition - 2541, Tuesday

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Hanuma Vihari creates Irani Cup history with hat-trick of hundreds



India batsman Hanuma Vihari became the first player to score hundreds in three successive innings in Irani Cup on Friday when he completed a century on Day 4 of the ongoing match between Rest of India and Vidarbha at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.

Vihari struck one down the ground off Akshay Wakhare’s bowling just before lunch on Friday to reach the three-figure mark, his third straight hundred in Irani Cup. Vihari had struck 114 in the first innings where Rest of India made 330.

Vihari had scored 183 for Rest of India during last year’s Irani Cup match against Vidarbha, who went on to retain the domestic title earlier this year. The said match ended in a draw as Vidarbha had posted a mammoth total of 800 in the first innings after a daddy hundred (286) from Wasim Jaffer.

Meanwhile, Vihari also became the first batsman since Shikhar Dhawan in 2011 to score centuries in each innings of an Irani Cup match. Dhawan had achieved the feat against the then Ranji Trophy champions, Rajasthan.

Vihari had stitched a 125-run stand with his India teammate, Mayank Agarwal in the first innings. Despite losing partners at regular intervals, the Hyderabad batsman got to the three-figure mark and helped Rest of India post a competitive total. His innings contained 11 boundaries and two sixes as he took 211 balls for his 114.

In the ongoing second innings, Vihari has been dominant against Vidarbha bowlers, especially their spinners on a spinner-friendly track in VCA. He has stitched a 200-plus stand with captain Ajinkya Rahane and helped Rest of India take a lead of over 150.

Vihari, who made his India debut during a five-Test series in England last year, has grown from strength to strength and has established himself as one of the mainstays of Virat Kohli-led Test team.

After scoring 167 runs against a quality English attack in difficult batting conditions in his maiden Test series, Vihari skipped the Ranji Trophy but played for India A against the England Lions. In three List-A matches played in Thiruvananthapuram last month, Vihari scored 124 runs, including 92 in a match wherein he also picked up a wicket.

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