Rayudu century gives Mumbai no rest
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There are few batsmen in the domestic scene who punish loose deliveries with more relish than Rayudu. As the erratic Shardul Thakur found out on the fourth day of the match. The half-volleys were creamed through the covers while the short and wide ones were cut forcefully past the backward point fielder.
Feeding his strengths
The left-arm spin duo of Ankeet Chavan and Vishal Dabholkar, who had come under fire when they faced Rayudu in the Ranji quarterfinal at the same venue, did manage to keep him quiet with a tight line around middle-and-leg. Not for long though as he charged down the wicket soon and smashed Chavan over his head for six before repeating the act a few overs later.Javed Khan, like his burly pace partner, too was guilty of providing width to Rayudu often, and was meted out similar treatment. And the ROI right-hander soon brought up his 14th first-class ton with a fearsome cut off Thakur.
Rayudu also shared a 140-run stand with Manoj Tiwary, another prodigious talent who's never quite made the cut. The Bengal batsman though wasn't as dominant as his partner, and was kept in check by the medium-pace of Abhishek Nayar, especially his in-swingers. He only managed six runs off his first 46 deliveries before finding his feet and getting a move on. Tiwary though couldn't convert his 69 into something more meaningful, and if anything was overtaken by Rayudu in the pecking order.
Rayudu was later joined by Suresh Raina, who continued his good form in the match with another fine display of attack and defence, finishing unbeaten on 40. But not before Indian cricket's prodigal son provided another pleasing example of his new-found maturity.
Brief scores: RoI 526 & 296/4 in 95 overs (A Rayudu 118 batting, M Tiwary 69, S Raina 40 batting, D Kulkarni 1/31, S Thakur 1/25) vs Mumbai 409
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