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Drab draw and another Irani title for ROI

Monday, 11 February 2013 - 5:59am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna
Around the time the national selectors assembled to choose the squad for the first two Tests against Australia, RoI captain Harbhajan Singh was contemplating declaring their second innings.

Around the time the national selectors assembled to choose the squad for the first two Tests against Australia, RoI captain Harbhajan Singh was contemplating declaring their second innings. Due to come in next, Harbhajan removed his protective gear, sipped tea and kept his bat, pads and gloves in the kit bag.

Meanwhile, Ambati Rayudu reached his 150. At the other end, Wriddhiman Saha started his innings aggressively as the two negotiated Ankeet Chavan and Vishal Dhabholkar effortlessly. Finally, Harbhajan changed to his bowling shoes and emerged from the dressing room to call the batsmen back.

RoI declared their second innings at 389/5, setting Mumbai an improbable target of 507 in maximum 63 overs.

Mumbai replied with 160/4, with Wasim Jaffer notching up another ton (101*), as the match petered out to a draw. RoI have now won the Irani Cup for the 26th time and shared it with Mumbai once in 1965-66.

Harbhajan picked up two wickets with turn and bounce. He forced Aditya Tare and Ajinkya Rahane to edge to forward short-leg. Typical off-spinner’s wickets these, bringing back smiles on his face.
Tare’s dismissal was a picture-perfect moment. Dhawan took an acrobatic catch, diving to his right at forward short-leg. Just around this time, he was in the squad for the Australia series. The last day had long become irrelevant as the players themselves may agree. 

Brief scores: Rest of India 526 & 389/5d in 120 overs (A Rayudu 156*, S Raina 71; V Dhabholkar 2/97) beat Mumbai 409 & 160/4 in 54 overs (W Jaffer 101*; H Singh 2/38) by virtue of first innings lead
 




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