Out-of-favour India batter bounces back with an attacking century in Ranji trophy 2024 encounter against Gujarat
Karnataka's skipper, Mayank Agarwal, made a remarkable comeback in the Ranji Trophy with a splendid century against Gujarat at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday. His innings marked a significant turnaround from his previous performance, where he scored a pair against Punjab.
Agarwal's 124-ball 109, his 16th First-Class century, was a display of attacking cricket that helped Karnataka take a commanding position in the match. He was particularly strong on deliveries outside off, consistently finding the boundary at cover and point. His century laid the foundation for Karnataka's strong reply to Gujarat's first-innings score of 264. By the end of the day, Karnataka had reached 328 for five, establishing a lead of 64 runs.
The opener reflected on his performance, stating, "It feels good to score a hundred after what happened in the first game. It shows my resilience.” However, his time at the crease was controversially ended when he was caught behind, a decision that appeared dubious as replays suggested the ball might have brushed only the pad.
Mayank's opening partner, R. Samarth, contributed a solid 60 and was involved in a crucial 172-run stand. He had a lucky escape when he was caught off a no-ball delivered by left-arm spinner Siddharth Desai.
Further down the order, Devdutt Padikkal looked in good touch for his 42, but his innings ended when he mistimed a cut shot off R.A. Vaghela's bowling. Manish Pandey, who had scored a century against Punjab, continued his good form with an unbeaten 56, exhibiting aggressive play against the spinners in the evening session.
An impressive debut came from Sujay Sateri, who displayed remarkable confidence for a newcomer. Facing just his second ball in First-Class cricket, Sateri boldly stepped up to fast bowler Chintan Gaja, hitting him over cover. He remained not out at 24, showing an aggressive approach that included a six.
Gujarat's bowling, with only four frontline bowlers, seemed under pressure and might face the challenge of conceding a significant deficit. As the match progresses, Karnataka's strong batting performance, led by Agarwal's century, sets the stage for an interesting contest, potentially putting Gujarat on the back foot in this Ranji Trophy encounter.