Better late than never for 2-ton hero Awate

Six-year-old Aastha Awate's one regret, till a week ago, was that her father did not score enough hundreds. "She always used to say, 'Baba why don't you score hundreds?' I have gotten out quite a few times in the nineties and my daughter said that she really wanted to see me raise my bat in celebration of a ton. I am happy I have ticked that box now," says Virag Awate.

The 30-year-old Maharashtra opener, who works as an accountant for a construction company in Pune, added another hundred on Tuesday to the one he scored in the first innings against Vidarbha in Nagpur, becoming a centurion twice over on his first-class debut.

Awate, who resumed day four on 54, says the plan was to bat Maharashtra to safety. "We had a collapse in the first innings and it was very important to score runs and also stay at the wicket. The brief given to me was to take the team to safety and I think I enjoyed the responsibility," he says. Awate got to his second hundred in style, square-driving Shreekant Wagh for a boundary. Awate's second ton also came at a faster clip. He reached the milestone in 175 balls, with 18 fours and a six.

Awate says that he found batting quite easy in the second innings. "Maybe I think it was because my mind was at ease. I had scored a century in the first innings and had really concentrated hard. I think the concentration paid off in the second innings. I was able to hit boundaries at will," says the right-hander. He also says that he is doubly happy because the team profited from his tons. "We have gotten three points in this game and hopefully me and the team can continue the same way," he says.

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