Jadhav joins party, Maharashtra build run mountain

At stumps on Day Three, Haryana had slipped to 55 for two in their second innings. The scoreline wouldn't have called for alarm if the visitors didn't require another 220 runs to make Maharashtra bat again at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.

Maharashtra had declared at tea on 540 for eight, an innings that was propped up by the two centurions Kedar Jadhav (109) and Sangram Atitkar (190).

For large periods of the day, Haryana had a torrid time in the field as Jadhav made an aggressive century while Atitkar, overnight on 118, gave him solid support.

Maharashtra lost captain Rohit Motwani early, perishing on his overnight score of 11 as he tried to glide the ball fine. But the Jadhav-Atitkar combination ensured Maharashtra would not lose the momentum after going into Monday with a 45-run lead.

The first ball that Jadhav faced was a half-volley bowled by Mohit Sharma. The 27-year-old batsman, who had scored a triple-century against Uttar Pradesh last month, uncorked a murderous cover-drive.

What followed was a Jadhav show. He had scant respect for the Haryana bowlers. Off-spinner Jayant Yadav came in for special treatment as Jadhav twice cut him to point for boundaries and then slog-swept him into the west stand.

Atitkar, who played at a comparatively sedate pace than his attacking partner, flicked medium-pacer Ashish Hooda to fine-leg as the Haryana bowler kept straying on to the pads. Haryana looked listless after the first hour and as the shoulders drooped the mis-fields increased.

Maharashtra added 133 runs in the first session and soon after lunch, Jadhav completed his fourth First-Class century. Jadhav now has scored 479 runs in three completed innings with an average of 159.66.

However, Haryana didn't find the going easy in their second innings.

... contd.

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