Virender Sehwag, playing his first match since announcing his retirement from international cricket and the Indian Premier League, scored a fantastic century for Haryana in the Ranji Trophy match against defending champions Karnataka, offering a glimpse of what the spectators will be missing at the highest level of the game.
Sehwag has been a fan-favourite among the cricket-crazy population of India and though their dreams of seeing Sehwag donning the Indian colours one final time will remain unfulfilled, a good number of people were in attendance at Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadeyar Ground in Mysore hoping to catch a Sehwag special. The Sultan of Multan obliged treating the crowd to a breezy knock and brought up his 42nd first-class century in 119 balls before being dismissed for 136.
Having moved to Haryana only at the beginning of this Ranji campaign, Sehwag has been leading from the front with useful knocks and once again did the job when his team needed it most. After being put into bat, Karnataka pacer Sharath H S picked up an early wicket dismissing Haryana opener Rahul Dewan for nine runs. Haryana registered a third wicket partnership of 35 runs, before David Mathias took the wicket of C K Bishnoi, with his team registering only 53 runs on the board.
Sehwag’s quickfire knock which came off 170 balls helped Haryana, who is struggling at the foot of the Elite table with a solitary point, end Day one at 319/8 against a Karnataka attack comprising off the likes of Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun.
The social media reacted in awe of Sehwag’s knock and so did the crowd at the venue who waited in anticipation as Sehwag strolled to his century keeping his trademark aggressiveness in check and instead picking up four singles to reach the figure of 99.
Another single followed taking Sehwag to the three-figure mark as the crowd erupted in joy and Sehwag didn’t forget to acknowledge the crowd paying special attention to the section of the gallery that was cheering for Sehwag the loudest.