Awate`s tons in both innings help Maharashtra secure 3 points

Nagpur: Virag Awate on Tuesday became only the second Indian after Nari Contractor to have scored two hundreds on first-class debut as Maharashtra walked away with three points by virtue of taking the first-innings lead against Vidarbha in their drawn Ranji Trophy match here.

The 31-year-old Awate, the second-oldest player in Maharashtra`s squad, scored 126 and 112 in both the innings to etch his name into the record books.

Awate, who hails from Pune, batted for more than four hours in the second innings to wriggle out the visitors from a precarious 62 for three in 20.3 overs.

Awate, in the company of skipper Mohit Motwani (67), stitched a crucial 211-ball 124-run partnership for the fourth wicket to take his team close to the 200-run mark.

Leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule broke the stand when he had Awate caught by Hemang Badani. Awate struck 18 fours and a six in his 189-ball stay at the crease.

After the loss of Awate, Motwani and Kedhar Jadhav (18) added 48 runs for the fifth wicket as Maharashtra consolidated their position on the fourth and final day.

Both, however, fell within a space of nine runs as the visitors reached 250 for six in the 71st over.

At 261 for seven, Maharashtra declared their second innings, leaving the hosts with a target of 277 runs in about two sessions.

For Vidarbha, Bahutule finished with figures of three for 51, while pacers Shrikant Wagh and Sandeep Singh took a wicket apiece.

Vidarbha got off to poor start as they lost opener Faiz Fazal (8) to Shrikant Mundhe.

Next man-in, wicketkeeper-batsman Urvesh Patel (54 not out) combined well with Shiv Sundar Das (36) to stitch an unfinished 93-run partnership for the second wicket.

The hosts finished their second essay at 103 for one in 29 overs.