The Baba twins of Tamil Nadu — Aparajith and Indrajith — achieved an unprecedented feat in Indian cricket on Thursday.
They became the first set of Indian twins to score centuries in the same First-Class match for the same team. However, the two had scored hundreds in a First-Class match before –during the 2018 Duleep Trophy in Dindigul –though for different teams. Aparajith was representing India Red while Indrajith played for India Green.
On Thursday, Indrajith (127, 21×4) and Aparajith (101 batting, 8×4, 2×6) notched up a 206-run third-wicket stand that was the highlight on Day 1 of their Ranji Trophy clash against Chhattisgarh at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. The duo was instrumental in Tamil Nadu ending the day on 308 for 4.
“Batting with each other has always been fun right from the time we took up the sport as kids. We root for each other always. While the last time we scored hundreds in a match –it was for different teams –but doing so in the same match and that too for Tamil Nadu is a truly special feeling altogether,” Indrajith told TOI.
Aparajith, on the other hand, was all praise for Indrajith for the way he went about his innings. “He was striking so fluently and I didn’t want to do anything silly. With the wicket on the slower side, the idea was to settle down before playing my shots,” Aparajith said.
Thursday’s partnership saw the two employ different modes of run-scoring. While Indrajith dealt majorly in boundaries, Aparajith played second fiddle during his unfinished 197-ball knock. After starting the Ranji season with a fluent 117 against Delhi, this was Indrajith’s second successive hundred.
It took Indrajith just 109 balls and one session –the post-lunch –to raise his 11th First Class ton. Indrajith arrived at the fall of opener L Suryaprakash (21, 3×4) in the first over after lunch. From being 59 for 2, the Indrajith-Aparajith pair laid the foundation for Tamil Nadu’s innings with their 285-ball partnership.
The duo brought the 50-run partnership in the 40th over of the innings with Indrajith contributing 35 in it. A bulk of Indrajith’s run came off left-arm spinners – Sumit Ruikar and Ajay Mandal. While Indrajith got 42 runs off Sumit studded with five fours, Ajay accounted for 25 that had 3 hits to the fence.
As Indrajith raced to 88, Aparajith crossed the 50-run mark in 131 deliveries. Indrajith took just three deliveries to move from 88 to the three-figure mark in the last over before tea. That over, bowled by medium-pacer Shashank Singh, saw Indrajith hit three back-to-back boundaries to get to the three-figure mark.
Indrajith’s 141-ball essay was cut short when he was cleaned up by Ajay (2-82) in the 71st over of Tamil Nadu innings. Despite losing skipper Vijay Shankar (0) cheaply, Aparajith, in the company of M Shahrukh Khan (28 batting, 1×4, 2×6), got to his 10th First-Class century before close of play. The in-form Shahrukh was given a life on 14 by Ravi Kiran who dropped a sitter at backward point region.
Earlier, the start of play was delayed by an hour due to wet patches on the wicket.