Was waiting for a chance: Vinay

Coming into this match, R Vinay Kumar had eight half-centuries and a highest of 61 in first-class cricket. Those statistics changed for the better on a sunny Monday morning at the Rajnagar KSCA Stadium.

Vinay wielded the willow as well as any top-order batsman would to notch up his maiden first-class century in 80 matches. He scored an unbeaten 105 runs from 183 balls with ten fours and a six to bring Karnataka within striking distance of a win against Punjab.

“I was waiting for such an opportunity to come my way for the past four or five years. I have scored many fifties but in all those situations the team needed to declare or I had to play my shots. Today was a great opportunity because two days were left in the game and we already had the innings lead,” said the Indian paceman.

Vinay’s century was as much a result of the grit shown by Abhimanyu Mithun, KP Appanna and HS Sharath as it was his batting prowess. “I did not think I would get the century after losing Mithun and Appanna but Sharath played very well. I just told him to play straight because the ball was pretty old and he did that brilliantly,” Vinay remarked.

When asked if he had worked on his batting recently, the Davanagere-born player said: “Before coming to Bangalore (from Davanagere) I was a batsman who could bowl a bit. In Bangalore, I started giving bowling more time. Nowadays there is so much competition so whenever you get an opportunity you need to make the most of it.”

Even though Punjab’s Manpreet Gony and VRV Singh possess the same height and build of Mithun and Sharath, the Karnataka duo was surprisingly able to extract more life from the pitch. Vinay said ‘hunger’ had a big part in it. “We need to win Ranji Trophy this year so the boys are putting in a lot of effort. Mithun and I want to come back to the Indian team and Sharath too wants play for India so there is a goal and we all are working towards it,” Vinay concluded.

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