Bangalore: Murali Vijay's record-breaking 266 proved decisive at the end as Rest of India beat Ranji Trophy champions Rajasthan by an innings and 79 runs to clinch the Irani Trophy in Bangalore on Monday.
Resuming their second innings from 44 for 1 on the fourth morning, Rajasthan were bowled out for 275 an hour after tea. RoI's young left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh picked up 4 for 45 in the second innings of Rajasthan.
The Ranji Trophy champions began cautiously as their opener Vineet Saxena made only one run off 38 balls in the first hour of the morning session. Hrishikesh Kanitkar (73) was more enterprising as he smashed a string of boundaries off Umesh Yadav. Saxena was run out for 18 after a misunderstanding with his captain.
Robin Bist (67), who cracked an unbeaten 117 in the first innings, started from where he left. He unfurled an array of splendid shots and was particularly strong on the back foot. He drove, cut and flicked with effortless ease and dominated RoI bowlers.
Kanitkar batted with poise and notched up his 44th first-class half-century in the 31st over. The 125-run stand between skipper Kanitkar and Bist took Rajasthan to safety before Kanitkar too got involved in a mix up and was run out. The wicket of Bist turned out to be the last straw as wickets tumbled one after another.
Harmeet sliced through Rajasthan's middle and lower order as the Ranji Trophy champions were bowled out in 90.2 overs. Pragyan Ojha also took two wickets, while Ishant Sharma got one.
RoI piled up 607 for 7 (declared) in their first innings after dismissing Rajasthan for 253 on day one. Vijay, with his scintillating knock, became the highest run-getter in the history of Irani Trophy. With this innings, the Tamil Nadu opener also staked his claim to find a place in the Indian Test team for the long home season ahead.