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Sehwag in ‘pink’ of health

Virender Sehwag after his century, on Wednesday

Calcutta/Abu Dhabi: While the Indian team is busy thrashing oppositions in the World T20, in Bangladesh, out-of-favour Virender Sehwag is engaged in some big-hitting himself, in a different country, on a different pitch.

Sehwag, while representing the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), blasted a 97-ball 109 to lead his team to a comfortable six-wicket win over Durham in a Champion County Test match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday.

The four-day day-night match also featured the use of pink balls which were recently tried in the Australian Sheffield Shield. It therefore grants Sehwag the distinction of becoming the first Indian to hit a hundred in a first-class match with a pink ball being used.

The 35-year-old smashed 18 boundaries and a six in his innings to help MCC overhaul the victory target of 225 in 51 overs on the fourth and final day of the match.

Out of the Indian team for more than a year, Sehwag played a captain’s knock as he added 105 runs with Samit Patel (48 not out) of Nottinghamshire for the fourth-wicket.

Sehwag was finally dismissed by Jamie Harrison in the 49th over of MCC’s second innings.

Resuming MCC’s second innings at overnight 48 for two, Sehwag blasted three fours in the opening over of the first session from seamer Harrison to give his team a good start in the day.

The inexperienced Durham attack failed to tame Sehwag as he completed his half-century in 47 deliveries with the help of eight boundaries and then by lunch, he was only five runs short of the three-figure mark.

Sehwag brought up his hundred shortly after the lunch break with a boundary off Harrison. He took 88 balls to reach his century.

Harrison, however, had the last laugh as he had the Indian caught by Paul Coughlin.

Electing to bat, Durham had scored 248 in their first innings but MCC replied strongly with 282. In their second innings, Durham were dismissed for 257, leaving MCC with a target of 224.

Brief Scores

Durham 248 (K. Hogg 4/35) & 257 (M. Stoneman 115. Marylebone Cricket Club 282 & 225/4 (V. Sehwag 109). MCC won by 6 wickets.