Ranji Trophy Semifinal: Shardul Thakur's Maiden First-Class Ton Puts Mumbai On Top

Ranji Trophy Semifinal: Shardul Thakur's Maiden First-Class Ton Puts Mumbai On Top

The story of the day though was the revival that was architected by a flamboyant Thakur in the company of a very solid Hardik Tamore, who provided the perfect foil in the context of the game.

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Sunday, March 03, 2024, 10:28 PM IST
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One wonders if Shardul Thakur has an inseparable relationship with counter-attacks that he's able to conjure them in the most trying circumstances.

He's done it for India on multiple occasions and now to score a swashbuckling maiden first-class ton at number nine for Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy semifinal where they were put on the mat by the wily Tamil Nadu skipper Sai Kishore, who scalped six wickets, speaks volumes about the man's temperament.

Mumbai are absolutely on top after piling on a potentially match-winning first innings lead of 207 to end day two at 353/9 with Tanush Kotian, aiming for back-to-back hundreds, on 74 and Tushar Deshpande batting on 17.

Thakur struck his hundred in 89 balls with a six while on 95 and was eventually out to Kuldeep Sen caught by N Jagadeesan for 109.

The story of the day though was the revival that was architected by a flamboyant Thakur in the company of a very solid Hardik Tamore, who provided the perfect foil in the context of the game.

Their eighth-wicket partnership of 105 and thereafter Thakur's 79-run stand for the ninth-wicket with a gritty Tanush Kotian completely changed the game for Mumbai and the visitors ofcourse.

After the departure of Thakur, Kotian and Deshpande put together an unconquered 10th wicket partnership of 63 runs that had further consolidated Mumbai's hold on the game.

To put things in perspective, Nos 9, 10 and 11 contributed 200 runs to the 308 runs that the hosts added on day two to their overnight score of 45/2.

However, it was all Sai Kishore in the first session as he ran through the heart of the Mumbai batting line up ripping them apart with the prized wickets of nightwatchman Mohit Avasti, in-form Musheer Khan, who cracked a fifty, captain Ajinkya Rahane and Shams Mulani.

At 125/7 at lunch, things looked bleak for Mumbai before Thakur and Tamore turned things around with that fine partnership thwarting Kishore, Ajith Ram and Washington Sundar.

The wicket stopped doing much post lunch and Thakur's experience and skill ensured he passed that onto Tamore as well.

For Tamil Nadu, Sai Kishore's 6/97 was the only silver lining on a day when things went awry for them from a position of strength.

As it stands, Mumbai have one foot in the final unless Tamil Nadu bat out of their skins in their second innings.

It seems a tall ask from a visiting team up against a relentless Mumbai bowling attack but cricket is a funny game as they say.

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