New Delhi: Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar and glovesman Aditya Tare ground a pedestrian Services attack to score patient centuries as the 39-time champions finished the second day's play of their Ranji Trophy semifinal on 380 for six in 143 overs.
The Agarkar-Tare duo added 211 runs in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand as the home team bowlers failed to take a single wicket in the 65 overs bowled during the day. At stumps, Agarkar was batting on 113 (14x4) while Tare remained undefeated on 108 (16x4). The duo didn't take risks but they slowly and surely went about their task of trying to bat the minnows out of the game.
Services medium pacers Nishan Singh, Suraj Yadav and Shadab Nazar, who bowled well under overcast conditions yesterday, paid for their inexperience at this level as they failed to make the batsmen play in the first session. Gritty Tare and the seasoned Agarkar did leave a lot of deliveries but once the bowlers got frustrated, they got into the groove playing some lovely shots all round the wicket.
While Tare faced 324 balls, his captain didn't do badly either as he faced 237 balls. On a low and slow track, not having a quality spinner also became a problem for the defence outfit. Left-arm spinner Abhishek Sinha might have got Sachin Tendulkar's wicket on the first day but he is certainly not a top notch spinner even in the domestic circuit.
Agarkar was the first one to reach the half-century, off 109 balls, while Tare needed 198 deliveries to reach the landmark. Their approach wasn't certainly pleasing to the eye, but was effective nonetheless.
Meanwhile in Rajkot, Sheldon Jackson scored a sparkling century to enable Saurashtra post 477 in their first innings against Punjab on second day of their Ranji Trophy semi-final match. In reply to Saurashtra, Punjab made a steady start to reach 41 for no loss at stumps with Jiwanjot Singh unbeaten on
11 and Ravi Inder Singh on 30.
Earlier, resuming at an overnight score of 274 for five, Saurashtra added another 203 runs before getting all out. Yesterday's unbeaten pair of Jackson and Kamlesh Makwana, resuming on 70 and 13, respectively, got their team off to a good start today. Their sixth wicket stand yielded 106 runs before
Siddharth Kaul removed Jackson for a 172-ball 107, studded with 16 boundaries and a six.
Vishal Joshi remained stranded on 55 when veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh removed the last man Siddharth Trivedi, who failed to open his account after facing seven balls. For Punjab, Kaul and Ladda were the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets each conceding 119 and 109 runs, respectively. Harbhajan took two wickets by giving away 102 runs.
Mumbai: 380 for six in 143 overs (Ajit Agarkar 113 batting, Aditya Tare 108 batting, Sachin Tendulkar 56,
Abhishek Nayar 70) vs Services.
Saurashtra: 477 all out in 155 overs (Sheldon Jackson 107, Jaydev Shah 87, Kamlesh Makwana 85, Vishal Joshi not out 55; Sarabjit Ladda 3/109, Siddharth Kaul 3/119, Harbhajan Singh 2/102). Punjab: 41 without loss in 17 overs (Ravi Inder Singh batting 30, Jiwanjot Singh batting 11)/
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