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Not part of Test series against England, Indian star smashes century in Ranji Trophy semifinal

Mumbai and Tamil Nadu are facing each other in the second semifinal of the Ranji Trophy 2024 at the Sharad Pawar Cricket Academy BKC, Mumbai. An Indian International, who is not part of the team for the England series, has smashed a first-class century.

Varun Malik Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Published on: March 03, 2024 17:05 IST
Shardul Thakur and Ajinkya Rahane, Mumbai vs Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy
Image Source : GETTY Shardul Thakur and Ajinkya Rahane.

Mumbai and Tamil Nadu are taking on each other in a mouthwatering semifinal of Ranji Trophy 2024 at Sharad Pawar Cricket Academy BKC, Mumbai. Despite bossing the first innings after bowling Tamil Nadu for 146, Mumbai stumbled by losing seven wickets for 106 with the visitors smelling a lead. But Indian star Shardul Thakur stood tall.

Shardul, who is not part of the Indian team for the Test series against England, has smashed his maiden first-class hundred in the semifinal against Tamil Nadu in a precarious situation for Mumbai. He got to his ton in 89 balls with a six off S Ajith Ram over long-off. He then roared in celebration with a leap in the air after removing his gloves, and helmet and putting his bat down. The teammates clapped and cheered for him as Mumbai stretched its lead.

Shardul came in at No.9 when Mumbai were in a precarious situation of 106/7, losing most big guns at the top. Shreyas Iyer, who returned to the Ranji Trophy setup after missing the quarterfinal against Baroda, had an underwhelming outing of three runs from eight balls. Captain Ajinkya Rahane's poor run of form continued as he managed 19 runs from 67 balls. Musheer Khan hit a fifty after his double hundred in the quarterfinal to save the top-order blushes.

Tamil Nadu scored 146 in the first innings with none of their batters managing to get to 50. Tushar Deshpande picked three, whole Musheer Khan, Shardul Thakur and Tanush Kotian picked two wickets each. In reply, Mumbai were in big trouble thanks to a fifer from Tamil Nadu skipper Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore before Shardul came to the rescue.

In the quarterfinal, Tushar Deshpande and Tanush Kotian had scored centuries batting and No.10 and No.11 in the second innings. They became the only second pair batting at No.10 and No.11 to score centuries in a first-class game and first in Ranji Trophy history.

Shardul was not picked for the England Tests as India went with pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar and Akash Deep with spinners being the key performers at home. He last played for India in the Test series against South Africa at the latter's home.

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