Pawar rescues Mumbai against MP in Ranji semi-final

Mumbai were reduced to 60 for five on day one Getty Images

Indore: Jan 3, 2012

Young Kaustubh Pawar displayed maturity beyond his years as his unbeaten century saw Mumbai surpass Madhya Pradesh’s score with ease, in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal, on Tuesday.

At stumps, Mumbai were comfortably placed at 346 for seven, with a sizeable lead of 154 runs. Pawar, who came in at No 3 on the first day, showed enormous patience as he anchored the innings remaining undefeated on 160. He has faced 322 deliveries hitting 19 fours in the process.

Mumbai, who were reduced 60 for five yesterday, owe it to Pawar’s determined effort as they cross the first innings score without much fuss.

This is 21-year-old’s second century in his maiden first-class season. The right-hander is not one of the most elegant players in the Mumbai line-up but more than makes it up with his ability to play long innings.

On the day, the two most significant partnerships that Pawar was engaged in were 79 for the sixth wicket with Hiken Shah (41) and 78 for seventh wicket with Dhawal Kulkarni. When Shah was caught by Zafar Ali to become TP Sudhindra’s (4/78) third victim, Mumbai were reduced to 139 for six — still needing 54 runs to get the first innings lead.

However Kulkarni (40, 80 balls, 5×4) proved to be the ideal partner for Pawar as the duo added 78 runs in little over 25 overs as they crossed MP’s first innings score of 192.

With lead in their kitty, Pawar along with southpaw Ankit Chavan (57 batting) then concentrated on consolidation as they added 129 runs for the unbroken eighth wicket stand in 34.5 overs.

With semi-final berth all but clinched, Wasim Jaffer would expect that his bowlers would ensure that they don’t have to bat last in this match. (PTI)

Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh 192 vs Mumbai 346 for 7 (Kaustubh Pawar 160*, AA Chavan 57*, HN Shah 41. TP Sudhindra 4 for 78, M Ali 2 for 17)