Prithvi Shaw scored a century in the match    IANS
Prithvi Shaw scored a century in the match IANS

A 17-year-old Prithvi Shaw shone with a commendable century as he took Mumbai to the final of Ranji Trophy 2016-17. Mumbai were up against Tamil Nadu in the semi-final at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot and batted exceptionally well to chase down the target of 251 on Day Five to seal the victory and enter another final of the tournament. Mumbai had the first innings lead at hand and even a draw could have taken them through but Tamil Nadu needed a victory to make the cut. Mumbai will now face Gujarat in the final at the Holkar Stadium, Indore starting January 10.

Praful Waghela had opened the batting with Shaw on Day Four and at stumps, Mumbai were 5 without any loss, needing 246 runs more. The pair started Day Five very positively. They batted without any pressure and a lot of composure. Tamil Nadu needed to aim for wickets but after the partnership was set, the pressure acted on the bowlers instead, who started to bowl defensively, trying to save runs. Shaw gradually got to his maiden half-century but Waghela departed scoring 36 runs. Shaw kept on batting with Shreyas Iyer. Young Shaw played orthodox strokes, with a matured approach to the game, did not go for rash shots, and inched towards his century. Iyer, on the other hand, looked to score runs at a brisk pace, and get to the desired victory soon.

FULL UPDATES: Ranji Trophy 2016-17, Semi-Final, Day 5

Iyer departed for 40 and that brought Surya Kumar Yadav at the crease. It was a dramatic over in which Shaw got to his maiden ton in First-Class cricket. As he was batting at 99, he edged the ball to third-man who took a simple catch to dismiss him. However, the umpire asked him to wait and checked with third umpire, confirming it to be a no-ball for over-stepping.

Shaw got to his century with a single. He thus became the 13th Mumbai cricketer to score a century on First-Class debut and joined the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sameer Dighe. He went on to score 120 before getting out. Skipper Aditya Tare and Siddhesh Lad took the team to victory soon after the dismissal.

Tamil Nadu failed to deal with their nerves and ended up losing the match. Though they bagged a few wickets later the day, Mumbai were very close to their victory by the time and the wickets hardly affected the course of the game. Aushik Srinivas bowled an attractive spell though, and picked up 2 wickets.

Earlier, Tamil Nadu had put up 305 in their first innings with generous contributions from Kaushik Gandhi, Baba Indrajith and Vijay Shankar all of whom scored individual half-centuries. Shardul Thakur had picked up 4 wickets, emerging as the highest wicket-taker of the innings. Mumbai replied it with a 406, gaining a healthy first-innings lead of 101 runs. Waghela, Yadav and Tare were the main contributors in the top-order. Abhishek Nayar s 58 in the middle-order and Thakur s 52 scored with the tail were commendable. Vijay Shankar was the most successful bowler for Tamil Nadu, with 4 wickets.

Tamil Nadu did exceptionally well with the bat in the following innings, as skipper Abhinav Mukund and Baba Indrajith both scored individual centuries and helped the team get to 356. However, the umpires added 5 penalty points to Mumbai s scorecard for the Tamil Nadu players walking on the restricted area of the pitch, making the target 251 to win for Mumbai.

Prithvi Shaw was named the Man of the Match for his incredible innings.

Brief scores:

Tamil Nadu 305 & 356 for 6 decl. lose to Mumbai 411 & 251 for 4 (Prithvi Shaw 120, Shreyas Iyer 40; Aushik Srinivas 2 for 73, Vijay Shankar 1 for 30) by 6 wickets.