After scoring 140 against Rajasthan (in the first game) and 156 versus Hyderabad, yesterday Shah notched up his third consecutive century in as many Ranji Trophy matches to put Mumbai in a commanding position against Bengal on the penultimate day of their Group ‘A’ game at the Brabourne Stadium. Shah scored a magnificent 118 off 209 balls and, along with Abhishek Nayar (73 not out), helped Mumbai post 294 for five declared in their second dig to set Bengal a 391-run target. The visitors were 47 for no loss, still 344 runs behind with 10 wickets in hand, at the end of the day’s play.
“I think so... I have been scoring well after we got engaged in April this year. It’s working out well for me,” Shah told MiD DAY when asked if his good form had anything to do with his engagement.
The southpaw’s fine run with the bat began with the Bapuna Cricket Tournament (a prelude to the Ranji season) in Nagpur. He scored 105 against Hyderabad XI and Rajasthan XI before slamming 107 vs KSCA XI. The 28-year-old has scored centuries in all the matches he’s played for Mumbai this season.
Playing for Mumbai ‘A’, he made an impressive 92 against a full strength England side during a warm-up tie at the DY Patil Stadium last month. Shah, who was dismissed for a duck in the first innings here, played a gritty knock with some dazzling back-foot stroke play in his second stint.
He reached his ton with a fine reverse sweep off Abhishek Jhunjhunwala that raced away to the boundary. Punching the air, Shah raised his bat and the lion-crested helmet with pride. He hardly played a false shot in the 261-minute knock and that seemed to inspire his partner Nayar at the other end as he too stepped up the scoring with some aggressive shots to the fence.