11 on 10 for Mumbai

28 February,2024 07:11 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Subodh Mayure

Off-spinner Tanush Kotian and pacer Tushar Deshpande deliver thundering centuries against Baroda as Mumbai pile up 569 in second innings to storm into Ranji Trophy semis at MCA-BKC; visitors end match with 121-3

Mumbai’s No. 10 batsman Tanush Kotian (left) and No. 11 Tushar Deshpande (right) celebrate after reaching their respective centuries against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final at the MCA-BKC ground yesterday. Pics/Atul Kamble

Two unlikely centuries became bigger ‘breaking news' than the news of title-starved Mumbai entering the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy on Tuesday.

If the Baroda bowlers believed that it would be a stroll in the park to put an end to Mumbai's second innings by dismissing either No. 10 Kotian (overnight 32) and No.11 Deshpande (overnight 23), they were mistaken by a long way.

For Kotian and Deshpande went the distance to provide a rare instance of No. 10 and No. 11 scoring centuries in first-class cricket at the Mumbai Cricket Association's Bandra-Kurla Complex ground on Tuesday.

Deshpande (123, 10x4, 8x6) and Kotian (120 not out, 10x4, 4x6) batted like senior willow pros.

It was entertaining to watch for the Mumbai camp but totally frustrating to experience for Baroda.

Both batsmen were in attacking mode and timed the ball splendidly while registering their maiden first-class centuries. They added a whopping 232 runs for their 10th wicket partnership.

Deshpande, who was playing his 34th first-class game, had only one half-century (62) under his belt before this fixture. By Tuesday afternoon, he became the highest individual scorer as a No. 11 batsman, surpassing Tamil Nadu's Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, who smashed 115 against Delhi in 2000-01. Faced with a mammoth and improbable target of 606 runs, Baroda ended the game with 121-3. If at all Baroda denied Mumbai of anything, it was a sixth outright win.

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"I obviously have that ability. My father [Uday] feels I can be a very good all-rounder, but I haven't been able to apply myself so well. Today [Tuesday] I showed that if I play with the straight bat, I can score runs," Deshpande said.

Meanwhile, Kotian said he was determined to break the century jinx: "I had 10 fifties before this game. I kept telling myself that I should score [a century] this time."

runs off 129 balls (10x4, 4x6)

runs off 129 balls (10x4, 8x6)

Brief scores
Mumbai 384 & 569 (T Deshpande 123, T Kotian 120', H Tamore 114, P Shaw 87, S Mulani 54; B Bhatt 7-200 ) beat Baroda 348 & 121-3 in 30 overs (P Moliya 54; T Kotian 2-16) by virtue of first innings lead

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