Ranjai Trophy 2018: Steyn, mother's cancer battle inspire Mumbai's Deshpande
Deshpande's career-best 6-70 in 24.2 overs helped Mumbai take the first innings lead after Railways were dismissed for 307 in reply to Mumbai's 411 at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi on Day Three of their Ranji Trophy Group 'A' clash
"Bowling at a speed of 140-plus kmph on a slow Delhi track is not something you see often," read a tweet from Mumbai team analyst, Saurabh Walkar after Tushar Deshpande, 23, claimed his second five-wicket haul in just his ninth first-class match on Saturday.
Deshpande's career-best 6-70 in 24.2 overs helped Mumbai take the first innings lead after Railways were dismissed for 307 in reply to Mumbai's 411 at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi on Day Three of their Ranji Trophy Group 'A' clash. Mumbai were 57-2 at stumps, taking their lead to 161.
Resuming on 115-6, Mumbai were troubled by Railways' Arindam Ghosh (71) and lower order batsman Harsh Tyagi (39) as they added 58 runs for the seventh wicket. Another 65-run stand for the eighth wicket between Tyagi and Avinash Yadav (48) added to Mumbai's frustration before Deshpande dismissed Tyadi, Yadav and Madhur Khatri in quick succession. "Bowling short spells and going all out worked well for me," Deshpande told mid-day.
Deshpande, who made his Ranji Trophy debut against Tamil Nadu in the 2016-17 season where he claimed 21 wickets in eight matches, was ruled out of the following season due to an ankle fracture. His comeback so far has been nothing less than heroic.
In the season-opening Vijay Hazare Trophy, Deshpande finished with 15 wickets in eight matches as Mumbai won the title after 12 years. "Dealing with the injury gave me a very tough time. I kept watching videos of Dale Steyn [legendary SA pacer] because he is an inspiration for me. My family and friends supported me a lot and that helped me stay positive.
My only aim was to bowl quicker than before the injury," Kalyan-based Deshpande said. It is not just Steyn that inspired Deshpande; his mother's fight against cancer too had an impact on him. "Mentally, I was a bit disturbed as my mother was suffering from ovarian cancer. But her willpower to fight that disease also motivated me. She is recovering quite well now," a delighted Deshpande said.
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