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'Masterful' Musheer!

Updated on: 24 February,2024 07:46 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Subodh Mayure |

Amidst Mumbai’s batting struggles, Khan stands out with unbeaten 128 to guide hosts to 248-5 v Baroda on Day One

'Masterful' Musheer!

Mumbai’s Musheer Khan celebrates his century v Baroda on Day One of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final at MCA-BKC yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble

Mumbai’s batting concerns persist even at the knockout stage of the Ranji Trophy.

However, young Musheer Khan, fresh from a runners-up finish at the U-19 World Cup for India in South Africa, showed the way with a sparkling 128 not out (10x4) to help Mumbai reach a respectable 248-5 against Baroda at stumps on Day One of their quarter-final at Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra Kurla Complex ground on Friday. 

Musheer, 18, is playing only his fourth first-class game, but the way he exhibited controlled aggression to counter Baroda’s attack on a spin-friendly pitch, proved he is as good as any senior pro. He impressed everyone at the Bandra ground just like his elder floored connoisseurs with his debut half-centuries in the third India v England Test at Rajkot recently.

While cricket fans following the ongoing fourth Test at Ranchi will anticipate another gem from Sarfaraz, Musheer has the chance to be a big hero today if he carries on from his unbeaten situation.

Baroda begin well 

The Baroda bowlers had the upper hand in the first session of the day after Mumbai decided to bat. Spin was always going to be the visitors’ weapon once left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt (4-82) was introduced in the eighth over of the game.

He didn’t disappoint his skipper Vishnu Solanki as he sent back  opener Prithvi Shaw (33, 6x4) in his fourth over. Shaw completely missed Bhatt’s trajectory to be stumped by Mitesh Patel. 

Bhupen Lalwani (19) and Mumbai skipper Ajinkya Rahane (three) too became victims of Bhatt’s disciplined bowling. No. 3 Musheer smashed his first four after facing 26 deliveries. His first 50 included just three fours while his 100 was laced with a total of only six boundaries. Though he excelled in sweeps and cuts, Musheer focused on rotating the strike and building his innings as well. 

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No.6 Suryansh Shedge (20) joined Musheer when the hosts were struggling at 90-4. Shedge played a well-timed straight drive for four off Bhatt. However, he failed to read Bhatt’s top-spin and was bowled for Mumbai to lose their fifth wicket. 

Despite playing white-ball cricket last, Musheer countered the red-ball challenge perfectly during his patient unbeaten knock across five hours. He only shifted gears for a few minutes after reaching his maiden three-figure mark. He hit four fours in the last few overs of the day as wicketkeeper-batsman Hardik Tamore (30 not out) gave him good support for a 106-run unbeaten stand for the sixth wicket. 

Musheer celebrated his century by pointing his bat towards the dressing room and then to his father and coach Naushad Khan, who was watching the match. “I wanted to keep speaking with my partner and play the remainder of the day. It was not an easy wicket. Rather than going for shots it was important to work with singles and doubles and look to bat for the 90 overs of the day. I try to spend time on the wicket. It is tougher in the beginning but eventually things ease out,” Musheer told reporters after the day’s play.

Tribute to Manohar Joshi

Before the start of the game, players from both teams and match officials lined up to pay tribute to former Maharashtra chief minister and ex-Mumbai Cricket Association president Manohar Joshi, who passed away on Friday morning. The Mumbai players also sported black armbands during the day.

Brief scores
Mumbai 248-5 (M Khan 128*, P Shaw 33, H Tamore 30*; B Bhatt 4-82) v Baroda

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