Prithvi Shaw leads Mumbai into the final of the Ranji Trophy 2016-17

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Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Tamil Nadu bowling attack couldn’t stop Mumbai’s quest for their 42nd title as the defending champions chased down the 251 runs target set in front of them on the final day to set up a date with Gujarat in the final for the coveted trophy. Mumbai will make its 46th final appearance when they come out on 10th January at Indore.

Having entered the fourth day with a 101-run deficit, Tamil Nadu fought back with the bat valiantly and made a sporting declaration to set Mumbai a challenging chase on the final day. The target, however, turned out to be small as Mumbai mowed it down in 62.4 overs with 6 wickets in hands.

The final day, however, wasn’t any normal day of cricket where one team walked out, chased down the target to march ahead with the honors. It was a special day for the ‘khadoos army’ as the win was scripted and guided by none other than a 17-year-old prodigy – Prithvi Shaw – the newest name to emerge from Mumbai cricket’s never ending supply of outstanding talents.

The right-handed, batsman, who has been in the limelight ever since his school cricket days, today amplified his talent with a century on his first-class debut. He reached his century in a bit of dramatic manner after being caught in the gully region off a no-ball when on 99. But, he eventually went on to score 120 off 175 deliveries in the second innings to join the elite club of Amol Muzumdar, Sachin Tendulkar, Ajinkya Rahane and others as the Mumbaikar to score centuries on first-class debut. He also is the 14th player to score a hundred on Ranji Trophy debut.

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But, as the team soaked in the celebration as slow claps surrounded the stadium and Dinesh Kartik, the Tami Nadu wicketkeeper shook hands with Aditya Tare after the conclusion, Shaw, looked upset with coach Chandrakant Pandit by his side. The coach was seemingly disinterested in the formalities was seen giving him some serious words. The reason – Shaw threw away his wicket just 10 runs away from the win.

Everyone wanted him to carry his bat and take the team into the final and the immature shot did not go down well. But, regardless, Pandit and his senior mates had their chest puffed and were all smiles when he was awarded the man of the match.

The decision to replace Jay Bista with Shaw ahead of the important clash proved to be a gem. The right-hander was at the helm of the chase right from the start, stitching 90 for the opening wicket with Praful Waghela (36) followed by 91 runs for the second wicket with Shreyas Iyer (40) and finally 57 for the third with Suryakumar Yadav (34) before getting out. Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare and Siddesh Lad, both of whom would have perhaps preferred just relaxing in the dressing room half hour before, had to come out to finish the formality of getting the final few runs to finish the match.

After receiving the man of the match award, Shaw thanked the former Indian batsman and current U19 coach Rahul Dravid for helping him with “positive things” in Under-19 team.

“I spent about 25 days with Rahul (Dravid) sir. He taught me lot of positive things. Because of them I could achieve this (century),” said Prithvi Shaw.

Brief Scores:

Tamil Nadu – 305 (B Indrajith 64; A Nayar 4/66) & 356/6 (Baba Indrajit 138; Balwinder Sandhu 2/110)

Mumbai – 411 all out (Aditya Tare 83; V Shankar 4/59) & 251/4 in 62.1 overs (Prithvi Shaw 120; Aushik Srinivas 2/73)

Result: Mumbai won by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Prithvi Shaw

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