Swapnil Gugale scores triple ton on captaincy debut

Swapnil Gugale scores triple ton on captaincy debut

Swapnil Gugale and Ankeet Bawane. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Maharashtra captain Swapnil Gugale entered the record books when he hit a classy triple ton against Delhi in the second round match of the Ranji Trophy 2016/17. Gugale has come a long way since his first-class debut in 2010. He looked nervous as a 20-year old when he made his Ranji debut for Maharashtra against Rajasthan at Nashik (the then home ground of Maharashtra).

He couldn’t cement his place in the side back then. He went back to play age group cricket at U23s to bounce back last season. All the hard work came to the frame today. Swapnil not only scored his highest first-class score but also did it as the captain. In absence of Kedar Jadhav, Gugale was appointed as the skipper.

Jadhav is out on national duty and Gugale got his opportunity. He won the toss and elected to bat first. Maharashtra lost Harshad Khadiwale and C Khurana cheaply. Gugale then started the marathon stand with Ankeet Bawane. The duo brought up their centuries by the end of day 1. He got his fair bit of luck too. He was dropped on 38 by Unmukt Chand and later Nitish Rana dropped a sitter when he was on 105. He made the most out of the opportunity and moved to his triple century in 473 balls in the last session of day 2.

His partner, Bawane, also completed his double ton. They put on a marathon stand of unbeaten 594 runs for the 3rd wicket. This is also the highest partnership for any wicket in Ranji Trophy history. Swapnil became the 36th batsman to score a triple ton in Ranji Trophy. He became the 4th batsman from Maharashtra to score a triple century after Vijay Hazare, BB Nimbalkar and Kedar Jadhav.

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Maharashtra declared the innings at 635/2 towards the fag end of the day 2. He remained unbeaten on 351 off 521 balls with 37 fours and 5 sixes. His partner Ankeet Bawane, who also looked set for a triple ton, remained unbeaten on 258 off 500 balls with 18 fours and 2 sixes.

Talking about his success, former Maharashtra coach Surendra Bhave expressed his happiness. He said that Gugale is a fun character in the dressing room. He quoted, “Gugale’s laughter is the most famous, and noticeable, feature that I would remember from my coaching days. He is quite a character — humourous, a prankster, a team-man, and to get 150 on the first day as captain is quite an achievement.”