Ranji final: Tendulkar, Jaffer make merry with tons

Published: Sunday, February 4, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Jaffer hit contrasting tons to help Mumbai seize control against Bengal on the first day of the five-day Ranji Trophy Super League final at the Wankhede stadium here today.

Bengal clawed back into the match with a late two-wicket-burst in the final session to end day one with honours even, after Mumbai, being asked to take strike first, progressed to 281 for 5 in 83 overs with Rohit Sharma on 9 and Abhishek Nair on 4 holding fort for the 36 times Ranji champions.

Bengal in spite of an increased half an hour's play failed to complete their 90 over stipulation falling short by seven overs.

Mumbai got off to a disastrous start, losing opener Sahil Kukreja and surprise one down choice Wilkin Mota with just 14 runs on the board. Both the wickets were taken by pace bowler Randeb Bose, who had Kukreja caught in the slips by Abhishek Jhunjunwala for duck in the third over of the day and then had Wilkin Mota trapped leg before wicket for 8.

This brought the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar to join his India mate Wasim Jaffer to the crease and the two slowly but surely started to get on top of the Bengal bowling.

Sachin, fresh from his century in the fourth one-dayer against West Indies at Vadodara, looked to be in prime touch as his timing and placement was spot on.

His two straight drives in one over of Sourav Sarkar were worth miles to go to watch as he along with Jaffer consolidated the innings and then set about putting Mumbai in complete command.

Bengal had themselves to blame as Jaffer was given a life when he was on 14. Manoj Tewari is the culprit who, dropped a regulation second slip catch of the bowling of Dinda with Mumbai on 50 for two.

Sachin, at the other end, was toying with the Bengal attack as he brought up his 50 in 78 balls with 10 hits to the fence. He however survived a close call on 43, when he cut Ashok Dinda uppishly to Manoj Tewari at gully who dived forward to claim the catch.

Sachin, however, stood his ground and the umpire referred the dismissal to the TV umpire A Gokhale, who ruled that the ball was not taken cleanly by Tewari.

After reaching his 50, Sachin broke the shackles, hitting Sarkar for three boundaries in one over and then hitting Dinda for two boundaries on either side of the wicket in one over.

At the other end, Jaffer also reached 50 of 125 balls, which included 8 boundaries. When Jaffer was on 61, Sourav Ganguly then induced an outside edge, which was pouched by wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta but the umpire ruled it a no ball. Sachin in the meantime reached his 100 of just 113 balls, the second 50 coming in just 35 balls, such was the domination of the master blaster with 18 hits to the fence.

Sachin finally fell just before tea for 105, while trying to slog sweep S Lahiri. He was caught by Laxmi Ratan Shukla at the deep midwicket fence. Sachin and Jaffer had put on 187 runs for the third wicket, with Mumbai being 201 for three.

This brought Amol Muzumdar to the crease, with Jaffer also nearing his century. However, the Bengal bowlers were able to exert some pressure on both the Mumbai batsmen.

Muzumdar looked out of sorts and was beaten time and again by Ganguly, who bowled an inspired spell from either side.

Jaffer finally reached his century of 229 balls, inclusive of 13 boundaries. But like Sachin, he too got out soon after being caught at forward short-leg by Arindam Das of spinner S Lahiri, who bowled to a nagging line, for 112 with the score on 268.

In the next over, Muzumdar's scratchy innings came to an end when he was trapped leg before by Ganguly for 31 with Mumbai still on 268.

Rohit Sharma and Abhishek Nair then survived some testing period before taking Mumbai to close of play without further loss of wickets.

Earlier, Mumbai in a surprise move left out left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni, deciding to go in with a four-pronged pace attack with Ramesh Powar as the lone spinner.


Mumbai Ist innings 281 for 5 (Sachin Tendulkar 105, Wasim Jaffer 112, Amol Muzumdar 31; Randeb Bose 2 for 56, Sourashish Lahiri 2 for 69, Sourav Ganguly 1 for 29) Vs Bengal


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