Having reduced Jharkhand to 180 for 8 just before tea,one would have excused Mumbai for assuming the hard work was done and it was just a matter of time before they had bowled out the visitors. After all,Jharkhands No. 9,Shankar Rao,doesnt really have a great reputation with the bat 309 runs in 50 First-Class matches. Saurabh Tiwary had held up one end,bailing his team out with a gritty century but what more could he possibly achieve without any support?
Naturally,Sushant Marathe and Wasim Jaffer the two Mumbai openers would have been thinking of padding up. Tiwary and Rao,though,had delayed what seemed like an early closure to the Jharkhand innings.
The duo put on a dogged show,stitching together a partnership of 82 for the ninth wicket and taking Jharkhands tally to 262 for 8 at the end of Day One of their Ranji Trophy tie at Wankhede Stadium on Friday. Tiwary was unbeaten on 175 at stumps,with Rao still batting at five. Impressively though,Rao had negotiated 64 balls and looked far more comfortable at the crease than any other top-order batsman. The day belonged to Tiwary,though. The long-haired left-hander from MS Dhonis hometown had built a reputation of being a T20 specialist,thanks to his powerful and unorthodox batting. However,he has portrayed a different aspect to his game this Ranji Trophy season,one in which he had already scored six half centuries before arriving in Mumbai.
However,the inability to convert those good starts into centuries was frustrating and Tiwary was relieved to have scored a ton in tough conditions.
,b.SEVEN KILOS LIGHTER
No one remembers those half-centuries in domestic season. Until you score big,these 50s and 80s wont count. I was frustrated but I knew it was just a matter of time before I managed a big score. I think this innings came at a right time but we still have a long way to go in this match. It was first time we all are getting chance to play the teams who have been in Elite group for such a long time. So we all are learning, Tiwary,who has shed seven kilos in the run up to this season,told The Indian Express.
Tiwary displayed Zen-like patience during his knock. He played each ball on its merit but did not shy away from playing his shots. On 91,he swept left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar over the mid-wicket boundary for a six. Even after completing his century,he smashed Javed Khan for two fours and a six in one over before treating Shardul Thakur the same way.
Brief Scores: Jharkhand 262 for 8 (Bhavik Thakar 28,Saurabh Tiwary batting 175,S S Rao batting 5; Javed Khan 4 for 61) v Mumbai.