The Sushant Redemption

Such has been wicket-keeper batsman Sushant Marathe's journey so far that whenever he looks to cement his place in the Mumbai team,an injury always made sure to halt his progress.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai | Published: February 23, 2012 4:49:26 am

The opening batsman slams 55 as Mumbai beat Baroda by four wickets

Such has been wicket-keeper batsman Sushant Marathe’s journey so far that whenever he looks to cement his place in the Mumbai team,an injury always made sure to halt his progress. At 26,Marathe has appeared in just 13 first class games since 2005 and most of the time,the various injuries ensured Marathe has missed out on the action.

On Wednesday,the opener batsman made his comeback after recovering from his groin injury sustained during the early phases of the Ranji Trophy. His crucial 55 came on a Wankhede track which demanded a patient approach and at the same time it challenged the batsmen’s footwork_courtesy the ample swing and spin the bowlers got. The wicket was not one where batsmen could thrust one foot forward and punch it with ease. And with the two new balls rules it was not easy either.

“The ball was moving a bit and moreso after this two new-ball rule. The ball tends to move for a bit longer than normal. You had to be alert and play proper cricket shots. You couldn’t just go out there and start whacking any way you wanted to,” Marathe later said.

Marathe,who was recently roped in by Mumbai Indians for IPL Season 5,missed the Ranji bus when he was in supreme form. He had scored one hundred and one half-century in three games and Mumbai had looked like they had a settled opener. It was the last season too,when Marathe missed key matches due to injury. “It is frustrating but you can’t do anything about it. It has happened so you have to take it in your stride and look forward. All you can do is come back stronger both mentally and physically,” the opener adds.

When Mumbai came out to chase a modest score of 184 runs set by Baroda at the Wankhede Stadium,they were not expecting a cake walk. The hosts lost Ajinkya Rahane,back from Australia,early and what followed was Mumbai scoring a mere 20 runs in the first ten overs. Mumbai soon lost their veteran batsman Wasim Jaffer,who was short of the crease while trying to take a quick single.

Abhishek Nayar and Marathe then added 71 runs in 12.3 overs and made sure to keep the Baroda fielders busy most of the time. Nayar slammed one six and a four in his innings of 38 but the way he got out was uncalled for. He tried to reverse-sweep but was caught straight at short third-man by Kedar Devdhar . What was strange was Nayar committing the same mistake. During the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu,the Mumbai all-rounder was out trying to play an unnecessary sweep shot which saw him losing his crucial wicket. Mumbai in the end won by four wickets with middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav unbeaten on 38,but the hosts needing to pull up their socks and hoping for a better performance.

Earlier,Baroda lost three wickets for 59 runs leaving Yusuf Pathan and Ambati Rayudu to guide them. The talented Rayudu struck 69 while Pathan scored 30 in his first match since he got injured. For Mumbai,left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan grabbed three while medium-pacer Ajit Agarkar and Dhaval Kulkarni claimed two wickets each.

Brief Scores: Baroda 183 all out (Ambati Rayudu 69,Yusuf Pathan 30,Ankit Chavan 3/23,Ajit Agarkar 2/23,Dhaval Kulkarni 2/46,Iqbal Abdullah 1/34) lost to Mumbai 186/6 in 46 overs (Sushant Marathe 55,Suryakumar Yadav 38 n.o.,Abhishek Nayar 38,Murtuja Vahora 2/29,Gagandeep Natt 1/29,Bhargav Bhatt 1/34) by four wickets.

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