Led by veteran Hrishikesh Kanitkar’s heroics with the bat,Air-India regained the Division A Times Shield crown by beating Tata Sports Club by virtue of the first innings lead just an hour after tea on the third day of the four-day final at the MIG Ground in Bandra. With this victory on Wednesday,they won the trophy back for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Then too they had similarly beaten Tata on first innings lead.
Resuming on 116 for 2,Tata’s required 496 to overtake the airmen’s first innings total of 612,unfortunately they fell well short,eventually being dismissed for 456.
To their credit,Tata’s didn’t go down without a fight as Wilkin Mota and Nikhil Patil both scored centuries,and they put on 100 for the fourth wicket,a partnership that only required 101 balls. Having started off on 32 overnight,Patil waged on to make 119 off 206 balls with the help of 18 fours,and he also spend a lot of time at the crease,spending 300 minutes during his stay.
Mota,the erswhile Mumbai all-rounder,too kept finding the boundary,smashing 14 during his knock of 118 in 132 balls. Apart from the two centuries,only Praful Waghela crossed 20,contributing with a 107-ball 49,stroking seven fours.
While there was little help in the wicket,Jayant Jadav and Akash Parkar did strike with four-wicket hauls,ensuring that Air-India ended up with the top honours.
Brief scores: Air-India 612 bt Tata Sports Club 456 (Praful Waghela 49,Nikhil Patil 119,Wilkin Mota 118 n.o.; Akash Parkar 4/62,Jayant Jadhav 4/161) on the first innings lead.