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Takawale returns to haunt Maharashtra

The identity of his opponents,Takawale says,made his century even sweeter.

Written by Chinmay Brahme | Pune |
October 28, 2013 12:49:54 am

Coming in at 66/4 in your hometown with your former teammates sledging you viciously isn’t the ideal way to start your innings. It was this situation that Yogesh Takawale,the 28-year-old Tripura wicketkeeper,walked into in his side’s Ranji Trophy Group C game against Maharashtra,for whom he made his first class debut seven years ago.

“I knew a little about how these guys would go about things,having played with some of the guys,” Takawale says. “I told myself,if I hit the first ball with the middle of the bat,I would be in control.”

The first ball met the middle of Takawale’s bat and raced to the long-off boundary. From that point to the time he walked off at stumps,unbeaten on 105 (181b,10×4,3×6),he was in complete control. Takawale walked in after Tripura had lost their second,third and fourth wickets within the space of 26 deliveries,for the addition of 16 runs. Thanks to Takawale,and his 126-run stand for the seventh wicket with Timir Chanda (43,93b,7×4),Tripura finished Day One on 255 for seven at the MCA stadium.

The identity of his opponents,Takawale says,made his century even sweeter. “The fact that I was playing against Maharashtra in Pune was definitely weighing on my mind. I started playing cricket here,represented the state. Coming back with a new bunch and bailing the side out is a very special feeling,” he says.

Takawale played 14 first class matches for Maharashtra,scoring 812 runs at an average of 40.6. They dropped him in 2008,after a season in which he had averaged nearly 42,an impressive figure for a gloveman,and scored his maiden first class century.

“It is definitely not a nice feeling when you are ignored by your state,” he says. “But I wanted to keep on playing cricket and if it wasn’t going to happen with Maharashtra I had to find other options.”

He spent the next three years playing grade cricket for his club DY Patil in Mumbai and attended countless trials,hoping for something to materialise.

After a lackluster first season with Tripura in 2010-11 — he only scored 12 runs in four innings — he moved to Ireland to play club cricket. Takawale says everything began to click after the move. “I was brought in with the sole job of scoring runs,” he says. “I scored five hundreds in seven matches,with two 190-plus scores. My time in Ireland really gave me the confidence that I needed and I am just carrying on from there.”

Brief scores: Tripura 255/7 in 87 overs (Y Takawale 105*,T Chanda 43; S Mundhe 3/62,A Darekar 2/54) vs Maharashtra.

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