Ranji Trophy: Shaw sizzles for Mumbai, TN stages fightback

Prithvi Shaw scored his third century in four first-class games to give Mumbai a solid foundation, but Tamil Nadu restored parity with wickets in the latter part of the first day of the Ranji Trophy Group C tie.

Prithvi Shaw en route to his knock of 123 on Tuesday.   -  Vivek Bendre

Teenager Prithvi Shaw passed yet another stern test in his young career with flying colours on an eventful opening day of Mumbai's Ranji Trophy Group C tie against Tamil Nadu at the MCA Sharad Paward Cricket Academy group on Tuesday.

Thanks to opener Shaw's 123 (155b, 17x4, 2x6), his third first-class century in the fourth game, and his marauding partnerships with Shreyas Iyer (57 off 62, 7x4, 2x6) and Suryakumar Yadav (39 off 39, 8x4), Mumbai threatened to run away with the game at lunch time. However, Tamil Nadu pulled it back in the latter half of the day to restrict Mumbai to 314 for seven, with Vijay Shankar dismissing nightwatchman Vijay Gohil in the last over of the day before twisting his ankle in the follow-up.

Early wicket

V. Yo Mahesh celebrated his return to first-class cricket after almost five years by trapping left-hander Akhil Herwadkar in front of the wickets in his first over after Mumbai captain Aditya Tare chose to bat on a flat deck that had decent carry all through the day. However, for the next hour and a half, Tamil Nadu had little to cheer.

Shaw and Iyer matched each other stroke for stroke as the duo forced TN skipper Abhinav Mukund to introduce spin in the seventh over. However, the barrage of drives and flicks continued even against the spin, with Shaw welcoming stalwart R. Ashwin with a fluent cover drive in the offie's first over.

Dominance

While Shaw slog-swept left-arm spinner Rahil Shah for the first six of the day, Iyer charged down the wicket to loft one from Ashwin wide of long-on for a maximum. Soon after the duo had taken Mumbai's total past 100 in just the 20th over, Iyer poked outside off-stump off Shankar to end the 98-run partnership. However, Suryakumar Yadav then continued the onslaught, forcing Abhinav to employ at least four fielders on the boundary in the first session of the match.

Yadav was adjudged leg-before minutes before the break by overseas umpire Martin Saggers when the ball appeared to have kissed his inside edge before thudding on to the pad. Still, at 173 for three in 34 overs at lunch, and with Shaw racing towards a century, Mumbai looked set for a gargantuan total on the board.

Respite

However, Tamil Nadu pulled it back in the afternoon session despite Shaw upper-cutting the pacers twice and completing a mature hundred with a lofted straight drive off Shah. Ashwin changed ends in the afternoon session and first coerced Siddhesh Lad into a drive to mid-off. Later in the same spell, Ashwin used the crease smartly, bowling from wide of the crease to force Shaw to edge one to B. Indrajith in the slips. Indrajith took a stunning single-handed catch.

While Ashwin and Shah kept things tight in the last session, Shankar gave TN vital breakthroughs at the fag end.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai 314 for 7 (Shaw 123, Iyer 57; Shankar 3 for 37, Mahesh 2 for 58) vs Tamil Nadu