Prithvi Shaw picked up from where he left off on the first day and hammered 379 - the second-highest score in Ranji Trophy, after Bhausaheb Nimbalkar’s historic 443, and highest by an Indian opener in First-Class cricket - to guide Mumbai to a mammoth 687 for four in a crucial Ranji Trophy Elite Group B clash against Assam.
At the Amingaon Cricket Ground on Wednesday, the 23-year-old Shaw brought up his maiden triple hundred in First-Class cricket in just 326 balls, taking a single off Roshan Alam.
A nonchalant Shaw looked at the sky, took his helmet off, kissed the bat and then hugged Ajinkya Rahane, who played a captain’s knock of 191 (302b, 15x4, 2x6) as his teammates chanted his name from the dressing room.
The two forged a 401-run partnership in 510 balls, and batted for almost three sessions as Mumbai took firm control of the game on a flat deck.
Shaw came hard at Sarupam Purkayastha and Alam and hammered them for a flurry of boundaries and a couple of sixes, bringing up his 350 off 361 deliveries.
While batting at 349, Shaw got a reprieve as he was dropped by Assam captain Gokul Sharma at short extra-cover off a Purkayastha delivery. Barring Riyan Parag, none of the Assam bowlers made an impact as Prithvi looked set for the 400-run mark. But he fell 21 runs short as his India U-19 teammate Riyan denied him the opportunity, trapping him leg-before in the final over before Lunch.
There was a loud appeal from Riyan, though the umpire was initially not interested. But a few seconds later, he raised his finger, as Shaw shook his head in disbelief.
But by then, Shaw had already shattered records. He surpassed Sanjay Manjrekar’s record of the highest individual score (377 not out) for Mumbai in Ranji Trophy history .
Starting the day at 397 for two, Mumbai flexed muscles as Rahane, too, scored his century - his 39th in First-Class cricket - as the partnership between him and Shaw got stronger.
While he was cautious in the first 10 overs, allowing Shaw to play his shots, Rahane upped the ante with a 50-ball 60 after Shaw’s dismissal.
From being at 131 off 252 at lunch, Rahane hit a flurry of boundaries, ensuring that the team crossed the 650-run mark with ease. He cut and drove fluently and inched closer to his second double-century in this edition of the tournament before Gokul caught him off a Riyan delivery, about half an hour after Lunch and Mumbai declared its innings.
Assam started steadily despite India international Shardul Thakur spearheading the Mumbai bowling line-up.
Openers Rahul Hazarika and Shubham Mandal forged a 79-run opening stand, before the latter was caught behind by Prasad Powar off a Mohit Avasthi delivery.
However, Hazarika (60 n.o., 108b, 8x4) stood firm and went on to score his fourth First-Class half-century with some fine shots off the pacers. He stitched a 50-run partnership with Rishav Das as Assam ended the day at 129 for one, trailing by 558 runs. On what looks like a good wicket to bat on, and Hazarika would hope to make the most of it on day three.
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