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Millennium Post

Sachin wastes good start

Record Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai were put under tremendous pressure by Services, who restricted the visitors to 199 for six at stumps on day one of their semifinal encounter on Wednesday. Sachin Tendulkar (56) and Abhishek Nayar (70) were the only silver linings for Mumbai in an otherwise dismal batting performance at the Air Force ground, Palam.

Suraj Yadav (2/42) was once again the star for Services with the ball, giving his team the early breakthroughs. He was well supported by medium pacer Shadab Nazar (2/45), who took the all important wicket of Mumbai’s top scorer this season, Nayar. Electing to bat on a hazy morning, Mumbai lost both their openers in the space of an over. Yadav trapped Kaustabh Pawar (15) plumb in front of the stumps in the ninth over while Nishan Singh removed the dangerous Wasim Jaffer (3) six balls later.

Hiken Shah (0), who has been a revelation for Mumbai this season, was sent back to the pavilion without disturbing the scorers. With Mumbai reeling at 23 for three, the stage was set for Tendulkar to bail out his team. The batting maestro didn’t disappoint his fans, mostly school kids, who had flocked the ground to see the batting great in action.

Tendulkar struck 10 fours and a six in his short but fluent innings. He put on a 81-run stand with Nayar for the fourth wicket before falling victim to spinner Avishek Sinha. Nayar added another 65 runs for the fifth wicket with Aditya Tare (26 batting) befor being dismissed.

Brief scores: Mumbai 199/6 in 78 overs (Tendulkar 56, A Nayar 70; Suraj Yadav 2/42, Shadab Nazar 2/45) vs Services.


MASTER FALLS AFTER ENTERTAINING HANDSOME CROWD


Though he has been playing for around 23 years now, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar still calls the shots when it comes to pulling spectators to the ground for a match that is otherwise watched by few. The Ranji Trophy semifinal between Services and Mumbai at Palam Airforce ground attracted a handsome crowd mainly because fans don’t often get the opportunity to watch Sachin bat in a domestic game being played in an open arena. When Sachin walked into bat amidst high security, it became very hard to control the fans. At the entry gate, people went crazy to catch a glimpse of their cricketing god. The crowd cheered every time Sachin played a shot. Himanshu Dogra, a budding cricketer, said Sachin will definitely take advantage of the batting friendly pitch. And the master didn’t disappoint, hitting 10 sublime boundaries and one towering six. Everyone present on the ground were expecting a century from him, but the crowd got stunned when Sachin, batting on 56, holed out to Nakul Verma off Avishek Sinha. People were eager to take Sachin’s autograph but no one succeeded due to the high security cordon.
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