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Mumbai matinee

cricket Updated: Jan 05, 2009 23:31 IST
G Krishnan
G Krishnan
Hindustan Times
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Sachin Tendulkar’s love affair with Chennai continues. He has five hundreds in nine Tests here, the last came in that record chase against England just about a month back. And now the maestro has added another gem to the impressive list, albeit through the Ranji Trophy.

On Monday, when Mumbai piled up a mountain of runs and gave Saurashtra a taste of their own medicine, Tendulkar, along with Wasim Jaffer, livened up the proceedings and helped Mumbai reach a spirit crushing 637 for six at stumps on Day 2.

While skipper Wasim Jaffer smashed a triple ton, his second, Tendulkar helped himself to 122 (160b, 9x4, 5x6) before retiring with a headache. As the pitch had little to offer to bowlers, Mumbai showed no mercy and marched on merrily. They would want to go beyond 643, a total Saurashtra amassed against them at Rajkot in the Super League.

Tendulkar strolled in after Ajinkya Rahane fell for 85 to offie Kamlesh Makvana, an hour after the play resumed in the morning. With less pressure than that he normally faces at international level, and the bowlers and wicket looking equally dull and ordinary, the maestro just enjoyed himself, entertaining some handful spectators.

He took special fancy to offie Makvana, and treated him like a club bowler, picking him repeatedly for easy sixes over long-on and mid-wicket when not going for boundaries. While Tendulkar appeared enjoying himself, trying out some unusual shots as well, Jaffer, on the other hand, looked resolute and unconquerable. Reiterating his class in domestic cricket, Jaffer surpassed his highest score of the season (256 against Hyderabad) to smash a triple century, becoming only the second batsman after VVS Laxman to score two in Ranji Trophy. His stamina and concentration during his 10-and-a-half hours stay were simply exemplary.

Mumbai would expect Saurashtra to crumble under a massive total. Jaffer said they would bat for at least an hour on Tuesday and settle for the first innings result.