Shardul Thakur scalps 10 as Mumbai wrap up win over Assam in Ranji Trophy | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Shardul Thakur scalps 10 as Mumbai wrap up win over Assam in Ranji Trophy

By, Mumbai
Feb 17, 2024 09:23 PM IST

Shivam Dube hit 121* before Mumbai dismissed Assam for 108 for an innings win at home, entering the quarters with five wins in seven league games.

Shardul Thakur took a match haul of 10 wickets as Mumbai defeated Assam by an innings and 80 runs in their Ranji Trophy match at the MCA ground in Bandra Kurla Complex on Saturday. It was a contest that lasted just over a day and a half and ensured Mumbai entered the quarter-finals with five outright wins in their seven league games.

Shardul Thakur of Mumbai celebrates dismissing an Assam batsman in the Ranji Trophy match(PTI)
Shardul Thakur of Mumbai celebrates dismissing an Assam batsman in the Ranji Trophy match(PTI)

With Shivam Dube (121*) unbeaten on 101, Mumbai began day two leading Assam’s first innings total of 84 by 133 runs. The hosts could only add just 55 runs to their tally as pacer Dibakar Johori bowled a disciplined spell to claim a five-wicket haul on debut. The 26-year-old Johori, who had removed Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane the previous day, sent back Thakur, Tanush Kotian and Tushar Deshpande as well. Having played for Assam U-23 in 2018, Johori had struggled with back pain for a couple of years before the Covid-19 pandemic further hampered his progress.

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“I’m the only one in my family who got into cricket,” said Johori, who hails from Silchar. “My father died 12 years ago and I grew up with my mother. I have been renting a room in Guwahati for the last six months and have worked hard on my game and fitness. “I was bowling well in the trials and got selected in the squad but didn’t get a chance through the season. I kept thinking I’ll get a chance and I finally got it this time. Everyone told me to give my best since we were playing against a good team and it bodes well for my future.”

Despite an impressive morning with the ball for Assam, Mumbai were left with a first-innings lead of 188 runs and maintained their intensity to bowl out the visitors for 108 runs. Mohit Avasthi dismissed the openers before Deshpande struck in consecutive overs and Thakur closed out the game with a four-for. "Our bowlers have been taking 20 wickets consistently, which is a good sign. That’s how you win championships," said captain Rahane. “I’m happy for Dube too, he played really well. We expect our batters to go big if they are set, and he did that for us."

Rahane, who was out for 22, has had a lean run with the bat, scoring just 112 runs in eight innings this season. The 35-year-old, however, said he’s just one knock away from regaining his form. “Since the last innings, I’ve batted well and felt good at the crease despite the big scores, which I expect along with everyone else, not having come,” he said. “But I’m happy that we’re winning matches because that’s the most important. I’m confident about myself but the team comes first and winning is the ultimate thing for me.”

Mumbai last won Ranji Trophy in 2015-16 and they have raised expectations of another title. But Rahane said the team isn’t looking too far ahead and is taking one game at a time. “Yes, we’re playing very good cricket but we have to respect every other team that’s qualified,” he said. “Time will tell.”

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