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Shardul Thakur wins POTM in Ranji Trophy Semifinal with all-round brilliance against Tamil Nadu

Shardul Thakur wins POTM in Ranji Trophy Semifinal with all-round brilliance against Tamil Nadu

In a spectacular display of all-round brilliance, Shardul Thakur emerged as the hero for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy semifinal clash against Tamil Nadu, propelling his team into the final with an innings and 70-run victory inside three days.

Thakur’s heroics began with a scintillating knock of 109 on the second day, single-handedly steering Mumbai to a substantial lead of 232 runs in the first innings. This maiden century across formats for Thakur was a testament to his prowess with the bat and his ability to rescue Mumbai from a precarious position of 106/7.

The Mumbai bowling all-rounder then showcased his bowling prowess on the third day, wreaking havoc in Tamil Nadu’s batting lineup. Thakur’s incisive spell of 2/48 in the second innings, combined with his crucial contribution of 2/16, played a pivotal role in reducing Tamil Nadu to 10/3 early on day three.

Known for his ability to swing the ball dangerously, Shardul Thakur was relentless in his attack. He accounted for the vital wicket of N Jagadeesan, who fell for a seven-ball duck, and later dismissed the left-handed opener B Sai Sudharsan, thanks to a superb inswinger.

Shardul Thakur steadies Mumbai’s sinking ship in first inning

Despite Shreyas Iyer dropping a catch at midwicket and providing Sudharsan a lifeline, Thakur’s inswinger eventually found its mark, taking an inside edge and sending the opener back to the pavilion.

Continuing his onslaught, Thakur made quick work of Washington Sundar, who had been promoted to No. 3, by inducing an edge that landed safely in the hands of the wicketkeeper.

While Thakur’s early strikes put TN on the back foot, a resilient partnership between Baba Indrajith and Pradosh Ranjan Paul offered a glimmer of hope. The duo stitched a crucial 73-run stand for the fourth wicket, attempting to counter Mumbai’s dominance.

Baba Indrajith, in particular, displayed his batting prowess, scoring 70 off 105 balls with nine boundaries. However, his resistance was eventually broken when he nicked one behind to the wicketkeeper off Mohit Avasthi.

Mumbai’s spinners, Tanush Kotian (2/18) and Shams Mulani (4/53), capitalized on the foundation laid by the pacers. Kotian removed Pradosh Ranjan Paul and R Sai Kishore before tea, while Mulani, who had remained wicketless until then, scalped the final four wickets to seal the emphatic win for Mumbai.

Shardul Thakur’s all-round exhibition, coupled with a strong team effort, propelled Mumbai into the Ranji Trophy final. As they await their opponent, Thakur’s match-defining performance stands as a testament to his versatility and match-winning capabilities with both bat and ball.

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