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Predictably, Tare went on to slam his maiden Ranji ton before the end of play, remaining unbeaten on 122 and the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium continued to be a batsmen’s best friend as Mumbai piled up 306 runs for the loss of just two wickets in the day.
Tare made maximum use of the missed chance, playing a steady role and controlled his aggressive instinct. It was only Unadkat who troubled him, and when the bowler dug it in short repeatedly, trying to get the opener to go for the pull. However, Tare left most of those alone, even after getting hit on his forearm. Later, after he felt comfortable, he pulled him through deep square leg for a boundary later in his innings.
Tare was impressive while driving the fast bowlers and using his feet when the spinners came on. He repeatedly came down the track to nudge for singles or drive for boundaries when off-spinner Kamlesh Makwana and left arm spinner Nayan Doshi were on. The innings would have given the opener a lot of confidence, because before the season started, Tare was not sure of retaining his place in the eleven. The doubt over his place was more about his ‘keeping than his batting, with a poor reputation from his days behind the stumps with Mumbai Indians dogging him. However, having impressed the selectors since, Tare made his way into the eleven as a ‘keeper who can bat, and this knock would have done a pure batsman proud.
Jaffer misses mark
Veteran Wasim Jaffer, who returned for Mumbai only during the side’s last match, looked in good touch during his knock of 79, his second half-century in three innings this edition. Jaffer missed the chance to notch up his 45th First Class ton when he popped a leading edge back to medium-pacer Saurya Sanandiya. Ajinkya Rahane, who flew in from Nagpur to join his state mates, started impressively but was caught behind after Kamlesh Makwana manage to get some extra bounce off the wicket.
But the other Test hopeful Rohit Sharma made the fixture count with an unbeaten 72. His first scoring shot was a six over long off of Makwana and his half century the same way, with another maximum. By stumps, the Tare-Sharma pair had added another 108 runs. Sharma had smashed seven fours and three sixes, and a Saurashtra without the services of Ravindra Jadeja, were staring another day of chasing the leather by the end.
Brief scores: Mumbai 306 for two in 90 overs (W Jaffer 79, A Tare batting 122, R Sharma batting 72; S Sanandiya one for 56, K Makvana ne for 68) vs Saurashtra.