Shardul Thakur reacts after terrific maiden Ranji Trophy hundred in semi-final clash against Tamil Nadu

The allrounder smashed a counter-attacking 109 off just 105 balls to take Mumbai to a position of strength in Ranji Trophy semi-final.

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Shardul Thakur celebrates after reaching his maiden first-class century.

Mumbai allrounder Shardul Thakur smashed a maiden Ranji Trophy hundred in his side’s semifinal game against Tamil Nadu. The century came at a crucial time for Mumbai as they were struggling at 106-7 when Thakur came to the crease, still 40 runs behind Tamil Nadu’s first innings total.

The right-hander stitched a valuable partnership with wicketkeeper Hardik Tamore and took his side to a position where they are in full control. Shardul played some delightful shots during his innings, particularly off the bowling of left-arm spinner Ajith Ram. He brought up his century by hitting a six off the same bowler, off only 90 balls.

‘Scoring a century is a big, big relief:’ Shardul Thakur after his century

Shardul Thakur celebrated his century in style which showed how much it meant to him. He was finally dismissed by fast bowler Kuldeep Sen for 109 from only 105 balls, which included 13 fours and 4 sixes.He spoke to the reporters after day’s play about batting with freedom. 

"I did a celebration which came to mind. Scoring a century is a big, big relief. Besides, it was very important for the team at that point of time. In big games if you are scared then you tend to lose the wickets or performance might not come your way. So, I might as well play with freedom and that was the whole idea when I started batting," Shardul said as quoted by Cricbuzz.

He also spoke about the importance of runs coming from the lower order batters. He praised the grit of Mumbai’s players and their Khadoos attitude.

"You have to see that with Yashasvi playing for India now, Sarfaraz also being selected. And Prithvi who has just come back from injury, there was a big hollow (vacuum) which was created in the Mumbai batting lineup in top order. And Ajinkya probably is not in that good form right now. So there is a big hollow in the top order. So, it's okay if you are going to have these kinds of seasons," Thakur said.

"But the good thing the runs are coming lower down the order. And it also shows the grit Mumbai players have and Khadoos attitude that we talk about that Mumbai has," he added.

Mumbai’s lower order rescued them from a precarious position in the semi-final just like they did in the quarter-final against Baroda. Along with Thakur, Hardik Tamore scored a valuable 35 while offspinner Tanush Kotian remained unbeaten on 74 to end Day 2 on a high.

Watch: Shardul Thakur's animated celebration after game-changing century in Ranji Trophy semi-final

Shardul Thakur has played some valuable cameos for the Team India as well. His superb counter-attacking knock helped Mumbai pile on 353-9 at Stumps on Day 2, in reply to Tamil Nadu’s first innings score of 146.

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