Abhinav Mukund seems to be a man on a mission, going past some significant milestones in recent times.
After playing his 100th First Class match in the last game against Railways and going past 10,000 runs on the first day here at the Motibaug Cricket ground, the Tamil Nadu opener slammed his seventh double-century in Ranji Trophy on Wednesday against Baroda.
Like in the previous game where he scored a century in one session, the left-handed batsman yet again played at a brisk pace slamming 206 off just 242 balls with 34 boundaries as TN took a mammoth 316-run first-innings lead.
Dinesh Karthik (49) and Mohammed (54 n.o.) chipped in with quick-fire cameos as TN declared on 490/7, having scored at a rapid pace of 4.5 runs per over. At stumps on day two, Baroda finished at 10 for no loss in its second innings.
It was Abhinav’s 23rd Ranji Trophy ton and he equalled S. Sharath’s record of most number of centuries for Tamil Nadu.
Resuming on 75, the 30-year-old took no time to get going, hitting three quick boundaries before reaching his second consecutive ton off just 116 balls.
Suryaprakash at the other end too got some quick boundaries before he was bowled by Babashafi Pathan with a delivery that kept low.
Abhinav looked like he was having an extended net session, playing with ease. Be it driving through covers, flicks, sweeps or deft late cuts, he was hardly troubled as he got his next 50 runs off just 66 balls peppered with eight more boundaries.
The Baroda bowling looked flat with only Babashafi bowling with intent and asking questions to the batsmen. Baroda was hampered by niggles to pacer Atit Sheth and left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh who got two wickets.
The left-hander had his moments of fortune when he was dropped twice in quick succession after lunch. When he was on 161, wicketkeeper Viraj Bhosale dropped a simple chance off Baba Pathan and then Ahmadnoor Pathan fumbled one at covers off Yusuf Pathan when the batsman was on 173.
It was all that he needed, as he raced to his landmark with two boundaries from 192 — the first one a stylish flick off Yusuf against the turn and then a lucky edge behind the keeper.
|Brief scores: Baroda 174 & 10/0 (K. Devdhar 9*, A Pathan 0) trails TN 490/7 (A Mukund 206, L Suryaprakash 75; Y Pathan 2/67, S Singh 2/75) by 306 runs|