Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar and glovesman Aditya Tare ground a pedestrian Services attack to score patient centuries as the 39-time champions finished the second day’s play of their Ranji Trophy semifinal on 380 for six in 143 overs.
The Agarkar-Tare duo added 211 runs in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand as the home team bowlers failed to take a single wicket in the 65 overs bowled during the day.
At stumps, Agarkar was batting on 113 (14x4) while Tare remained undefeated on 108 (16x4).
The duo didn’t take risks but they slowly and surely went about their task of trying to bat the minnows out of the game.
Services medium pacers Nishan Singh, Suraj Yadav and Shadab Nazar, who bowled well under overcast conditions yesterday, paid for their inexperience at this level as they failed to make the batsmen play in the first session.
Gritty Tare and the seasoned Agarkar did leave a lot of deliveries but once the bowlers got frustrated, they got into the groove playing some lovely shots all round the wicket.
While Tare faced 324 balls, his captain didn’t do badly either as he faced 237 balls.
On a low and slow track, not having a quality spinner also became a problem for the defence outfit.
Left-arm spinner Abhishek Sinha might have got Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket on the first day but he is certainly not a top notch spinner even in the domestic circuit.
Agarkar was the first one to reach the half-century, off 109 balls, while Tare needed 198 deliveries to reach the landmark.
Their approach wasn’t certainly pleasing to the eye, but was effective nonetheless.
Tare got his second century of the season as well as his first-class career when he steered one past the first and second slip off Nakul Verma. He faced 297 balls and hit 16 boundaries in the process.
That he batted close to 414 minutes for a century was testimony to his patience. He had scored 222 against Saurashtra at Rajkot earlier this season.
Agarkar, whose most memorable ton till date was the one at Lord’s back in 2002, pushed one from Sinha towards mid-on to complete his fourth three-figure mark in first-class cricket.
The skipper faced 216 balls in 294 minutes, hitting 12 fours.
Mumbai : 380 for six in 143 overs (Ajit Agarkar 113 batting, Aditya Tare 108 batting, Sachin Tendulkar 56, Abhishek Nayar 70) vs Services.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy