Two weeks ago, on February 9, India’s Yashasvi Jaiswal missed out on his 100 by just 12 runs in the ICC U-19 World Cup final against Bangladesh at Potchefstroom in South Africa. On Sunday, he went well beyond that special three-figure mark, scoring 185 (19×4, 1×6) for Mumbai U-23 against Puducherry on Day Two of their CK Nayudu Trophy quarter-final at the Wankhede Stadium.
Resuming on 112-1, the hosts posted 449-5 in reply to Puducherry’s 209. Jaiswal, who was unbeaten with 42 on Saturday, reached his 100 off 127 balls, just before lunch. Though the 243-minute knock was full of his favourite on-drives and cover drives, Jaiswal also ensured he respected the good balls and defending them sturdily en route a 207-run third-wicket stand with skipper Hardik Tamore (86, 9×4, 1×6).
“I’m not fully satisfied because I know I could have done better. I should have scored a double hundred. I was aiming for 200 and playing sensibly, but one bad shot did me in,” Jaiswal, who was out while trying to square cut pacer Santhosh Kumaran only to edge it to wicketkeeper George, told mid-day on Sunday.
Jaiswal credited the Mumbai selectors for their motivational talk on the eve of the match. “Mumbai selectors—Milind Rege sir and Sanjay Patil sir—spoke to me before the match. They reminded me that I was playing for Mumbai and that it was a proud moment as well as a huge opportunity to shoulder responsibility. Their words were very encouraging and I’m glad I lived up to their expectations,” added Jaiswal. It was certainly not easy for Jaiswal as he was playing red-ball cricket after a long gap. “There are differences in the field settings too in both [red and white ball] formats. If a bowler is bowling well, he gets a longer spell here so you have to play him with a lot of patience. As I knew that I was playing red-ball cricket after a long time, I practised a lot, batting for long periods in the nets,” added Jaiswal.
Tamore misses ton
Tamore too got out just like Jaiswal, missing what would have been his third consecutive century (after 134 v Saurashtra in an U-23 game and 113 v Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy) in the bargain. Thereafter, Sarfaraz Khan, who has scored heavily in the Ranji Trophy this season, continued his good form, scoring an unbeaten 60 off 73 balls (11×4).
Puducherry 209 (A Kargave 50, P Ratnaparkhe 32; M Manjrekar 5-41, T Kotian 3-37) v Mumbai 449-5 (Y Jaiswal 185, H Tamore 86, S Khan 60* C Sutar 24*; S Kumaran 2-64)