In what was an absolutely riveting tussle between bat and ball on Day 3, Sachin Tendulkar scored a masterly unbeaten fifty, his 115th in first-class cricket to leave Mumbai needing 39 runs to beat Haryana on final day at Lahli.
Lahli: After the hosts eventually managed to set a target of 240 for Mumbai to win, the visitor's chase hung on Day 3 around Sachin Tendulkar, who remained unbeaten on 55 - his 115th first-class fifty and 19th in Ranji Trophy.
17:01 (IST) At stumps, Mumbai end at 201 for 6, needing further 39 runs to win their Ranji opener against Haryana on final day. Sachin Tendulkar remains unbeaten on 55 and giving him company is Dhawal Kulkarni on 6. Mohit Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 65. (Match pics)
16:52 (IST) Tail-ender Dhawal Kulkarni hits a four and Mumbai are 197/6 after 73 overs, still needing 43 more to win their Ranji opener. Key-man Sachin 53 not out.
16:39 (IST) WICKET! Hiken Shah is out, caught by Ajay Jadeja off Mohit Sharma for 8. Mumbai 190 for 6, need another 50 runs to win.
16:30 (IST) A fifty for Sachin as Lahli erupts, his 115th in first class cricket and 19th in Ranji Trophy. Mumbai 188/5, need another 52 to win.
16:19 (IST) Read about this mason who remembers all of Sachin's 327 Test innings and his 49 ODI hundreds.
16:02 (IST) WICKET! Aditya Tare is gone, run out for 3. Excellent work from the deep from Harshal Patel who reaches the ball and throws down the stumps at the non-striker's end. Fifth wicket gone and Haryana applying the pressure here. Good thing for Mumbai is that Sachin is still there for them. Mumbai 167/5, need 73 more to win.
15:50 (IST): WICKET! No, not Sachin's! Nayar (24) looks to go for an expansive drive but the ball was just too quick for that shot. It hits the inside of the blade and crashed into the stumps, much to the joy of Hooda. Mumbai 160/4, need 80 more.
15:40 (IST): Sachin has scored 35 so far! The batsman has stitched together a partnership of 47 runs with Nayar and has hit three boundaries. Mumbai 86 away from a win. Haryana need seven wickets.
15:30 (IST): Interestingly, two men playing this match have been playing cricket for over two decades. One is of course Tendulkar and the other is Haryana skipper Ajay Jadeja who also made his first-class debut in 1988/89.
15:15 (IST): In the six overs bowled in the ongoing session so far, Mumbai have managed 18 runs. While the going has been slow, it has also been one in which Mumbai have gradually batted their way towards a win.
15:00 (IST): Another set of loud applause as Sachin Tendulkar makes his way out for the post-tea session. The man with 198 first class matches comes out for what may possibly be his last day in Ranji cricket...
14:40 (IST): Tea! Mumbai in a dominant position at the end the second session of play. Have scored 131/3 and need 109 more for a win.
14:33 (IST): From the position that Mumbai are in currently, it will take a heroic effort from hosts Haryana to stop them from a win. Of course, Joginder Sharma's bowling in the first innings did rattle the visitors but with Nayar batting aggressively and Sachin looking composed, Mumbai camp is looking relaxed. Mumbai: 127/3, need another 113.
14:25 (IST): Abhishek Nayar has come to the middle and has stepped out and hit several shots for either boundaries or for at least a couple.
14:08 (IST) WICKET! A rising delivery finds the tentative edge of Pawar's bat. The young cricketer (47) is sent back by the umpire after he checks the catch. Mumbai: 109/3, need 131.
13:52 (IST): Boundary for Sachin! Sachin Tendulkar's flick down fine leg brings up the three-figure mark for his side. Mumbai 102/2, need 138 vs Haryana.
13:45 (IST): On the opposite end of the batting track is Kaustubh Pawar, a 23-year-old who is approaching his half-century. Having Sachin's company will be encouraging as he appears to switch gears to perhaps, create an impression on his senior.
13:35 (IST): Salute for Sachin! Moments earlier when he was making his way in for one last time, Haryana players saluted the veteran batsman.
13:30 (IST): Sachin facing Mohit Sharma! The tormentor who dismissed Sachin on five in the first innings, returns for a sequel but once again, is unable to get the local fans' support. It's spectacular how a game of cricket can change but even more spectacular to witness how fans can change sides when a legend comes to the middle.
13:26 (IST): WICKET! Sachin Tendulkar walks out to the middle to a rapturous applause. The wicket of Rahane (40, bowled by Yadav) will go down as one of the biggest scalps on the track here.
13:13 (IST): Lahli appeals! An entire stadium rises with Mohit Sharma for a LBW appeal but umpire Shahvir Tarapore shakes his head. Glances towards Mumbai camp for a glimpse of Sachin. Mumbai 81/1 in 33.
12:45 (IST): 2nd session, Day 3 - Mumbai batsmen continue to move at snail's speed - perhaps, the right strategy under the current circumstances. Harayana bring in Jayant Yadav's spin and he has managed to turn the ball but not enough to outfox either Rahane (29) or Pawar (29). Mumbai 66/1 in 30. Need 174.
12:00 (IST): Lunch! Mumbai end first session of play on 57/1 with another 183 needed. Rahane and Pawar in the middle. It is becoming highly unlikely that Sachin will hit a ton in his farewell match but Mumbai seem to have come out of murky waters after losing Jaffer early.
11:45 (IST): Joginder Sharma is unplayable! The Haryana bowler who claimed five wickets in the first innings, has now bowled four overs and cost his side just one run. Apart from his three maidens, he has gone past the outside edge of both Mumbai batsmen. For someone who met with a fatal accident in 2011 and had to spend a long-time recovering, India's World T20 hero from 2007 has been tremendous in this match. "I spent 10 days in hospital including three or four in ICU. Then I was in bed for three and a half months. When I did return to the field, I had to consult my neurosurgeon," the braveheart was quoted as saying by a national newspaper today.
11:30 (IST): The current partnership is turning out to be extremely crucial for Mumbai. Having lost a wicket early, the visitors have been watchful. Rahane and Pawar have been batting patiently. There have been some half-chances but wait for Sachin continues. Mumbai need 192 more.
11:10 (IST): Lahli may currently have a packed cricket stadium to watch Sachin play his final domestic match. General public in Mumbai may not be as lucky when the legend plays his final international match. Only 4000 tickets for general public at Wankehde. (Read more here)
10:35 (IST): Harayana seamers have so far bowled a perfect line. Patel and Ashish Hoods have not chosen to experiment much and are bowling a tight-line, even managing to (almost) kiss the blade en route to the wicket-keeper.
10:20 (IST): Sachin may be looking to bid farewell to domestic cricket with a bang but Mumbai have an uphill task at hand. The highest 4th innings total at this venue is Haryana's 220/8 vs Punjab in 2010. The match was drawn. Mumbai need 240 and managed just 136 in the first innings.
10:15 (IST): Kaustubh Pawar and Ajinkya Rahane currently in the middle for Mumbai. Next man in is Sachin Tendulkar and the crowd here has begun swelling up to watch the veteran take his final Ranji stand.
10:05 (IST): Mumbai lose an early wicket! A huge prize early on for Haryana as Wasim Jaffer is dislodged by Harshal Patel. Mumbai 1/1 in 1.3 overs. Need 240.
09:55 (IST): WICKET! And Haryana's gritty fight ends on 241 with Harshal Patel (33) falling to Dhawal Kulkarni. Mumbai need 240 for a win.
09:30 (IST): Day 3 proceedings will be started by Harshal Patel (20) and Ashish Hooda (2) for Haryana. Mumbai skipper Zaheer will be hoping either he or Vishal Dabholkar ensure that the visitors will not have to be out on the field for too long.
09:20 (IST): Pitch and conditions: The track at Lahli has been much appreciated for making batsmen apply themselves. A green top has ensured that bowlers just need to bowl at the right areas and be patient while batsmen like Harayana's Sunny Singh, Rahul Dewan (44) and Jayant Yadav (45) have clarified that scoring isn't impossible. The onset of winter here has also meant relatively mild temperatures making for excellent playing conditions.
09:15 (IST): On Monday, Day 2 of the match, Haryana bowled out Mumbai for 136 which meant a lead of only two to cover. This despite the visitors finishing the opening day on 100/4. While Joginder was the hero with the ball as he took five wickets, Sunny Singh emerged unmovable with the bat as he hit 63 for Haryana in reply. The day however, ended with Mumbai's Zaheer Khan claiming quick wickets - four for him from Monday.
09:00 (IST): The Ranji clash between Haryana and Mumbai was expected to be exciting because it was Sachin Tendulkar's final appearance in domestic cricket. While the legendary man has drawn huge crowds here, it is the sensational cricket that has made most stay as the two teams battle it out for a win.
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