New Delhi: On a day when bad light halted play several times, Mumbai skipper Ajit Agarkar and Aditya Tare scored centuries to propel the visitors to a commanding 380 for 6 at the end of day two in the Ranji Trophy semi-final against Services. The 211-run stand for the seventh wicket between Agarkar (113*) and Tare (108*) has helped Mumbai recover from a double jolt at 169 and could prove decisive in the final outcome at Palam.
The start of play was delayed by 45 minutes due to fog and bad light, after which Services took the new ball, but Agarkar hit a few stirring boundaries through cover and gully to take the attack to the opposition. Along with Tare, he negotiated the new ball with assurance before drizzle stopped play after 9.5 overs into the day. At that point Mumbai were 224 for 6 and lunch was taken.
Both batsmen continued to play with an air of easy confidence in the post-lunch session and kept the Services bowlers' at bay. Agarkar was more dominating while Tare was gritty. The pair knocked around the ball for singles and doubles, thus rendering the bowlers completely hapless. Agarkar reached his half-century in the 100th over with a streaky boundary between gully and third slip; Tare followed suit a couple of overs later to register his fourth first-class fifty.
The 25-year-old, content_cn to play second fiddle in the first half of the partnership, outscored Agarkar in the latter half and unfurled a nifty reverse-sweep off Avishek Sinha to the boundary as Mumbai crossed 300 in the 124th over. Tare then steered Nakul Verma to third man and brought up his second first-class century. It took him 297 balls. Agarkar played some delightful cover drives and flicks and tucked Sinha to square for a single to reach his fourth century in 216 balls.
The Services bowlers looked completely toothless and failed to extract any zip from the surface, which is tailor-made for seamers, and failed to take a wicket in 65 overs. Suraj Yadav was disciplined but he picked up an injury and hobbled off the field in the first session which proved to be a huge jolt for the home team. Bad light played spoilsport again and the day was called off 30 minutes before the scheduled time.