... First for Taruwar
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Taruwar Kohli was tipped as a special talent in Punjab cricket after his performance in the Under-19 World Cup that India had won four years ago. He was soon drafted into the Ranji Trophy squad. That was during the 2008-09 season.
Kohli, however, failed to make an impression in first class cricket and has been in and out of the Ranji team. In four years he has played only 11 matches. Before being drafted in for the quarterfinal against Jharkhand, Kohli's last match had come in November 2011. But given this opportunity, he grabbed it with both hands. Yes, the wicket was flat and Jharkhand bowled with very little intensity on the final day. But a triple century is a big achievement at any level, whatever be the conditions. Kohli's leap of joy, after he reached the milestone, said it all.
Resuming on 151, Kohli remained unbeaten on 300 as Punjab declared on 699/3 at tea. Coming into this game, he had just one first-class hundred — 118 against Gujarat in 2009-10. But the team management kept faith in his quality, preferring him over Karan Goel and Mayank Sidana for this game."He (Kohli) is technically very sound. Also, he is very fit and a brilliant fielder," said Harbhajan Singh.
Kohli's vigil spanning 823 minutes and 608 balls spoke volumes of his fitness. He displayed his range of shots with 34 fours and two sixes. The 24-year-old is strong on both sides of the wicket. He plays the on drive through the midwicket region very well and also can play the cut with aplomb. He added 264 in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Uday Kaul, who scored 113 not out.
After the match, however, the Keenan Stadium pitch became the talking point, having yielded 1133 runs over five days and only 13 wickets. Punjab might have qualified for the Ranji Trophy semifinals for the first time in eight years, but their skipper wasn't very pleased, and said that it might be more prudent to play knockout matches at neutral venues.
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