Swapnil Gugale says he wasn't aware of the all-time record
Day two of the second of matches in the Ranji Trophy saw quite a few records broken. However, the one that stood tall among all was the record-run partnership between Swapnil Gugale and Ankit Bawne.
The duo from Maharashtra added 594 runs for the third-wicket stand before the stand-in captain of Maharashtra, Gugale decided to declare the innings at 635 for 2 against Delhi in the Wankhede stadium.
The batsmen from Maharashtra were just 30 runs short of breaking Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene's record of highest partnership in all first-class cricket.
However, Gugale said that he was unaware of the record and realised it only after getting back to the dressing room. Speaking at a press conference, he said:
"I had nearly 100 missed calls and 200 messages. It was only as I went through them one by one did I realise we were 30-odd short of the world-record partnership in first-class cricket.
So there's a tinge of regret. Maybe I could have declared after the record, but the decision was mine alone so I can't complain."
The Gugale-Ankit partnership is the highest in the Ranji Trophy history, They surpassed the 577 runs stand between Vijay Hazare and Gul Mohammad against Baroda in 1946-47 final.
Gugale scored 351 runs off 521 balls with 37 fours and 5 sixes while Ankit made 258 facing 500 balls with 18 fours and 2 sixes.
Speaking about the Delhi team, Gugale said that their bowlers couldn't do much because the pitch wasn't assisting them. He said:
"The Delhi team asked us, 'aren't you bored? We are bored of bowling to you guys.' I said, 'who gets bored of batting?'"
Gugale was pretty happy with the surface and said that it was a batting paradise. He was quoted by ESPNCricinfo as saying:
"If you can see off the new ball, batting is a lot easier. If we could bat 170 odd overs, I'm sure we have to be prepared to bowl at least 120 overs. That said, scorecard pressure is a different thing.
As a batsman, noticing 600 runs on the scoreboard, it is always in the back of your mind. Even if you are playing, you obviously have to score at a proper rate and that's not easy on this track. It is a third-day track, you never know when the ball might spin or bounce."
Gugale became only the fourth batsman from Maharashtra to score a triple hundred in first class cricket. The other three are Vijay Hazare, BB Nimbhalkar and Kedar Jadhav.