On the eve of the IPL auction, Mumbai allrounder Shivam Dube nearly turned the clock back as he hammered five sixes in five balls off left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh on the final day of their Ranji Trophy match against Baroda. He missed Ravi Shastri's record of six in six balls off another left-arm spinner Tilak Raj, also coming in a Bombay-Baroda match at the Wankhede stadium 33 years ago, as Swapnil fired the last ball of the over down the leg side, ensuring that Dube could not get any bat to it.
Dube galloped from 45 to 75 as he targeted the wide long-on region - the one that went over long-off almost seemed like an aberration. However, he fell soon after as this spurt of boundaries and the match too petered out into a draw.
This was not the first time Dube came close to hitting six sixes in an over. He had smashed another five in a Mumbai T20 league match. Mumbai captain Siddhesh Lad said he expected Dube to be picked up at a good price at the IPL auction.
"Yes, Shivam is a very talented player and we have seen how long he hits sixes," Lad said after the match. "I'm sure IPL teams are looking after him and he will go at a good price."
The allrounder has been in excellent form for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. He is currently their second-highest run-getter behind Lad, with a tally of 489 and is also the highest wicket-taker, striking 17 time in the absence of three frontline pacers. Moreover, he has got his runs at a strike-rate of 69.85.
His strike-rate (137.09) had been impressive in Mumbai's title-winning Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign as well and it goes even higher when he plays T20s (147.65) - all of which should hold him in good stead when he comes up at the auction on Tuesday.