Match still open, asserts Mithun

Pacer is now the highest wicket-taker

Mumbai lead Karnataka by 211 runs with five second-innings wickets standing after two days of the final, but Mithun refused to rule out his team coming soaring back into the contest. “The wicket was on the slower side after tea, and it is likely to get slower as the match progresses,” Mithun noted. “We hope to restrict them within 300 runs. The match is still open and anyone can win from this stage.”
Mithun rocked Mumbai with a first burst of 4-2-7-3, and picked up another scalp later on to finish with four for 39, taking his tally for the season to 45, one ahead of Vinay. “It feels good to become the leading wicket-taker, but my focus is only on winning the match,” he observed.

“When we conceded the first-innings lead, we wanted to come all out at them as we were aware this is the last chance in the season. Vinay was of great help, as usual. Whenever I did something wrong, he used to tell me to keep my composure and bowl in the right areas.” Aavishkar Salvi had been the day’s first bowling hero, picking up five for 31 in Karnataka’s sub-par first-innings score of 130. It was the 28-year-old’s first significant contribution with the ball this year, his four previous outings having yielded just seven sticks. “The feeling is great. It’s a dream come true to get a five-for in the finals of the Ranji Trophy,” Salvi said.

“We knew 233 was a fighting total and with the pitch conducive for bowling, we knew we had a chance if we bowled in the right areas. I will rate this as my best performance. The pitch is a fast bowler’s paradise. It’s good to have such a wicket after playing the entire season on placid tracks that don’t yield any results.”
Salvi missed four games this season, and a large part of his career has been spent tending to various unrelated injuries. “The most important thing is that I am still playing cricket. Given the injuries I have had, it was really tough and that fact that I am still playing after all this gives me immense satisfaction.”
As for the game situation, he remaked, “The match is still open, it will be difficult to predict the outcome. The pitch still has something for the bowlers, so the first target will be to get as many runs on board as possible.”
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