Mumbai are Ranji kings

Mumbai are Ranji kings

Mumbai are Ranji kings

When it comes to domestic cricket, you cannot keep Mumbai down for too long.  Widening the gulf at the top, Mumbai bagged their 41st Ranji crown beating Saurashtra by an innings and 21 runs inside three days here, replacing Karnataka–champions of the last two seasons– as the undisputed king of first-class cricket in India.

Of the 82 Ranji Trophy championships held since 1934, Mumbai have won half the titles, a pointer to their overwhelming supremacy.

The next best team is Karnataka with eight titles.

The Mumbai style of cricket, called “khadoos”, may not endear them to those who love flair and flamboyance, but when it comes to winning matches, they are second to none. The key to Mumbai’s success over the years has been their ability to seize vital moments and squeeze opponents out of the game.

That trait was on full display at the MCA Stadium here on the third day on Friday.
The game was fascinatingly poised at the start of the third morning with Mumbai only 27 runs ahead on the first innings and eight wickets down, that’s when Siddhesh Lad took the game away from Saurashtra’s reach with a blistering counterattack.

Dropped on 24, Lad smashed eight fours and five sixes on his way to 88.
The ferocity of his attack broke the spirits of a Saurashtra side that had entertained throughout the season.

By the time they finally got rid of Lad, Mumbai’s lead was 136.

It proved more than enough for a three-day finish as Saurashtra meekly surrendered, victims once again like in 2013 to a team that has mastered the art of unleashing the knockout punch.