Mumbai back in hunt

Cricket Ranji Trophy final : Shreyas, Yadav help champs end day on 208/3 in second knock

Mumbai back in hunt

After two days of unimpressive show in all three departments of the game, Mumbai finally played like a champion side and called the shots against Gujarat on day three of the Ranji Trophy final here at the Holkar Stadium.

Their reckless batting in the first innings had put them on the backfoot but a sensible approach in their second hit guided them to 208 for three at stumps, gaining a lead of 108 in the process. They had earlier bowled out Gujarat for 328, conceding a lead of 100.

Shreyas Iyer, centurion in the previous Ranji final, slammed a measured 82 (240m, 137b, 9x4, 2x6) while Suryakumar Yadav showed immense patience and concentration in his unbeaten knock of 45 (258m, 175b, 5x4). The young opener Prithvi Shaw played his part too, his breezy 44 (35b) upsetting the rhythm of the Gujarat bowlers, who experienced a disappointing day at the office.  

Earlier, Balwinder Singh Sandhu (3/63) and Shardul Thakur (4/84) struck as Mumbai required a little over an hour in the first session to end Gujarat’s first innings.
Resuming from 291/6, the Gujarat lower-order could add just 37 more to their total.
With seven wickets in hand, Mumbai have placed themselves in a sound position to build a handsome lead and set a daunting target for Gujarat.

Gujarat’s bizarre tactic of adopting a negative line to the batsmen backfired and allowed Mumbai to comeback into the game. Despite the swift opening stand of 54 between Prithvi and Akhil Herwadkar (16), which came in 56 balls, Gujarat pulled things back a bit by removing both the batsmen to leave Mumbai at 66/2. At that stage, an attacking strategy could have produced more breakthroughs for Gujarat but by consistently maintaining a negative line, they let Yadav and Iyer get set.

With the pacers maintaining a way outside the off-stump line and left-arm spinner Hardik Patel consistently bowling outside the leg stump, Gujarat did manage to slow the run-flow but being able to take just one wicket in two sessions didn’t help their cause either.

After their pacers had done the hard work, Mumbai openers came out with intent and attacked right away, with Prithvi being the more aggressive of the two.
The 17-year-old cracked three stylish fours in an over off Rush Kalaria as Mumbai raced to 50 in just 7.2 overs. While he was at ease on the off-side, Prithvi also slightly shuffled across the off-stump to slam two boundaries on the on-side, putting pressure on the Gujarat bowlers. Parthiv Patel’s men heaved a sigh of relief when Prithvi perished caught behind, attempting a drive away from the body to a moving delivery.

With Gujarat’s tactics not allowing them easy runs, Iyer and Yadav were patient in approach. The duo however was quick to dispatch the loose balls to the fence and forged a crucial alliance of 127 runs. Iyer drove well to the pacers while he countered Hardik’s negative ploy by stepping down and hitting the spinner for two sixes and two fours.

Iyer’s dismissal during the final 30 minutes of the day’s play should give Gujarat some hope but challenging Mumbai's batting depth will not be an easy task for them.
Gujarat also have injury concerns to handle. Bharghav Merai, while fielding at point, hurt his wrist while attempting to stop a shot from Iyer. Hardik walked out after he suffered a cramp in his left wrist.

score board

MUMBAI (I Innings): 228 all out
GUJARAT (I Innings; O/n: 291/6): Samit Gohel c Yadav b Thakur 4 (46m, 34b), Priyank Panchal c Tare b Nayar 6 (92m, 51b), Barghav Merai c Tare b Nayar 45 (148m, 100b, 7x4), Parthiv Patel c Tare b Nayar 90 (212m, 146b, 12x4), Manprit Juneja c&b Thakur 77 (124m, 95b, 11x4), Ruju Bhatt c Shaw b Sandhu 25 (58m, 38b, 4x4), Chirag Gandhi c Yadav b Thakur 17 (85m, 59b, 1x4), Rush Kalaria lbw Sandhu 27 (81m, 55b, 4x4), Chintan Gaja (not out) 11 (57m, 40b, 2x4), RP Singh c Iyer b Sandhu 8 (18m, 10b, 1x4), Hardik Patel c Tare b Thakur 1 (5m, 4b). Extras (LB-7, W-5, NB-5) 17. Total (all out, 104.3 overs) 328.

Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Gohel), 2-37 (Panchal), 3-106 (Merai), 4-226 (Parthiv), 5-254 (Juneja), 6-264 (Bhatt), 7-291 (Gandhi), 8-313 (Kalaria), 9-326 (RP Singh).
Bowling: Shardul Thakur 29.3-6-84-4 (nb-2 w-1 (5)) Balwinder Singh Sandhu 24-2-63-3 (nb-3), Abhishek Nayar 30-7-101-3, Vijay Gohil 8-0-34-0, Vishal Dabholkar 9-3-21-0, Siddhesh Lad 4-0-18-0.

MUMBAI (II Innings): Akhil Herwadkar c Gohel b Gaja 16 (48m, 33b, 1x4), Prithvi Shaw c Parthiv b Gaja 44 (69m, 35b, 8x4), Shreyas Iyer c Parthiv b Gaja 82 (240m, 137b, 9x4, 2x6), Suryakumar Yadav (batting) 45 (258m, 175b, 5x4), Aditya Tare (batting) 13 (38m, 13 (24b, 3x4). Extras (W-6, NB-2) 8. Total (for 3 wkts, 67 overs) 208.

Fall of wickets: 1-54 (Herwadkar), 2-66 (Prithvi), 3-193 (Iyer). 
Bowling: RP Singh 14-4-37-0, Rush Kalaria 13-5-36-0 (nb-2, w-2) Chintan Gaja 19-8-54-3, Bharghav Merai 5-3-6-0, Hardik Patel 14-0-66-0 (w-4), Rujul Bhatt 2-0-9-0.

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