In-form batter Sarfaraz Khan smashed his fourth hundred of the Ranji Trophy 2022 season on Thursday (June 23). His brilliant knock of 134 lifted Mumbai to 374 in their first innings on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy 2022 final against Madhya Pradesh in Bengaluru.
In response, MP came up with a solid batting effort, reaching 123 for 1 by Stumps. MP ended the day trailing Mumbai by 251 runs.
Mumbai resumed their first innings on 248 for 5 with Sarfaraz unbeaten on 40 and Shams Mulani on 12. The latter fell to the second ball of the day, trapped lbw by Gaurav Yadav. Sarfaraz brought up a hard-fought fifty with a single off Kumar Kartikeya. Yadav, however, kept MP ahead in the contest, cleaning up Tanush Kotian (15) with a ball that moved late and knocked back the batter’s off-stump.
Sarfaraz kept fighting and finding the crucial boundaries to keep Mumbai in the hunt. He was in the 80s when the batting side lost their eighth wicket. Dhawal Kulkarni was caught-behind off Anubhav Agarwal for a 36-ball 1. Sarfaraz soon reached his 100 off 190 balls by smashing Kartikeya for a boundary. He celebrated by paying tribute to Sidhu Moosewala, bringing out the late singer’s signature thigh slap.
While Safaraz kept going at one end, Mumbai lost Tushar Deshpande for 6 as he nicked Yadav behind the wickets. The centurion was eventually the last man out, becoming Yadav’s fourth victim of the innings. He miscued a slower ball to deep extra cover while attempting to get some more crucial runs for the team.
Safaraz’s superb innings featured 13 fours and two sixes. For MP, Yadav ended with figures of 4 for 106 while Agarwal claimed 3 for 81.
MP batters keep Mumbai at bay on Day 2 of Ranji Trophy 2022 final
Responding to Mumbai’s first-innings total of 374, MP came up with a tenacious display with the bat.
Openers Yash Dubey and Himanshu Mantri added 47 for the opening wicket. Mantri was the aggressive one of the two batters and even smacked Mulani for consecutive sixes in the 14th over. There was some respite for Mumbai as Tushar Deshpande trapped Mantri (31) lbw with a full delivery on middle and leg.
Dubey and Shubham Sharma resisted the Mumbai bowlers and thwarted a possible fightback. To their credit, the MP batters did not go into their shell and found the boundaries when the opportunity presented itself. Sharma, in particular, was aggressive, hitting six fours in his 65-ball 41. Dubey also hit as many boundaries but faced 131 balls for his 44.
The unbroken second-wicket stand of 76 has put MP in a decent position to push for a significant first-innings lead in the Ranji Trophy 2022 final.
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