Madhya Pradesh’s dominance in Ranji Trophy final continued on Saturday as Rajat Patidar made a fine 122 while Saransh Jain hit his maiden fifty in first-class cricket in posting 536 in 177.2 overs and gaining a crucial first-innings lead of 162 runs over Mumbai at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
If Friday belonged to Yash Dubey and Shubham Sharma making 133 and 116 respectively, Saturday saw Patidar hit the third century of Madhya Pradesh’s first innings, followed by Saransh contributing with a useful knock from the lower-order. For Mumbai, left-arm spinner Shams Mulani took 5/173 in 63.2 overs.
Resuming from 120 on lunch, Patidar could add only two runs to his score before Tushar Deshpande got one to shape back in and castle him through the gate. Saransh Jain continued to crack boundaries but Mumbai had another success with Shams Mulani trapping Anubhav Agarwal lbw before rain stopped play for 12 minutes.
After play resumed, Mulani had another wicket when Kumar Kartikeya Singh chipped straight to short cover. Saransh hit two more boundaries and reached his maiden fifty in first-class cricket with a brace through deep mid-wicket before rain came again and forced an early tea break to be taken, with him being unbeaten at 51. After tea, Madhya Pradesh’s innings lasted seven more balls with Saransh being the last man to fall.
Earlier, Patidar continued from where he left on day three, slamming the third century of Madhya Pradesh’s first innings, with chants of ‘RCB, RCB’ coming from the crowd. Co-incidentally, exactly a month ago, Patidar, a crowd favourite during the Ranji Trophy final, slammed a whirlwind 54-ball 112 for RCB against Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2022 eliminator at Kolkata.
Patidar, resuming from an overnight score of 67 on day three, began with a flick through mid-wicket off Mohit Awasthi. Mumbai tried to unsettle Patidar by banging the ball into the pitch, but with the bounce not much, Patidar was easily able to pull through mid-wicket twice.
After Madhya Pradesh began to take the first-innings lead, Mumbai bounced back as Awasthi took out captain Aditya Shrivastava, followed by Tushar Deshpande sending Akshat Raghuvanshi’s off-stump on a walk and Shams Mulani getting reward for a persistent line and length by trapping Parth Sahani lbw.
After swivelling a pull over fine leg, Patidar reached his second century of the season with a punch through deep point and acknowledged the applause for him with the raise of bat. Post reaching the three-figure mark, Patidar wowed everyone with his impressive punches off the pacers and late cut off off-spinner Tanush Koitan. Though he couldn’t do much after lunch, Patidar and then Saransh ensured that Madhya Pradesh continued to have a strong hold on the final.
Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh 536 all out in 177.2 overs (Yash Dubey 133, Rajat Patidar 122, Shubham Sharma 116; Shams Mulani 5/173, Tushar Deshpande 3/116) lead Mumbai 374 all out in 127.4 overs (Sarfaraz Khan 134; Gaurav Yadav 4/106) by 162 runs.