Mumbai cut a majority of their deficit down to 49 on day four of the Ranji Trophy final at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday. But it was Madhya Pradesh, thanks to a crucial 162-run lead, who are in firm control of the final and lifting the trophy, as Rajat Patidar notched up a fine 122 while Saransh Jain brought up his maiden first-class fifty to take the side to 536.
Though Mumbai are 113/2 in 22 overs at stumps, they are running out of time for giving themselves a small chance at winning the prestigious trophy. After getting Madhya Pradesh out for 536, Prithvi Shaw and makeshift opener Hardik Tamore (as Yashasvi Jaiswal didn’t open due to ankle injury) started off well for a 63-run opening stand. Both batters got reprieves – Shaw was dropped by pacer Gaurav Yadav while Tamore was given a life by Rajat Patidar at first slip.
Left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya Singh drew the first blood when Tamore chopped on to his stumps while attempting a sweep. Shaw, who had brought out some fireworks against Kartikeya and Anubhav Agarwal, was constantly enticed by Madhya Pradesh’s bowling attack to attack balls on fifth stump line in the outside off-stump channel.
The tactic worked when Shaw was forced to reach out to the fifth-stump ball off Gaurav Yadav and drove straight to cover point. Armaan Jaffer, who also got a life when Gaurav spilled a caught-out chance, played some delightful shots through the off-side to remain not unbeaten on 34 alongside Suved Parkar (nine not out).
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 and 113/2 in 22 overs (Prithvi Shaw 44, Armaan Jaffer 30 not out; Gaurav Yadav 1/23, Kumar Kartikeya Singh 1/50) by 49 runs