Ranji Trophy 2022 Final, Mumbai vs Madhya Pradesh, Day 4, Top Performances: Rajat Patidar's 122, Shams Mulani's five-fer, Prithvi Shaw's 44 are top performances. Mumbai at 113-2
Brief Scores: Mumbai 374 (Sarfaraz 134, Jaiswal 78, Yadav 106/4, Agarwal 81/3) & 113/2 (Shaw 44, Yadav 23/1) trail Madhya Pradesh 536 (Dubey 133, Patidar 122, Sharma 116, Mulani 173/5) by 49 runs at Stumps on Day 4
Madhya Pradesh were trailing Mumbai by only six runs at stumps at stumps on day 3. On Saturday, Madhya Pradesh’s immediate objective to consolidate a substantial lead over Mumbai to shut the latter out of the contest.
Madhya Pradesh are playing only their second final in Ranji Trophy history and eyeing their first win in India’s premier first-class competition. Rajat Patidar (122) and Saransh Jain (57) ensured that the central Indian state side are one step closer to the coveted silverware.
Let’s scan the top performances exhibited on day 3 of Ranji Trophy Final 2022 between Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh.
Patidar becomes third centurion of the match for Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh middle-order batter Rajat Patidar, who was unbeaten on 67 at the end of day 3, started batting aggressively. He struck a boundary on the first ball of the day and helped his side to get past the total of Mumbai quickly in the morning.
Patidar and skipper Aditya Shrivastava helped their side reach 400 by playing aggressive strokes. However, Shrivastava got caught by Sarfaraz Khan, which rebounded from the hands of wicketkeeper Hardik Tamore. Madhya Pradesh continued to lose wickets but Patidar was firm on the pitch. They lost two more wickets but Patidar kept his cool and completed his century in 163 deliveries.
Patidar struck a few more boundaries after completing his century. Madhya Pradesh reached 475 till lunch break for the loss of six wickets. After the break, Patidar got bowled by pacer Tushar Deshpande, though the batter left the ground with a standing ovation by spectators due to his important century in this all-important game. He made 122 runs off 219 deliveries with the help of 20 elegant fours.
Shams Mulani bags a fifer
Left-arm spinner Shams Mulani bagged his first wicket of the match after Madhya Pradesh had batted for a whopping 100 overs. Mulani tried to compensate for the mediocre performance of Mumbai bowlers by taking four wickets on day 4.
On day 3, Mulani sent centurion Yash Dubey back in the hut and in the morning of day 4, he trapped all-rounder Parth Sahani plumb in front of stumps. Sahani could make only 11 runs off 18 deliveries in his brief stay on the pitch. After Lunch, Madhya Pradesh got past 500 quickly due to a blistering fifty by Saransh Jain. Mulani dismissed other batters - Anubhav Agarwal and Kumar Kartikeya - quickly to increase the pressure on Jain.
Mulani also dismissed Jain to complete his fifer and wrapped up the innings of Madhya Pradesh on 536. Jain made 57 runs off 97 deliveries. Mulani also carried the highest workload among all Mumbai bowlers by bowling more than one-third of the total overs bowled by Mumbai bowlers. He bowled a whopping 63.2 overs, as compared to his colleagues who bowled 114 overs together. His long spells ensured Mumbai pacers get enough rest between their spells.
Prithvi Shaw led Mumbai’s fightback with a whirlwind 44
After conceding a lead of 162 runs, Mumbai openers Prithvi Shaw and Hardik Tamore played aggressively from the start. Especially, Shaw took on opponent bowlers to garner runs quickly to erode the lead of Madhya Pradesh. Shaw got a reprieve as Gaurav Yadav dropped an easy catch at fine leg off the bowling of medium-pacer Anubhav Agarwal.
Shaw continued to play big strokes even after getting a life. He launched a huge six over cow corner against spinner Kartikeya and followed it with a four at backward point. In the next over, Shaw played a short-arm jab to get a maximum off pacer Gaurav Yadav. After the dismissal of his partner Tamore, Shaw didn't survive much and got caught by Yash Dubey at cover point off pacer Yadav. Shaw made 44 runs off just 52 deliveries.
What to Expect on Day 5
Mumbai racked up 113 runs for the loss of two wickets at stumps on day 4. Still, they are trailing Madhya Pradesh by 49 runs. As only one day is remaining in the Ranji Trophy 2022 Final, the game is most likely headed for a draw.
However, it is noteworthy that Mumbai had beaten Goa by 119 runs in an Elite Group D match in Ahmedabad after conceding a 164-run lead in the first innings. Mulani took a fifer in the fourth innings and Tanush Kotian took a three-fer to bundle out Goa for 112 on the last day of the game.
So, it is tough to discount a fightback from Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy 2022 Final against Madhya Pradesh. If they manage to bat at a fast pace as they have on day 4 and set a target of even around 180-200 for Madhya Pradesh with half a day’s play left, we might see a turnaround.
Madhya Pradesh still remain favourites though as followers of the game may see a new page of history unfold in front of them on June 26.