Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | Elite Group B - Red-hot Sarfaraz Khan pulls Mumbai out of trouble

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Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | Elite Group B - Red-hot Sarfaraz Khan pulls Mumbai out of trouble

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SportsCafe Desk


Sarfaraz Khan, still hot from his maiden triple hundred in the match against UP, hit a double hundred to pull Mumbai out of trouble against Himachal Pradesh in the seventh round clash. Meanwhile, it was a day for the bowlers in the Baroda-Saurashtra, MP-UP, and Railways-Delhi matches.

Baroda fighting back after Jaydev Unadkat six-fer

Lead by medium-pacer Lukman Meriwala, hosts Baroda fought back after being bowled out for 154 in their first innings to reduce Saurashtra to 114 for six at stumps on day one. Unadkat won the toss and decided to bowl first — his decision being vindicated inside the first hour. Baroda were reeling at 46 for four, before skipper Kedar Devdhar, top-scorer with 52, took the team total to 95 for four at lunchtime along with Yusuf Pathan. Once Devdhar fell to his opposite number, after which Pathan followed for 34, it was only a matter of time before the innings folded. Unadkat was the star for Saurashtra with figures of six for 34. However, Atit Sheth (two for 21) joined hands with Meriwala (four for 54) to script a spirited fightback after the Saurashtra openers put on 45 for the first wicket. 

Ravi Yadav hat-trick gives MP upper-hand 

Put into bat, MP lost early wickets, but wicket-keeper Ajay Rohera raced through to a 48-ball 42. Once Rohera fell with the score at 59 for three, Yash Dubey stepped in and held fort at one end while wickets tumbled at the other. In the end, it was Ishwar Pandey who got together for a decent partnership with Dubey — the top-scorer with 70 — and added some respectability to MP’s total. Ankit Rajpoot and Saurabh Kumar picked up three wickets each as MP were bowled out for 230. UP’s openers survived six of the remaining eight overs of play, before seamer Yadav removed opener Aryan Juyal, Rajpoot, and Sameer Rizvi off successive balls of the seventh over. UP were 22 for three — still trailing by 208 runs — at stumps.

Sarfaraz Khan to Mumbai’s rescue again

With three wickets in the first five overs, Himachal Pradesh thought they’d made the right call in putting Mumbai to bat first at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala. But a counter-attacking response from the Mumbai middle-order saw them end day one of play with a run rate close to five. Siddhesh Lad started off the recovery proceedings from 16 for three along with Sarfaraz, but fell by the wayside for 20. Then, skipper Aditya Tare carried on his fine form and added 143 with Sarfaraz, before falling for 62. Shubham Ranjane also played second fiddle in an unbeaten 158-run stand, making 44 himself, as Sarfaraz completed his double-century. In the end, Sarfaraz was 226 not out off 213 balls, with 32 fours and four sixes as Mumbai reached 372 for five at stumps.

Prateek Jain, Abhimanyu Mithun run riot over Railways

Although the rest of the Karnataka bowling attack could not carry on the havoc Jain and Mithun wreaked with the new-ball, it was the visitors who ended a rain-hit day one much the happier side. Put into bat after a delayed start to proceedings, the hosts slumped to 29 for five — and 45 for six — courtesy of Jain’s four for 14 and Mithun’s two for 18. Skipper Arindam Ghosh then combined with Avinash Yadav as the duo put on an unbeaten 53-run stand to save Railways’ blushes. The hosts reached 98 for six at stumps, with Ghosh on 32 and Yadav on 29.

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