MP exposes Mumbai’s shortcomings

Grafter: Aditya Shrivastava shielded lower-order batsman Mihir Hirwani even while helping himself to a well-deserved century.

Grafter: Aditya Shrivastava shielded lower-order batsman Mihir Hirwani even while helping himself to a well-deserved century.  

Ekes out a draw with a show of dogged batting

The shortage of ability and variety in Mumbai’s bowling stood exposed by Madhya Pradesh in their concluding Ranji Trophy league game here on Saturday. The home team’s second innings declaration at 238, cushioned by a first innings lead of 169 was not enough to force victory. Aditya Shrivastava (130 n.o. off 287 balls, 13x4, 2x6) played the anchor in the second innings as the visitor’s dogged batting earned it a morale-boosting draw. MP was 314 for six when play was called off at the Wankhede stadium with one mandatory over left.

Though Mumbai went home with three points thanks to its first innings lead, it was a frustrating end to its Ranji season. Five regular bowlers were unable to bowl out MP on the fourth and final day as skipper Aditya Tare turned to batting mainstay Sarfaraz Khan, later named Man-of-the-Match, in a futile effort to break partnerships.

Defiant tone

Venkatesh Iyer had set the defiant tone (59 off 125 balls) before Shrivastava slipped into the grafter role for a ton off 208 balls. He shielded partner Mihir Hirwani in the mandatory overs when pacer Royston Dias intimidated batsmen in the hunt for wickets. MP chose to play out time after losing five wickets and succeeded.

Shrivastava used the opportunity to score a First Class hundred at an iconic venue against established opponents. He showed no nervousness in the nineties, slamming two fours and six in one Shams Mulani over to cross the three-figure mark.

Deepak Shetty infused a flicker of excitement into the game with two wickets in one over. New ball partner Dias also bagged two wickets, while Mulani and Ankush Jaiswal claimed a wicket each. But Mumbai’s attack lacked the punch or wile to break a stand of 132 between Shrivastava and Hirwani.

The passive tactics in the first two sessions on the fourth day was strange thinking, urgency set in late and by then, the gritty MP batsmen had gained in confidence to hang on for a deserving draw.

The scores: Mumbai — 1st innings: 427.

Madhya Pradesh — 1st innings: 258.

Mumbai — 2nd innings: 238 for five decl.

Madhya Pradesh — 2nd innings: Rameez Khan lbw b Dias 28, Ajay Rohera lbw b Mulani 8, Anand Bais b Jaiswal 5, Aditya Shrivastava (not out) 130, Venkatesh Iyer c Sarfaraz b Dias 59, Shubham Sharma b Deepak 5, Yash Dubey c Tare b Deepak 0, Mihir Hirwani (not out) 69; Extras (b-3, lb-6, nb-1): 10; Total (for six wkts, in 112 overs): 314.

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-41, 3-45, 4-171, 5-183, 6-183.

Mumbai bowling: Royston Dias 26-10-61-2, Deepak Shetty 16-4-46-2, Shams Mulani 24-3-81-1, Shubham Ranjane 15-4-26-0, Ankush Jaiswal 27-4-77-1, Sarfaraz Khan 4-0-14-0.

Man-of-the-Match: Sarfaraz Khan.

Match drawn.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 6:33:24 PM |

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