Dubey, Sharma, Patidar propel MP on the verge of first-innings lead


Bengaluru: Yash Dubey, Shubham Sharma and Rajat Patidar led Madhya Pradesh’s batting domination on day three of Ranji Trophy Final against Mumbai, bringing the side in touching distance of taking a first-innings lead, ending the day at 368/3 in 125 overs, with just six runs needed to overtake Mumbai’s 374 here on Friday.

Friday was a day which well and truly belonged to Madhya Pradesh. First, Dubey and Sharma, the overnight batters, made 133 and 116 respectively, sharing a mammoth 222-run stand for the second wicket. Once the duo fell, Patidar took centrestage with some eye-catchy shots to be unbeaten at 67.

For Mumbai, it was a hard day of toil under sunshine, getting very little help from the pitch and dropping Sharma at 55 as well as getting out Patidar on 52 off a no-ball added to their woes.

Patidar, whose attacking intent got fans in the stadium chanting ‘RCB, RCB’, began the final session with a cracking cover drive off off-spinner Tanush Kotian before punching Shams Mulani beautifully between two cover fielders. His aggression continued when he created room to drive through long-off and then played a delightful late cut to keep the Madhya Pradesh run-making juggernaut going. Patidar reached his thrilling fifty in just 44 balls by clipping Mohit Awasthi through mid-wicket.

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It seemed that Patidar had thrown his wicket away when he chased a wide ball from Mulani and was caught at backward point. But replays showed that the left-arm spinner had overstepped, giving the right-handed batter reprieve at 52. Dubey collected two more boundaries and took his score to 133 before sending a faint edge behind to Tamore, giving Mulani his first wicket of the match.

Post the reprieve, Patidar slowed down and played 27 balls without making a single run. As soon as Kotian arrived, he got back-to-back boundaries – a backfoot punch through cover was followed by a powerful drive through mid-off. Patidar and captain Aditya Shrivastava saw off the remaining time in the day to stamp Madhya Pradesh’s authority in the final.

Brief Scores: Mumbai 374 all out in 127.4 overs (Sarfaraz Khan 134; Gaurav Yadav 4/106) lead Madhya Pradesh 368/3 in 123 overs (Yash Dubey 133, Shubham Sharma 116; Mohit Awasthi 1/53, Tushar Deshpande 1/73) by six runs

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