Ranji Final: Chasing 538, Vidarbha 248/5 vs Mumbai

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 13, 2024 IST

Ranji Trophy

Mumbai, Mar 13: Chasing a mammoth victory target of 538 to win the Ranji Trophy final, Vidarbha put up a brave fight and were 248/5 in 92 overs against Mumbai on Day 4 of the summit clash being played at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Wednesday.

Resuming play at 10/0, the visitors did well to resist Mumbai bowlers and not throw their wickets easily on the penultimate day. When umpires declared stumps for Day 4, Vidarbha skipper Akshay Wadkar was unbeaten on 56 having faced 91 deliveries. 

Wadkar slammed six boundaries and a solitary six in his brave innings. He was accompanied in the middle by Harsh Dubey, who was not out on 11.

Earlier, seasoned Karun Nair scored a superb and compact 74. But Vidarbha definitely would have loved to see the old warhorse to continue further and get them closer to the massive target. 

Nair played a typical red-ball, old school, resilient knock. He faced 220 balls and hit only three boundaries. Nair was removed by Mumbai's latest sensation Musheer Khan, who got him caught behind the stumps by keeper Hardik Tamore.

Among other Vidarbha top order batters, opener Atharva Taide (32), Dhruv Shorey (28) and Aman Mokhade (32), though got good starts, but the trio just could not continue for long. The only Vidarbha batter to depart for a single-digit score was Yash Rathod (7). 

Mumbai skipper Ajinkya Rahane used six bowlers. But mostly relied on his spinners. The three spinners claimed all the 5 wickets that fell on the penultimate day.  

Musheer Khan (2/38) and Tanush Kotian (2/56) shared two wickets each, while Shams Mulani (1/56), who bowled 29 overs, scalped the fifth wicket.

Seasoned fast bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur, known for getting early and crucial breakthroughs, however was wicket-less. Of course, he bowled only 8 overs, which accounted for 35 runs. 

With spinners bowling 69 overs in Vidarbha's second innings, the two other Mumbai pacers Dhawal Kulkarni (0/20 in 5 overs) and Tushar Deshpande (0/35 in 10 overs) were under bowled too.

Earlier on Day 3, Mumbai scored 418 in their second innings. Young all-rounder Musheer Khan (136) became the youngest Mumbai batsman to hit a century in a Ranji Trophy Final. He toppled Sachin Tendulkar's 29-year-old record.

Apart from Musheer, Mumbai captain Rahane scored 73, Shreyas Iyer slammed 95 and left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Shams Mulani hit an unbeaten 50.

Mumbai had scored 224 in their first innings and limited Vidarbha's first innings to a paltry 105. The 119 runs vital first innings lead definitely put Mumbai at a driver's seat.

With 48 Final appearances, Mumbai have always proved their supremacy in Ranji Trophy. They hold the staggering record of lifting the prestigious Ranji Trophy 41 times till date. On the contrary, Vidarbha have emerged victorious in Ranji Finals on two occasions. 

Now with final day's play left and Mumbai having already removed Vidarbha's top five batsmen, it would be interesting to see how Vidarbha captain Akshay Wadkar, who is unbeaten on 56, bats on Day 5 first session.

If Wadkar can continue for long and he gets able support from the other end, then an interesting fifth day play can't be ruled out.

On the other hand, if Mumbai can pick one or two quick wickets in the first session, then they definitely can wrap up Vidarbha's second innings. 

Vidarbha need another 290 runs to stop Mumbai from lifting the Ranji Trophy for the 42nd time. If they can achieve that steep target, it would be their third Ranji final victory.

If the match ends in a Draw, then too, on first innings lead basis, Mumbai will walk away with the coveted trophy.

Brief Scores at Stumps Day 4:

Mumbai: 224 & 418

Vidarbha: 105 & 248/5 in 92 overs.

Match to Continue. 

    Tags
  • Ranji Trophy
  • Ajinkya Rahane
  • Musheer Khan

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