Ranji Trophy 2023/24: Mumbai batters set up tough target for Kerala

Fifties from Jay Bista and Bhupen Lalwani, combined with contributions from the tail, allowed Mumbai to set a target of 327 runs. By the end of Day 3, Kerala had wiped off 24 from the target without losing a wicket.

Published : Jan 21, 2024 19:57 IST , THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Mumbai batter Jay Bista plays a shot against Vidarbha.
FILE PHOTO: Mumbai batter Jay Bista plays a shot against Vidarbha. | Photo Credit: PTI

FILE PHOTO: Mumbai batter Jay Bista plays a shot against Vidarbha. | Photo Credit: PTI

A dutiful accumulation by Mumbai batters on a pitch which is fast turning to be spinners’ ally left Kerala with a daunting task of chasing 327 for a win in the Ranji Trophy match at the St. Xavier’s College ground here on Sunday.

The makeshift opening pair of Jalaj Saxena (12 batting) and Rohan Kunnummal (12 batting) had answers during the short passage of play in the final session. But the final examination on Kerala’s batting abilities will be on Monday. At stumps, Kerala was 24 for no loss and still has a mountain to climb.

Saxena completed a personal milestone by taking 100 wickets at the venue and it rubbed on to his batting as he crossed double figures for the first time in this series.

Earlier, the overnight pair of Jay Bista and Bhupen Lalwani played unhurriedly and extended the opening wicket stand to 149. The hard working M.D. Nidheesh surprised Bista (73) with steep bounce and was caught behind by Sanju Samson. Bhupen (88) was upright and stroked the ball with elegance but he was castled by a ball from Shreyas Gopal which kept a tad low. Mumbai went into the lunch at 197 for two.

The pitch changed its character after lunch under the blazing sun. There was sufficient help for the spinners and Jalaj found his rhythm. He snared captain Ajinkya Rahane (13) with a delivery that bounced, forcing the batter to fend a catch to leg slip. Suved Parkar (14) and Shivam Dube (1) left in quick succession as Mumbai slumped to 226 for five.

However, tenacious batting by lower order propped up the Mumbai innings once again, leaving Kerala frustrated. P.Y. Pawar (35) and Shams Mulani (30) punished the loose deliveries to add 32 runs for the sixth wicket before Nidheesh cleaned up the former. Jalaj breached Tanush Kotian’s defence but Mohit Avasthi (32) counter-attacked and along with Mulani added 37 runs for the eighth wicket. Sachin Baby took a stunning catch at short leg to dismiss Mulani off Gopal. The leg spinner then prised out Dhawal Kulkarni (5) and had Mohit caught in the deep, slogging to end the innings for 319.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment