Ranji Trophy: Ton-up Rahane, Sarfaraz put Mumbai in command against Saurashtra

Ranji Trophy: Mumbai took the wind out of Saurashtra's sails, riding on twin hundreds by Ajinkya Rahane and Sarfaraz Khan to finish at 263/3 against Saurashtra.

Mumbai batter Ajinkya Rahane (left) congratulates Sarfaraz Khan (right) after his ton during the Ranji Trophy match against Saurashtra at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Thursday.   -  VIJAY SONEJI / The Hindu.

Mumbai took the wind out of Saurashtra's sails, riding on twin hundreds by Ajinkya Rahane (108) and Sarfaraz Khan (121) to finish at 263/3 on day one of a Group D Ranji Trophy encounter at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Bowling first, the Saurashtra fielders geed up the bowlers by clapping in sync in between deliveries. While Sakariya was greeted with a "Bahu saras, Chetan (Great work, Chetan)" each time he beat the batter, Unadkat was hailed as "legend" for his parsimonious first spell.

FOLLOW LIVE - Ranji Trophy, Round 1, Day 2

He earned the first breakthrough when Prithvi Shaw was caught behind for just one. At the other end, Sakariya had opener Aakarshit Gomel edging to second slip. His dismissal brought Rahane to the crease, who began with a checked straight drive off Sakariya. 


Meanwhile, Chirag Jani came on for the 13th over and immediately trapped Sachin Yadav in front to leave Mumbai reeling at 44 for 3. Prerak Mankad, introduced in the 14th over, could have had Rahane but the outside edge went past the slip fielder for four.

After what was his first and only false shot of the morning session, Rahane responded with two crisp back-foot punches through the covers in Mankad's next over. Sarfaraz Khan dropped anchor at one end. His first boundary, a cover drive off Sakariya, came after an hour of batting. But not once did his innings look laborious. Khan clicked up a gear after lunch, playing two back-to-back sweeps off left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja for four. He got a reprieve soon after when he was dropped at silly point, off Jadeja's bowling.

Khan even survived two vociferous lbw appeals off Unadkat, leaving the bowler and a few fielders on their haunches. His liberal use of the sweep shot was the highlight of the second session. After tea, Rahane and Khan continued milking the runs, often using the large boundaries to convert twos into threes. Rahane spent some anxious minutes on 99, having reached there with a six off Jadeja.He got to the three figure mark with a single to cover.

Soon after, Khan got to his ton and let out a roar in celebration. The two forged an unbeaten 219-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Clearly, the first hour belonged to Saurashtra, but the day was Mumbai's.

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