Sarfaraz Khan singlehandedly ground the Saurashtra bowling attack into dust with a marathon 401-ball 275 as Mumbai declared at 544/7 on day two of a Ranji Trophy Group D encounter at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday. Saurashtra was 18/0 in response. 

Khan's innings was a fantastic spectacle. He showed why he can be a blockbuster hit in three shots of sparkling strokeplay. First, a cross-batted hoick off Chirag Jani over mid-wicket for six, second a big heave-ho over wide long-on for the same result and third a reverse scoop over third man for six. All while closing in on a double hundred. That he reached his 200 not with a boundary felt anticlimactic almost. 

Earlier in the morning, Jani and Prerak Mankad turned in impressive performances. Watching the two bowl in tandem was a tantalizing treat; the ball wasn't swerving in exaggerated proportions but there was certainly more movement in the air today compared to yesterday. Time and again, the ball landed on a length in the off-stump channel and either moved in or straightened. Rahane got one from Jani that held its line outside off and was caught behind for 129, ending a 252-run stand with Khan.

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But the highlight of the first session was the battle between Khan and Saurashtra pacers. It drew you in ball by ball, and over by over. Mankad got one to shape into Khan, who was struck on the pads and survived a loud lbw appeal. Next ball moved away slightly after pitching and Khan very nearly feathered an edge. " Samajh nahi padti ene (he's not reading you)", chimed in a voice from the cordon. 

But that was merely a savory appetizer before the grand feast. Unadkat, who had previously stationed a very fine third man to get Khan caught on the ramp shot, bowled a dramatic over during which he had two animated leg-before appeals denied. In between the appeals, Khan scooped one over fine leg for four before slashing at a wide ball and sending it to the third man fence. There was a useful contribution from Tanush Kotian (50) too but it was Khan who stole the show. Mankad eventually trapped him in front but for Saurashtra, it was two sessions too late.