On Saturday morning with a cool breeze wafting across, a father and his son climbed the stairs towards the lone stand allowing spectators at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. He bumped into another family and quipped: “After seeing the 83 film, my son is interested in cricket.” Coincidentally the statement was made on a day - June 25 - that marked the 39th anniversary of India’s historic World Cup triumph in 1983.

And inside the venue, another new order was being etched in domestic cricket with Madhya Pradesh setting itself up for its maiden Ranji Trophy title and that too at multiple-champion Mumbai’s expense. Rajat Patidar’s remarkable 122 (332m, 219b, 20x4) and Saransh Jain’s 57 ensured that Madhya Pradesh seized a crucial 162-run first innings lead and scaled the first critical benchmark on its path towards the title. Replying to Mumbai’s 374, Madhya Pradesh posted 536.

At the fourth day’s close of the Ranji final, Mumbai scored 113 for two in its second innings and is trailing by 49 runs. Skipper Prithvi Shaw and fellow-opener Hardik Tamore batted aggressively and also enjoyed their share of reprieves as catches were dropped. Tamore however fell on the sweep to spinner Kumar Kartikeya. Shaw was regal till he lasted, targeting the upper tier, eager to whittle down the deficit but fell in the last session.

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Earlier, resuming at the overnight 368 for three, Madhya Pradesh skipper Aditya Shrivastava played out a maiden from spinner Shams Mulani. From the Far End, Mohit Avasthi steamed in and Patidar on-drove for four and during the 127 over, a brace off the same bowler helped Madhya Pradesh move to 376 for three and two ahead of Mumbai’s 374. Both Shrivastava and Patidar played some rousing shots and as the 60-run partnership promised more, the captain edged a lifter from Avasthi.

Just as Mumbai prised out wickets, Patidar marched to his own stylish beat with shots that scorched the turf. Akshat Raghuwanshi on-drove Avasthi for four but had no clue when a Tushar Deshpande delivery angled in. Next man Parth Sahani had a reprieve on two when Shaw grassed an edge off Mulani. But the batter did not capitalise and Mulani had the last word.

As it happened

Immediately southpaw Jain lofted a four to commence his knock. And as the fans chanted ‘RCB, RCB’, Patidar pulled Deshpande to move to 99, he then punched one towards cover and a special hundred was his to savour. He cut Deshpande, punched Mulani and Madhya Pradesh had 475 for six at lunch.

After the break and with the new ball, Deshpande castled Patidar. Meanwhile Jain nonchalantly whipped his fours. The whimsical Bengaluru weather threw up showers and on either side of the rain-break Mulani scalped Anubhav Agarwal and Kartikeya. Another wet spell meant tea was announced and when play resumed Madhya Pradesh’s last wicket fell, leaving Mumbai with a mountain to climb and a miracle to dream about.