Suved Parkar’s record double hundred on debutand Sarfaraz Khan’s third daddy hundred of the season took the fizz out of a hapless Uttarakhand attack helped Mumbai put a foot in the Ranji Trophy semifinals after five years.
Riding on Parkar’s 252 (447b, 21x4, 4x6) — the fourth highest score by an Indian batter on debut in First Class cricket — and his 267-run partnership with Sarfaraz (153, 205b, 14x4, 4x6), Mumbai declared its first essay in the quarterfinal against Uttarakhand at a gargantuan 647 for eight at Alur Cricket Ground 2.
Tushar Deshpande and Mohit Avasthi then snared a wicket each, including that of Uttarakhand captain Jay Bista, to peg Uttarakhand back at 39 for two at the end of the second day’s play.
The day, however, belonged to Parkar and Sarfaraz. The duo was batting on 104 and 69, respectively. While Suved took his time to get into his groove, Sarfaraz continued his busy streak by targeting the pacers early on.
It took Sarfaraz just 45 minutes to race to his seventh First Class hundred with a trademark upper cut off Akash Madhwal over the keeper’s head. He followed it up with three consecutive fours off left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh — a cover drive and two sweeps — to overtake Parkar’s individual score.
For the next half hour, the duo matched each other stroke for stroke. Parkar was the first to cross 150 with an inside-out four over covers off leggie Dikshanshu Negi, Sarfaraz passed the milestone with a reverse-sweep three overs later.
Sarfaraz then made a rare mistake of missing a sweep to be bowled by left-arm spinner Mayank Mishra. Despite losing Aditya Tare cheaply just before lunch, Parkar found an able ally in Shams Mulani.
The right-hand and left-hand combination pulverised a tired bowling lot to 106 runs for the fifth wicket. Minutes before Mulani was bowled by part-timer Kamal Singh after scoring a fluent fifty, Parkar became the 12th Indian batter to score a double ton on debut with a tap to long-off off Swapnil.
At the tea break, with the late order opening its shoulders, Parkar on 224 had Amol Muzumdar’s record of 260 runs within his sight. But minutes after crossing 250, Parkar attempted a quick single, stuttered for a while and Kunal Chandela’s throw from point crashed into the middle stump to find Parkar short of its ground.
Mumbai declared the innings immediately with Parkar returning to a huge round of applause from both the dressing rooms.