Moments after Shams Mulani was presented the Man of the Match award for his all-round performance — even as the Saurashtra Cricket Association staff and officials gathered for a photograph to celebrate their team's entry into Ranji Trophy quarterfinals — Mumbai captain Aditya Tare and senior batsman Siddhesh Lad sat with Bhupen Lalwani, the rookie who dropped a sitter that eventually put an end to Mumbai’s Ranji campaign.
Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, whose catch Lalwani dropped, joined in and said: “thank you”. Not to rub salt into Mumbai’s wounds but for helping him salvage a draw along with Kamlesh Makwana. Such was the camaraderie between the two sides.
As it happened |
While Tare lauded Jadeja and Makwana’s resistance for 40 overs as a “gritty partnership”, Saurashtra head coach Karsan Ghavri applauded Mumbai’s fighting spirit.
“Had it not been for Surykumar Yadav and Shams Mulani’s outstanding knocks yesterday, it wouldn’t have resulted in a close contest. They set the game up and the spinners and the left-arm pacer (Royston Dias) were exceptional today,” Ghavri told Sportstar.
“But eventually, we are happy and I am proud of the thrilling contest ending up in our favour. During tea time, I just told them that it was important for us to save the game and I am glad the boys responded so well. Full credit to them.”
Mumbai started the day with a lead of 212. Despite Mulani being dismissed for 92, Tare continued to bat on for almost six more overs, setting Saurashtra a target of 290 off 74 overs. Even in hindsight, Tare felt the delayed declaration didn’t deprive Mumbai of a win.
“If it didn’t happen in 74 overs, it wouldn’t have happened in 80. Our plan in the morning was to set a target of 270-280 runs by batting 15 overs in the morning, so we timed the declaration well,” Tare said.
“If you see, the wickets fell till the ball was hard. Once the ball was soft, the bowlers had to rely on the variable bounce and both Kamlesh and Dharmendra showed their wealth of experience with gritty knocks.”
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