To record a win despite conceding the lead is rare in Ranji Trophy. To do it against Mumbai is even more difficult. Gujarat achieved the feat in style on Saturday and became the first team in Indian domestic history to register four outright wins against Mumbai.
Thanks to Priyank Panchal’s second fourth-innings hundred (112 n.o., 109b, 11x4, 3x6) of the season and his 128-run opening stand with Kathan Patel (55, 85b, 128m, 9x4), Gujarat breezed to the target of 204, losing a solitary wicket.
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After Gujarat claimed the last three wickets for 30 runs in the morning at the Wankhede Stadium, Panchal, Patel and Bhargav Merai virtually gave Mumbai batsmen — who had a lacklustre outing in the second innings — a batting lesson to overhaul the target in under 42 overs. The victory elevated Gujarat to the top of the combined points table in the Elite Groups A and B, while Mumbai remained in the lower half.
Setting the tone
Early wickets were the need of the hour for Mumbai, but Panchal and Patel dominated the 10-over session before lunch to set the tone for the chase. After Patel lofted Dhawal Kulkarni off the back-foot over mid-wicket in the opening over, Panchal joined in with consecutive fours — a straight drive followed by a slap through point — in the Mumbai captain’s next. In the next over, the duo tore apart left-arm pacer Royston Dias, who was sharing the red cherry as Tushar Deshpande was ruled out on the first day with a hamstring injury. Both the openers shared two boundaries apiece in the fourth over of the innings.
Mumbai couldn’t really recover from the onslaught and the shoulders continued to droop with every passing over. While Patel had a couple of lapses in concentration, Panchal continued to be at his fluent best, racing to fifty in just 50 balls. He continued the tempo even after Patel edged Shivam Dube behind the wicket. His consecutive sixes off Jay Bista’s off-spin received thunderous applause from a sparse crowd. Panchal completed his hundred moments after tea with a push to mid-on before Merai joined the party and finished the match with a cut off left-arm spinner Dhrumil Matkar half an hour after tea.
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Gujarat will now head home and take on Railways at Valsad from December 6, while Mumbai will face Maharashtra in Pune in a bid to stay alive in the qualification race.
- Mumbai 297 and 187 (Aditya Tare 59, Shivam Dube 55, Roosh Kalaria 4 for 59, Chintan Gaja 4 for 57) lost to Gujarat 281 and 206 for 1 (Priyank Panchal 112 n.o., Kathan Patel 55) by nine wickets.