Ranji Trophy: Madhya Pradesh defies Mumbai to force draw

Mumbai declared its second innings on 238, setting Madhya Pradesh a target of 408, but Aditya Shrivastava played the sheet-anchor with an unbeaten century to earn his team a draw.

Aditya Shrivastava

Aditya Shrivastava celebrates his unbeaten century in Madhya Pradesh's second innings.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

The shortage of ability and variety in Mumbai's bowling stood exposed by Madhya Pradesh in Ranji Trophy's concluding league game this season. The home team’s second innings declaration at 238, cushioned by first innings lead of 169 runs, was not enough to force a victory. Aditya Shrivastava (130 n.o off 287 balls, 13x4, 2x6) played the anchor in the second innings for the visitor, 314 for six wickets in 112 overs of dogged batting was a morale-boosting draw. Play was called off at the Wankhede stadium with one mandatory over left.

Mumbai went home with three points on the basis of first-innings lead, a frustrating end to the Ranji Trophy season. Five regular bowlers were collectively not able to bowl out MP on the fourth and final day. Aditya Tare turned to batting mainstay Sarfaraz Khan, later named man of the match, in a futile effort to break partnerships. Venkatesh Iyer played a defiant innings (59 off 125 balls) and Shrivastava slipped into the grafter role for a ton off 208 balls. He shielded partner Mihir Hirwani in the mandatory overs when pacer Royston Dias intimidated batsmen in the hunt for wickets. MP chose to play out time after losing five wickets and succeeded.

Ranji - Round 9, day four highlights

Shrivastava used the opportunity to score a first-class hundred at an iconic venue against established opponent. He showed no sign of nerves in the nineties, slamming two fours and six in one Shams Mulani over to cross the three-figure mark.

Deepak Shetty infused a flicker of excitement into the game with two wickets in one over (2-46). Dias, new ball partner, also bagged two wickets, Mulani and Ankush Jaiswal claimed a wicket each. Collectively, Mumbai’s attack of pace and spin lacked the punch or the wiles to break a stand of 132 between Shrivastava and Hirwani.

The passive tactics in the first two sessions on the fourth day was strange, urgency set in late and by then, the gritty MP batsmen had gained confidence to hang on for a deserving draw.

The scores

Mumbai 1st innings: 427
Madhya Pradesh 1st innings: 258
Mumbai 2nd innings: 238/5 dec.

Madhya Pradesh 2nd innings: Rameez Khan lbw b Royston Dias 28, Ajay Rohera lbw b Mulani 8, Anand Bais b Jaiswal 5, Aditya Shrivastava  (batting) 130, Venkatesh Iyer c Khan b Dias 59, Shubham Sharma b Deepak 5, Yash Dubey c Tare b Deepak 0, Mihir Hirwani (batting) 69.

Extras (b-3, lb-1, nb-6) 10  Total (six wickets, 112 overs) 314

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-41, 3-45, 4-171, 5-183, 6-183.

Mumbai bowling: Royston Dias  26-10-61-2, Deepak Shetty 16-4-46-2, Shams Mulani  24-3-81-1, Shubham Ranjane 15-4-26-0, Ankush Jaiswal  27-4-77-1, Sarfaraz Khan 4-0-14-0.

Match drawn. Mumbai 3 pts, MP 1 pts. MoM: Sarfaraz Khan

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