The numbers tell the story sometimes.
They tell us that Yash Dubey has batted for 771 minutes – and you won’t find that bit of statistics on the scoreboard published on the BCCI’s website – faced 526 balls and hit only one six.
And all those numbers could change. For, he isn’t done yet in the Ranji Trophy Group A match at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Ground (C).
He was batting on 224 (29x4) when the stumps were drawn in this decider of a league match between Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. Riding on his marathon knock, Madhya Pradesh is sitting pretty at 466 for five. It had resumed at the overnight 218 for two.
To go back to Dubey’s numbers, the one six he hit, over long-on, off off-spinner Jalaj Saxena, came one hour after lunch, in the 141st over of the Madhya Pradesh innings. Remember he had been batting from the first over of day one.
It shows how determined he was not to take any chances so that his – and thus his team’s – innings could be extended as much as possible. For, it had become obvious on the opening day itself that this match – could well be decided on the first innings, unless Kerala could manage a spectacular collapse on a wicket that is as friendly as your favourite neighbour.
The numbers, however, will not tell you that the 23-year-old did not give a chance, or how he applied himself. This is his maiden double hundred, the previous best being 139 not out.
Rajat Patidar, the two-drop, also has some impressive numbers to show. By the time he tried to sweep Jalaj and fell lbw, he had made 142 (436m, 327b, 23x4) and put on 277 off 643 balls for the third wicket.
Kerala didn’t have to wait that long for another wicket, as the Madhya Pradesh captain Aditya Shrivastava gave a catch to substitute fielder S. Midhun at square-leg off N.P. Basil. But the next batter, Akshat Raghuwanshi (50, 93b, 5x4, 1x6) added 82 for the fifth wicket with Dubey before he was run-out by a fine piece of fielding by Basil, who effected a direct hit from mid-on.
Madhya Pradesh – 1st Innings: Himanshu Mantri c Rahul b Jalaj 23, Yash Dubey (batting) 224, Shubham Sharma c Vishnu b Sijomon 11, Rajat Patidar lbw b Jalaj 142, Aditya Shrivastava c sub (Midhun) b Basil 9, Akshat Raghuwanshi run out 50, Mihir Hirani (batting) 0; Extras (b-10, lb-4, w-1): 15; Total (for two wkts. in 90 overs): 218.
Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-88, 3-365, 4-382, 5-466.
Kerala bowling: Nidheesh 28-5-106-0, Thampi 23-2-57-0, Basil 30-9-71-1, Jalaj 43-18-83-2, Sijomon 44-6-108-1, Baby 12-3-35-0.