Sarfaraz Khan registered his fourth century of the season as he guided Mumbai to 374 runs in their first innings of the Ranji Trophy final at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
But Madhya Pradesh responded in confident fashion with 123 runs for the loss of one wicket in 41 overs at stumps on day two, thanks to a 76-run partnership by Shubham Sharma and Yash Dubey.
Although Himanshu Mantri, who struck 165 against Bengal in the semi-final, would be disappointed to have not converted his start as he fell to Tushar Despande for 31 in the first over following tea, Madhya Pradesh remained in a promising position at stumps on day two.
The match was evenly poised with the MP batters looking determined to hamper Mumbai’s bid for a 42nd title.
Earlier in the day, Sarfaraz rescued Mumbai along with Dhawal Kulkarni, who put up a strong resistance during his 36-ball stay. While Shams Mulani (12) was removed in the first over of the day, Sarfaraz cautiously played with different batting partners, as the lower order batters kept tumbling after small contributions, before switching gears to bring up his seventh first-class century.