Rajat Patidar became the third player from Madhya Pradesh to score a century in the Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on Saturday.
Madhya Pradesh are firm favourites to clinch the title for the first time after taking a 162-run first innings lead while Mumbai will need a miracle on the final day to win it outright.
With one day left to play, Mumbai are trailing by 49 runs. A draw will not be enough for the 41-time champions as they conceded the first-innings lead. They would have to score at a brisk pace to set a target for MP and hope their bowlers then come up with an improbable effort.
Patidar, who had a massive reprieve earlier in his knock after being dismissed by a no ball, joined Shubham Sharma and Yash Dubey to score centuries in the innings for MP. They posted 536, riding on Patidar’s 122. The middle-order batter who got support from the local fans for his RCB exploits, was finally dismissed bowled by Tushar Deshpande. Saransh Jain chipped in with a half century lower down the order. Shams Mulani picked up a five-for bowling 63.2 overs for figures of 5/173.
Needing quick runs, Mumbai promoted Hardik Tamore to open with captain Prithvi Shaw with the in-form Yashasvi Jaiswal held back, reportedly due to an ankle niggle. Mumbai reached 113/2 at stumps scoring at just over 5 runs-per-over.
Armaan Jaffer and Suved Parkar are in the middle for Mumbai with MP resorting to containing their opponents. Mumbai’s slim hopes will depend on what the two batters and the red-hot Sarfaraz can do in the early part of the match on the final day.