A sensible batting display by lower order batsmen Iqbal Abdullah and Shardul Thakur ensured Mumbai beat Madhya Pradesh to reach the quarterfinal stage of the Ranji trophy on Wednesday.
Abdullah (39) and Thakur (38) stitched an unbeaten 68-run stand when Mumbai were down at 215 for seven while chasing a total of 280 runs. The duo made sure there were no further hiccups before reaching 283 for seven on the third and penultimate day of the Group B Ranji encounter at the Holkar cricket stadium. Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare (45) also played a good hand in his side’s win.
With 17 points in seven matches, Madhya Pradesh need an outright victory against Andhra Pradesh at home (Dec 1 - 4) for a quarterfinal berth. Much depends on other match results of Group B too.
In the morning session, Mumbai began with a disastrous start as the visiting side lost Akhil Herwadkar (1) in the second over of the day. Needing a big partnership, Jay Bista (74) and Shreyas Iyer (36) scored 99 runs to put Mumbai in command. Leg-spinner Mihir Hirwani broke the partnership in the 21st over when he scalped the wicket of Iyer.
Surya Kumar Yadav (18) joined Jay Bista to add 27 runs for the third wicket.
But Madhya Pradesh bowlers got breakthroughs at regular interval in the second session of the day. The home team took the wickets of Bista, Siddhesh Lad (18), Aditya Tare (45) and Nikhil Patil (3). Patil’s departure saw the visitors 65 runs away from victory with only three wickets in hand.
Thakur teamed up with Abdullah and held fort to see the visiting team through to their fourth win this season.
For Madhya Pradesh, Jalaj Saxena scalped four-wicket, taking his match haul to 9 wickets for 155 runs.
MP 1st innings 240
Mumbai 1st innings 162
MP 2nd innings 201
Mumbai 2nd innings
AA Herwadkar c Jain b JS Saxena 1
JG Bista b JS Saxena 74
SS Iyer c & b Hirwani 36
SA Yadav c & b JS Saxena 18
AP Tare b JS Saxena 45
SD Lad c H Singh b A Sharma 18
I Abdulla not out 39
N Patil run out (Patidar) 3
SN Thakur not out 38
Extras (b 8, lb 3) 11
Total (7 wickets; 73.3 overs) 283
FoW: 1-1, 2-100, 3-127, 4-138, 5-173, 6-206, 7-215