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  5. Ranji Trophy 2022 Final: Sarfaraz slams century to give Mumbai control against Madhya Pradesh

Ranji Trophy 2022 Final: Sarfaraz slams century to give Mumbai control against Madhya Pradesh

Ranji Trophy 2022 Final: Sarfaraz Khan hammered a brilliant century - his fourth of the season as Mumbai posted a challenging 374 in the first innings against Madhya Pradesh. 

VS Aravind Edited by: VS Aravind Bengaluru Published on: June 23, 2022 18:46 IST
Sarfaraz Khan
Image Source : PTI

Sarfaraz Khan lets out a roar after hammering a brilliant century against Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy 2022 final. 

Highlights

  • Sarafaraz Khan slammed his fourth century of the season
  • The Mumbai batsman can breach the 1000 mark for the season record
  • Mumbai posted a challenging 374 in their first innings

Sarfaraz Khan slammed a brilliant century to give Mumbai control in the Ranji Trophy final on Day two against Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. 

Mumbai rode on Sarfaraz's century to post 374 in the first innings.

In reply, Madhya Pradesh were 123 for the loss of one wicket at Stumps. Yash Dubey and Shubham Sharma batting on 44 and 41 will resume Madhya Pradesh's reply on Day three.

Sarfaraz achieved a unique feat as he hit his fourth century of the season - a sublime 134 off 243 balls. His knock was studded with 13 boundaries and two sixes. With this century he has now scored 937 runs in Ranji Trophy in just six games and might breach the 1000-run for the season if Mumbai were to bat again in the second innings.  

His batting with the tail showed his new-found maturity, which is proving to be a boon for Mumbai cricket. He chose loose deliveries for boundary, forcing MP captain Aditya Shrivastava to open the field.

The manner in which Sarfaraz has turned a corner since the 2019-20 season (928 runs back then) is phenomenal as he had disciplinary issues early in his career, which also forced him to leave Mumbai for a season.

With father Naushad Khan, who also doubles up as his coach, making him play 400 balls (nearly 67 overs including nets and knocking) a day at practice, Sarfaraz 2.
0 is a battle-hardened man, the ‘khadoos street fighter’ that any captain would want to go to a war with.

Once he reached his fifty, he touched the lion's crest on his jersey, gesturing 'Don't worry, I am going nowhere'.

His batting isn't as pleasing to the eye as Prithvi Shaw's but highly effective and assuring.
He knows how to score those runs on a track that is largely two-paced and in overcast conditions with the ball doing a fair bit.

When MP skipper spread the field to stop boundaries, he still found his way to play the controlled square cut off seamer Anubhav Agarwal, which bisected the two fielders stationed at deep extra cover and deep point to the fence.

Having entered '90s, he played a typical T20 scoop over keeper's head while being partially blindsided and completely off-balance.

It was a sight worth capturing.

At 97, MP skipper Shrivastava put all his fielders at the boundary line with two standing at long-on and long-off. The ploy wasn't good enough to stop Sarfaraz as he thumped one over bowler’s head which went to the boundary.

The celebration was a war cry and a thigh thump. There were tears of relief that he shed having accomplished what he had set out to do.

The Indian Test team’s middle-order is still jam-packed but the manner in which Sarfaraz is batting, to put it in head coach Rahul Dravid’s words, he is not just knocking but banging the selection door down.

Sarfaraz was involved in four small, but very effective, partnerships which could prove to be decisive if the match turns out to be an affair of one innings.

He added 40 for seventh wicket with Tanush Kotian (15), 26 for the eighth wicket with Dhawal Kulkarni (1), 39 for the ninth with Tushar Deshpande (6) and another 21 priceless runs for the final wicket with Mohit Avasthi (7).

By the time, he became Mumbai's last batter to be dismissed, he had ensured that the total is good enough for his bowlers to defend.

But there are ominous signs as MP batters have looked solid so far and Mumbai's bowling line-up hasn't made much of an impact, save Tushar Deshpande's delivery that straightened to find Himanshu Mantri's (31) pads.

Brief Scores: Mumbai 374 all out (Sarfaraz Khan 134, Yashasvi Jaiswal 78, Anubhav Agarwal 3/81) vs Madhya Pradesh 123/1 (Yash Dubey 44, Shubham Sharma 41); Madhya Pradesh trail by 251 runs.

(Inputs PTI)