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Ranji Trophy 2016-17 final, Day 3 Review: Thakur, Iyer lead Mumbai fightback

Shreyas Iyer Mumbai Ranji Trophy 2016-17
Shreyas Iyer scored 82 on Day 3. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Defending champions Mumbai came back very strongly on the 3rd day of the Ranji Trophy 2016-17 final against Gujarat and ended the day’s play at 208/3 in their 2nd innings with a lead of 108 runs. The Mumbai bowlers were all over the Gujarat in the morning session where they lost 4 wickets and was eventually dismissed for 328 in 105 overs. All the top order batsmen played well but failed to convert their starts into big ones.

Beginning the day’s play at 291/6, Gujarat lost their overnight batsman Chirag Gandhi on the 5th delivery of the day. It was a good delivery by Shardul Thakur which pitched in the corridor of uncertainty and Chirag was tempted to have a poke at it. He managed an outside edge which was safely gobbled by Suryakumar Yadav stationed in the 1st slip. Rush Kalaria who was the other overnight batsmen followed Gandhi soon to the dressing room.

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Gujarat was eventually bowled out for 328 in the 105th over, this taking a substantial 100 runs lead over Mumbai. While Shardul Thakur was the wrecker-in-chief for Mumbai who finished with 4/84 in 29.3 overs, medium pacers Balwinder Sandhu Jr and Abhishek Nayar also chipped in with 3 wickets each to derail Gujarat’s progress. Captain and wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel was the top scorer for Gujarat with a brilliant 90.

Mumbai began in a solid fashion in their 2nd essay with 17-year-old teenager Prithvi Shaw looking in ominous touch. He struck 3 boundaries in the 4th over of Rush Kalaria, timing his cuts and drives to perfection. Shaw kept going and took on the Gujarat bowlers with disdain. Shaw’s opening partner Akhil Herwadkar was dismissed against the run of play in the 10th over of the innings. It was a wide delivery outside the off stump and Herwadkar who was reluctant to play the cut shot till then attempted the shot and ended up giving an under edge to Vijay Gohel stationed in the slip cordon.

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Prithvi Shaw who looked ominous till then during his fluent innings also followed his opening partner Herwadkar to the pavilion in quick time. Just as they say “You live by the sword and die by the sword”, it was exactly what happened with Shaw. He had executed the drives to perfection till then but eventually fell while attempting an uppish drive. Shaw had gone to the pitch of the delivery on most occasions but on that occasion, he chased a wide delivery of Chintan Gaja which took a faint edge and was safely caught by Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.

With the score at 66/2, Suryakumar Yadav joined Shreyas Iyer in the middle. The duo played very well and stitched together an impressive 127 runs partnership for the 4th wicket to revive Mumbai from a precarious situation. Suryakumar Yadav who is generally a free-flowing batsman and loves to play his shots played entirely opposite to his natural instincts. He left each and every delivery outside the off stump to defy the Gujarat bowlers. Iyer on the other hand, played some wonderful shots and completed a beautiful half-century. He was particularly impressive on the off side region and kept the scoreboard ticking along. He struck 9 fours and a couple of sixes during his innings of 82.

Chintan Gaja again bowled outside the off stump as Iyer went for an expansive shot and which took the outside edge of the bat and was safely pocketed by Parthiv behind the stumps. Captain Aditya Tare joined Suryakumar Yadav in the middle and the duo played out the remaining overs to finish at 208/3. While Tare struck 3 beautiful boundaries during his unbeaten 13, Suryakumar Yadav remained undefeated on 45 of 175 deliveries.

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Brief Scores

Mumbai: 228 (Prithvi Shaw 71, Rujul Bhatt 2/5) & 208/3 (Shreyas Iyer 82, Chintan Gaja 3/54) in 67 overs

Gujarat: 328 (Parthiv Patel 90, Manpreet Juneja 77, Shardul Thakur 4/84)

Mumbai lead by 108 runs

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