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Latest NewsRanji Trophy: Delaying the inevitable?

Ranji Trophy: Delaying the inevitable?


Mumbai: A dogged fightback from Vidarbha, led by Karun Nair and skipper Akshay Wadkar, prolonged Mumbai's wait for a 42nd Ranji Trophy as the visiting side reached 248/5 in pursuit of a mammoth 538 on the fourth and penultimate day of the final here today.

Set an improbable target to win, Vidarbha put up a resolute show with the bat to frustrate their hosts by resorting to stonewalling for the majority of the day.

Nair, who joined Vidarbha only at the start of this season, was at the forefront of their resistance as he faced as many as 220 balls while batting for 287 minutes to keep Mumbai at bay.

But the right-handed batter ultimately fell to the brilliance of Musheer Khan late in the day, with the 19-year-old producing a superb show with the ball after having scored 136 in the second innings.

Skipper Wadkar was batting on 56 with Harsh Dubey (11 not out) for company. The team required another 290 runs with five wickets in hand.

Mumbai managed a couple of wickets each in the first two sessions and the vital scalp of Nair in the last. They took the second new ball in the 82nd over of the innings.

Until then, Mumbai had tried almost everything on what remained a placid pitch at the Wankhede Stadium. It had more on offer for the home team's spinners who remained persistent throughout. Mumbai's troika of pacers took turns to come around the wicket to try and bounce out Vidarbha, while spinners operated from both ends.

The leader of the spin pack for Mumbai was Musheer, who remained nearly unplayable for his figures of 17-3-24-2. He bowled a challenging line from both the sides of the pitch to trouble Vidarbha's batters.

Musheer's dismissal of Nair, who was earlier dropped on four by Hardik Tamore off Tanush Kotian, was the one which stood out. Kotian also played his role to perfection, taking 2/55 from 19 overs, having accounted for Dhruv Shorey (28) and Yash Rathod (7) after Vidarbha made their intentions clear earlier in the day.

Brief scores: Mumbai: 224 & 418 vs Vidarbha: 105 & 248/5 in 92 overs (Nair 74, Wadkar 56*, Taide 32, Mokhade 32; Musheer 2/38, Kotian 2/56).

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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