Mumbai lift 41st Ranji Trophy title as Saurashtra surrender

Pune: Mumbai lifted the Ranji Trophy for a record 41st time as Saurashtra capitulated in front of some aggressive bowling to be bowled out for a mere 115 runs and lose the final by an innings and 21 runs in Pune's MCA Stadium on Friday.

Not many would have predicted Mumbai to run away with the title in less than three days but their bowlers dismissed Saurashtra for 115 to cap off a dramatic day three.

Mumbai players celebrates after dismissing Saurashtra batsman during Ranji Trophy Final
Mumbai players celebrate after dismissing a Saurashtra batsman during Ranji Trophy Final. Pic/ PTI

Shardul Thakur was the bowling star as he bagged a five-wicket haul. Thakur had figures of 5-26 as Mumbai bundled Saurashtra out for 115 runs in their second innings on the third day of the five-day match. The other Mumbai pacers also did well on a helpful pitch, with Balwinder Sandhu (2-21), Dhawal Kulkarni (2-34) and Abhishek Nayar (1-26) among the wickets.

Earlier, resuming at the overnight 262/8, Mumbai rode on some fine batting by Siddhesh Lad (88) and lower-order heroics by Sandhu (34 not out) before being all out for 371 in their first innings, a lead of 136 runs. Saurashtra had scored 235 in their first innings.

Mumbai suffered a blow in the very first over of the day when overnight batsman Iqbal Abdulla (15) had his off-stump knocked back by Jaidev Unadkat. That saw Sandhu join Lad in the middle and the duo proceeded to cement Mumbai's position with a 103-run partnership off just 92 deliveries. 

Lad, who was on 22 overnight, scored 88 runs off 101 balls with eight boundaries and five sixes. Sandhu remained unbeaten on 34, studding his 49-ball knock with six boundaries. 

The Mumbai innings finally came to an end when Lad went for another big shot off Unadkat, but only managed to offer a skier at mid-on, which was accepted by Sheldon Jackson running in from long on.

Unadkat was the most successful among the Saurashtra bowlers with figures of 4/118. Left-arm pacer Hardik Rathod (3/73) also bowled well.

Trailing by 136 runs, Saurashtra openers Avi Barot and Sagar Jogiyani had a promising start, handling the Mumbai pacers quite comfortably in the initial overs. But Barot's dismissal by Sandhu triggered a collapse.

The rest of the Saurashtra batsmen -- with the exception of Cheteshwar Pujara -- were unable to come to grips with the Mumbai bowlers on a pace friendly pitch.

Pujara was the only Saurashtra batsman who showed some resistance, scoring a gritty 27 runs off 98 balls with three hits to the fence. But he did not receive any suuport from the other end as Mumbai wrapped up a comfortable win.

Brief scores: Saurashtra 235 and 115 (Pujara 27; Thakur 5/26) lost to Mumbai 371 (Lad 88, Thakkar 117, Sandhu 34; Unadkat 4/118) by an innings and 21 runs. 

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