Ranji Trophy: Bundela, Ojha help MP take upper hand vs Mumbai

Naman Ojha and captain Devendra Bundela cracked hundreds to help Madhya Pradesh take the crucial first innings lead over Mumbai on day three of their Ranji Trophy tie at Wankhede on Wednesday

Devendra Bundela rated his 25th first-class century on Wednesday as one of his best over the course of his 20-year domestic career.

The Madhya Pradesh skipper slammed a patient 115 and along with reserve India wicketkeeper Naman Ojha (155) put up a record 258-run partnership as the visitors took the first innings lead against Mumbai on the penultimate day of the Group A Ranji Trophy tie at the Wankhede Stadium.

The duo bettered the 225-run partnership between Bundela and Mohnish Mishra against Mumbai in the 2011-12 Ranji season, which was MP’s record partnership for any wicket against Mumbai.

Naman Ojha

“It was one of my best innings as it helped the team get the crucial three points. We were desperate to do well in this match as the previous results haven’t really gone our way. I am also pleased with the way Naman played,” 38-year-old Bundela told mid-day after Madhya Pradesh posted 538-7 in reply to Mumbai’s 404. 

Bundela and Ojha carried on from where they had left on Day Two. Well aware of the Wankhede wicket posing threats in the morning session, Bundela and Ojha were careful in their shot selection. “We decided to stay at the wicket and not play any rash shots. We knew runs would come if we stayed in the middle. I knew the wicket would also ease up later in the day,” said Bundela.

Mumbai pacer Javed Khan finally broke the partnership when he had Ojha caught at slips. Seven overs later, Bundela holed out to Wilkin Mota at long-on off Iqbal Abdullah’s bowling, who claimed 3-123 after the tea break.

Harpreet Singh Bhatia (67) and Ankit Sharma (batting on 35) then inflicted more pain on Mumbai. 

Brief scores: Mumbai 404.
Madhya Pradesh: 538 for seven in 162 overs (Naman Ojha 155, Devendra Bundela 115, Iqbal Abdullah 3/123).

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