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Ranji Trophy: Miracles can happen, says Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit

Coach Chandrakant Pandit unwilling to presume Mumbai's Ranji Trophy semi-final opponent Madhya Pradesh will throw in the towel at Cuttack today

Forty-time champions Mumbai are just eight wickets away from entering their 45th Ranji Trophy final after they restricted Madhya Pradesh (MP) to 99-2 at stumps, needing another 472 runs for a near-impossible win at DRIEMS ground in Cuttack yesterday.

Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare led from the front by scoring 109 against Madhya Pradesh at DRIEMS Ground in Cuttack yesterday. Inset: Chandrakant Pandit
Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare led from the front by scoring 109 against Madhya Pradesh at DRIEMS Ground in Cuttack yesterday. Inset: Chandrakant Pandit

Chasing 571 for victory, MP lost Jalaj Saxena (25) and Rajat Patidar (4). Opener Aditya Shrivastava (53 not out) and Naman Ojha (14 not out) have a mountain to climb against the Mumbai attack today.

Though MP have a difficult task at hand on the last day of this semi-final, Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit preferred to be practical.

"There is one whole day to go and we know that miracles are possible in cricket. Everything is possible in this game. A team can be bowled out for 120 or can even chase 400-plus. We have to wait till tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon," Pandit told mid-day from Cuttack. The Mumbai coach wants his bowlers to use the early conditions well today.

Suryakumar Yadav scored 115
Suryakumar Yadav scored 115

"The match will start at 8.45 am, so I think the morning session is important. As play is going to resume early, we have to take advantage of the weather conditions. We bowled well yesterday (Monday) morning," said Pandit.

Mumbai, who resumed their second innings on 285-3, went on to make 426 as Suryakumar Yadav (115), skipper Aditya Tare (109) and Abhishek Nayar (73 not out) gave the MP bowlers a hard time. Pandit felt the fourth-wicket stand of 217 between Yadav and Tare was most crucial. "Both Yadav and Tare played sensibly. They displayed superb temperament and batting skills at the right time. We lost three wickets for 95, but both were calm and focused," Pandit concluded.

Brief scores
Mumbai 371 & 426 (S Yadav 115, A Tare 109, A Nayar 73*; H Singh 3-55, I Pandey 3-103, P Datey 2-48) vs Madhya Pradesh 227 & 99-2 (A Shrivastava 53*, J Saxena 25; S Thakur 1-24)

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