Ranji Trophy: Lad confident of Mumbai qualifying for knockouts despite draw v Baroda
Mumbai jumped three places to 13th position in the overall standings of Elite Group A and B teams with one loss and five draws from five games. Only Top 5 teams from the two groups will make it to the knockouts
Forty-one time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai are in danger of not making it to the knockout stage after taking just three points [for first innings lead] from their match against Baroda at Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
Mumbai jumped three places to 13th position in the overall standings of Elite Group A and B teams with one loss and five draws from five games. Only Top 5 teams from the two groups will make it to the knockouts. With Mumbai's next encounter against table-toppers Saurashtra (25 points) from December 22 at Wankhede Stadium, the domestic giants are in a dire situation now.
Mumbai captain Siddhesh Lad, though, is still optimistic about his team's qualification. "Yes, obviously," replied Lad when asked about Mumbai's chances of reaching the quarter-finals. "Mumbai have done it before. We will take the momentum forward."
"It was a tough game and we needed a first innings lead desperately. We need three outright wins now [to qualify]. Our bowlers are back in form now and I am confident that if we get a good seaming wicket in the next game, we will definitely win," Lad added.
Mumbai, who resumed their second innings on 20 for two, scored 307 for 7 before declaring the innings. All-rounders Shivam Dube (76), Shubham Ranjane (64) and debutant Eknath Kerkar (56 not out) dug deep to frustrate the Baroda bowlers.
Dube came agonisingly close to achieving the six-sixes-in-an-over feat yesterday after the southpaw took left-arm spinner Swapneel Singh to the cleaners in his 12th over. Dube got to his fifty with a six over long-on fence. Singh's second ball received similar treatment. The third six of the over went over the long-off boundary. The next ball was dispatched over long-on again and the penultimate ball flew to the mid-wicket region.
Singh bowled the sixth ball wide outside the leg stump which was beyond Dube's reach. Dube's blitzkrieg came to an end after being caught behind by Mitesh Patel off left-arm pacer Rishi Arothe. Mumbai's experienced campaigners Dhawal Kulkarni and Shardul Thakur are expected to be fit for their match against Saurashtra.
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