Ranji Trophy: Run-filled Day One
Mumbai's Aakarshit Gomel scores debut ton (122) as Sarfaraz Khan continues fine form with unbeaten 169 against Madhya Pradesh in an inconsequential tie.
Debutant Aakarshit Gomel (122) and young gun Sarfaraz Khan (169 not out) grabbed opportunities with both hands to help Mumbai enjoy a rare good day in the season on Wednesday.
Mumbai reached 352 for four against Madhya Pradesh on Day One of the Ranji Trophy encounter at Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Already knocked out of the tournament, Mumbai were three down for 72 at one stage as the visitors' pacer Kuldeep Sen (3-67) sent back opener Hardik Tamore (12), one-drop batsman Suryakumar Yadav (43) and No.4 Siddhesh Lad (4) in the space of five overs.
Gomel patiently combined with Sarfaraz, who batted at No.5 and stitched a 275-run stand for the fourth wicket. The Mumbai U-23 skipper showed his class with a perfectly-timed on-drive off pacer Venkatesh Iyer in the first session, a copybook straight drive to Sen in the first over after lunch and another on-drive off the same bowler in the next over.
A single off Iyer to mid-on got Gomel his fifty in 117 balls (6x4). He pulled left-arm pacer Ravi Yadav for a boundary to reach his maiden three-figure mark (101 off 201 balls, 9x4, 1x6) in first-class cricket. His century celebration showcased his approach towards the game—a simple raise of the bat—followed by fresh guard.
Interestingly, Gomel played for Delhi U-23 five years ago against a Mumbai U-23 team which included his Wednesday batting partner Sarfaraz.
Sarfaraz Khan celebrates his century against Madhya Pradesh
He thanked former India player Pravin Amre for making him a tough cricketer at the Shivaji Park Gymkhana academy. "I was 10 when I went to Amre Sir. He literally taught me how to pick up a bat. Whatever I am today, it is all because of him. We talk a lot on cricket," Gomel remarked after the day's play.
Meanwhile, Sarfaraz welcomed Mihir Hirwani by dispatching the leggie over the long off fence which helped Mumbai hit the 100 mark in the 26th over. His 50 came off only 58 balls. Sarfaraz, who scored unbeaten 301 v Uttar Pradesh, 226 not out v Himachal Pradesh and 78 against Saurashtra in his last three games, used all his trademark shots like the upper cut, lofted on and off drives to get to his season's third century in 137 balls. Earlier, after electing to bat, Mumbai lost Tamore (12) in the fifth over of the day. One-drop Suryakumar, who started on a positive note, was in good flow. However, his 39-ball 43 came to an end when he cut Sen for Yash Dubey to take an easy catch at gully.
Mumbai 352-4 (S Khan 169*, A Gomel 122; K Sen 3-67) v Madhya Pradesh
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe