Ranji Trophy: Sarfaraz Khan's unbeaten double century rescues Mumbai in HP
It was Sarfaraz show once again as he will strive to reach his second successive triple hundred, a rare feat in any form of cricket
Dharamsala (HP): In-form Sarfaraz Khan rescued Mumbai with an unbeaten double century, powering the visitors to a comfortable 372 for five after a top-order collapse on the opening day of their Group B Ranji Trophy game against Himachal Pradesh, here on Monday. The 22-year-old Sarfaraz, who had hit an unbeaten triple-hundred in the last game against Uttar Pradesh, took a listless HP attack to cleaners, hitting 32 fours and four sixes during his unbeaten 226-run knock.
Electing to bowl the picturesque HPCA stadium, the home pacers exploited the windy conditions, grabbing three quick wickets to leave Mumbai reeling at 16 for three. Right-arm medium pacer Vaibhav Arora removed both the openers as he first trapped Jay Bista (12) and then cleaned bowled Bhupen Lalwani (1). One-down Hardik Tamore (2) also fell cheaply after being trapped in front of the wicket by KD Singh. Sarfaraz started the rescue act first by conjuring up a 55-run stand with 'crisis man' Siddhesh Lad (20), to steady Mumbai's ship.
Medium pacer Raghav Dhawan broke the partnership as he got the ball to move and it crashed into Lad's middle-stump. Mumbai took lunch at 118/4. Lad's departure did not deter Sarfaraz from playing his shots as he found an able alley in Aditya Tare (62), who got a 'life' on 12 after surviving a caught-behind chance. Post-lunch, Sarfaraz was on a roll as he completed his second successive hundred. He and Tare added 143-runs for the fifth wicket to take the game away from the hosts.
However, Raghav Dhawan got his second wicket after Tare nicked one to the first-slip only to be caught by Ankit Kalsi as Mumbai lost its fifth wicket on 214. They took tea at 260/5. Sarfaraz and Shubham Ranjane (44 not out) then put an unbroken 158-run stand, before umpires drew stumps early owing to bad light after 75 overs. It was Sarfaraz show once again as he will strive to reach his second successive triple hundred, a rare feat in any form of cricket.
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