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Ranji Trophy: Yash Dubey and Shubham Sharma's centuries take Madhya Pradesh close to dream title against Mumbai

Updated on: 25 June,2022 07:36 AM IST  |  Bangalore
R Kaushik |

Centuries from Yash Dubey and Shubham Sharma take Madhya Pradesh to brink of first innings lead against 41-time champions on Day Three of Ranji Trophy summit clash

Ranji Trophy: Yash Dubey and Shubham Sharma's centuries take Madhya Pradesh close to dream title against Mumbai

MP’s Shubham Sharma during his 116-run knock; (right) MP opener Yash Dubey en route his 133 against Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy final at Bangalore yesterday. Pics/PTI

Mumbai were given a taste of their own medicine on the moving day of the Ranji Trophy final by a feisty Madhya Pradesh team that might start daring to dream.

Not the majority’s favourite to halt the Mumbai juggernaut on a stage as daunting as this, Aditya Shrivastava’s men have gone about winning over the doubters in some style. 

After a competent bowling display kept Mumbai down to 374, Madhya Pradesh’s form batsmen got down to business at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday, moving to within six runs of their opponents’ first-innings tally with seven wickets in hand.

Opener Yash Dubey (133) was the glue that held the innings together, his unflappable solidity allowing Shubham Sharma and Rajat Patidar to paint pretty pictures at the other end.

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Dubey ground out a second hundred of this campaign, Shubham (116) wowed as he emulated Sarfaraz Khan and brought up a fourth century and Patidar delighted a sparse ‘home crowd’ with an eye-catching unbeaten half-century, all combining to propel Madhya Pradesh to 368 for three.

Mumbai’s attack looked a little bereft of ideas and imagination once the expected early breakthrough when MP resumed on 123 for one didn’t materialise. There was little joy either from the overhead conditions or the 22-yard strip for the three quicks, Dhawal Kulkarni, Tushar Deshpande and Mohit Avasthi. 

Left-arm spinner Shams Mulani, the leading wicket-taker in the country, posed no sustained threat and Tanush Kotian, the off-spinner, seldom troubled the batsmen.

Costly misses

To make matters worse, Arman Jaffer at short point put down Shubham in the sixth over when he reached out to slice-drive a wide ball from Avasthi when on 55, and Mulani overstepped after having Patidar caught at point with the batsman on 52. 

Uninhibited in his stroke-making till then and particularly delightful whilst driving down the ground, Patidar was scoreless for the next 27 deliveries, determined not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Long before Royal Challengers Bangalore recruit Patidar arrived in a blaze of boundaries, centurions Dubey and Shubham had laid down the gauntlet with a brilliant stand of 222. 

Pleasing Shubham

Dubey picked his moments carefully while Shubham was particularly pleasing on the eye, his crisp driving standing out for grace and control. There were moments when he went searching for the ball and struck it aerially, but fortunately for him, they invariably went in the gap.

It wasn’t until the day’s 49th over that Mumbai tasted their first success, Shubham falling to Avasthi and the second new ball. An hour and a half later, Mulani procured sharp turn to catch Dubey’s outside edge. Mumbai’s joy at seeing the ball grip might have been tempered by the fact that they could be chasing the game from here on.

Brief scores
Mumbai 374 v Madhya Pradesh 368-3 (Y Dubey 133, S Sharma 116, R Patidar 67 batting; M Avasthi 1-53, T Deshpande 1-73) 

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