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Ranji Trophy: Learning from Mumbai

It was yet another day of dominance for Mumbai in their inconsequential Ranji Trophy game against Madhya Pradesh at Wankhede Stadium on Thursday. Mumbai amassed 427 before reducing MP to 200-7 on Day Two.

At one stage, the visitors were reeling at 72-5, but left-hander Venkatesh Iyer (87 not out) showed positive intent and shared two useful fifty-plus partnerships—62 for the sixth wicket with skipper Shubham Sharma (18) and 65 with No. 8 batsman Mihir Hirwani (21).

Indore-born Iyer revealed that he tried to play shots the way Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan and Suryakumar Yadav did on Wednesday. His 105-ball knock was laced with 11 fours and two sixes.

Batting friendly wicket
“The wicket was easy and good for batting. If you play your shots, you get full value for them as the outfield is quick and the ground isn’t too big. It’s just that we lost wickets in a heap. It was about trying to be positive like Sarfaraz and Suryakumar. There was a lot to learn from the Mumbai batsmen. Even though they lost early wickets, they were positive throughout,” said Iyer, who is playing his 10th first-class game.

Early breakthrough
However, it was a different scenario before Iyer took guard. Mumbai’s medium pacer Deepak Shetty (2-43) struck in his very first over with wicketkeeper Aditya Tare taking an easy catch to dismiss MP opener Rameez Khan (4).

Another opening batsman—Ajay Rohera 19 (3×4)—who looked confident, lost his concentration while trying to pull left-arm pacer Royston Dias (2-38) and was caught by Aakarshit Gomel at deep square leg.

Left-arm spinner Shams Mulani (2-52) too claimed a wicket in his first over after one-drop batsmen Anand Bais failed to read his flight and edged it to first slip fielder Suryakumar for the visitors to struggle at 40-3.

Three overs later, Mulani trapped Aditya Shrivastava (12) leg before wicket. Shrivastava had scored 192 against Karnataka at Shimoga in his last game.

Earlier, Mumbai added 75 runs to their overnight score of 352-4 after batting for nearly two hours. Overnight batsman Sarfaraz (177, 24×4, 3×6) lasted only six balls, dismissed caught and bowled by Ravi Yadav off a top edge.

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