If Mumbai goes on to this game, then they are themselves to be blamed as defending champions dropped a total of three catches when they had to defend first innings total against Gujarat, a team who defeated reigning champions in group stage earlier.
The day 2 of the Ranji Trophy final 2016/17 started with Mumbai getting two wickets in the first hour of the day in form of Samit Gohel and in-form batsman Priyank Panchal. It looked like Mumbai got that heroic spirit back to defend their title but Bhargav Merai and Parthiv Patel shared 69 runs for the third wicket, to keep their team in a race to get the first innings lead.
After Merai’s exit on a personal score of 45, Parthiv Patel was joined with Manprit Juneja, with whom the skipper took his team close to the first innings total of Mumbai.
Parthiv was dismissed on a score of 90 when Gujarat was just two runs short of first inning total but he had done his work. The moment Gujarat got at par with Mumbai’s score, they gained a control over the game as now Mumbai will be in pressure to first clear the lead and then think of some runs when they come out to bat tomorrow. But before that Mumbai need last four wickets remaining in Gujarat’s innings. Along with that, the group stage competition memory will also play a great role.
The middle and lower order of Gujarat continued to add runs to the tally with Mumbai making some surprising bowling changes. They handed the second new ball to Abhishek Nayar instead of Balwinder Singh Sandhu (jr.).
Though Nayar claimed three wickets in the day but Sandhu was the one who was bowling well at the current position and he could have made the difference with the new ball. Shardul Thakur too swung his arm with the new cherry but without getting any benefits from it. Though he grabbed two crucial wickets of Samit Gohel and Manprit Juneja during the day time.
The last ball of the day, which went to the boundary described Mumbai’s situation as the ball racing to the boundary showed that the game is also racing away from the hands of Mumbai and they have to field it, till it gets too late and they lose the game.
Mumbai will be looking to get last four wickets soon as Gujarat only possess a lead of 63 runs, which can be cleared in no time but for that, the key is to work in one line with fielders supporting the bowlers fully, to get the desired results.