Patidar, Kartikeya fashion Madhya Pradesh’s maiden Ranji Trophy title


Madhya Pradesh 536 (Dubey 133, Patidar 122, Shubham 116, Mulani 5-173) and 108 for 4 (Mantri 37, Patidar 30*) beat Mumbai 374 (Sarfaraz 134, Jaiswal 78, Yadav 4-106) and 269 (Parkar 51, Sarfaraz 45, Kartikeya 4-98) by six wickets

Madhya Pradesh are the Ranji Trophy 2021-22 champions, 69 years after they last won the coveted trophy in their former avatar, as Holkar, and 23 years since they last had a shot at Indian domestic cricket’s biggest prize. At the same venue of their 1998-99 heartbreak, MP redeemed themselves in the best way possible, vanquishing 41-time champions Mumbai to lift the trophy on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.
Victory was achieved shortly before tea on the fifth day when Rajat Patidar pushed Sarfaraz Khan for a single wide of point as MP had converted potentially tricky 108 chase into a cruise. Patidar, whose 122 helped set up MP’s 162-run lead in the first innings, was 34 not out, along with Aditya Shrivastava, the captain.

Mumbai’s bowlers needed to go for broke and they struck gold early when Dhawal Kulkarni breached Yash Dubey’s defense in the third over to leave MP 4 for 1. The next half hour provided an engaging passage with runs coming in a trickle. But MP hardly looked under pressure, calmly battling through the new-ball burst, and putting away the occasional boundary balls with the fields in to keep tucking away at the runs.

Once set, the batters tried to go for the big hits. This led to the dismissals of Himanshu Mantri and Parth Sahani, but there were no more twists in store. Patidar tantalized the crowd with some exquisite cover drives to the all-familiar RCB chants.

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