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Madhya Pradesh secured a huge step towards winning the Ranji Trophy final after taking a lead of 162 runs in the first innings of the game. Helped by Rajat Patidar’s stunning century, MP reached safe score against a spirited Mumbai bowling, who gave it everything on day 4.

Tushar Deshpande bent his back throughout the day, getting extra bounce from the deck, which put MP batsmen in trouble. The central India team had a downfall after lunch when Mumbai bowled very tight lines. Shams Mulani finally came to the party for Mumbai and took five wickets. He would have potentially had more if catches would have stuck in the hands of the fielders and keeper Hardik Tamore.

The left arm spinner was assisted by the pacers on a deck that offered sharp bounce from short of



good length spot. Several balls hurt MP batters as they were found in no man’s land against those deliveries.

And that is why Patidar’s knock turned out to be special. A tale of two innings, Patidar raced to a half century but slowed down gradually in the second half, due to the falling of his batting partners.

Patidar was not the only centurion of the innings, earlier Shubham Sharma and opener Yash Dubey set the stage for MP, reacting strongly to Sarfaraz Khan’s scoring spree which took the Prithvi Shaw team to 374 runs.

MP were bowled out for 536 late in day four, with Mumbai coming to see off the rest of the day. Opener Yashasvi Agawaral was not allowed to open as he had spent quite a long time in the dressing room nursing an injury.
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