Courtesy Sarfaraz 4th century of the season 134 off 243 balls – The 41-time champion scored 374 runs in his first innings after starting the day at 248 for five.
But Madhya Pradesh won’t be too sad as they added 76 runs for the second wicket on the second day with Yash Dubey (44 batting) and Shubham Sharma (41 batting) making 123.
That day belonged to none other than Sarfaraz, who has now scored 937 runs in the Ranji Trophy in just six matches and could make it 1000 for the season if Mumbai bats again in this match.
His innings included 13 fours and two big sixes – one over square leg off left-arm spinner Kumar Karthikeya and one off off-spinner Saransh Jain.
But how did he handle the innings after Shams Mulani was leg-out by Gaurav Yadav (4/106) in the opening over of the second day.
His batting with the tail showed his newfound maturity, which is proving to be a boon for Mumbai cricket. He chose loose deliveries for the boundary, forcing MP skipper Aditya Srivastava to open the ground.
The manner in which Sarfaraz has turned a corner since the 2019-20 season (928 runs behind at that time) is phenomenal as he had disciplinary issues early in his career which also forced him to leave Mumbai for a season. did.
With father Naushad Khan, who also doubles as his coach, getting him to play 400 balls a day in practice (about 67 overs including nets and knocks), Sarfaraz 2.0 is a battle-hardened man, ‘Khadoos Street Fighter’ that no one would want to do battle with the captain.
Once he reached his half-century, he touched the lion’s crest on his jersey and gestured, ‘Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere’.
His batting is not as pleasing to the eye as that of Prithvi Shaw but is highly effective. His batting assures. He knows how to score runs on a track that is largely two-paced and is doing well with the ball.
When the MP skipper expanded the field to prevent a boundary, he still found his way to play controlled square cut off seamer Anubhav Agarwal, who deployed two fielders at deep extra cover and deep point.
Entering the 90s, he played a distinctive T20 scoop on the keeper’s head while being partially blind and completely off-balance.
It was a sight worth seeing.
At the age of 97, MP captain Srivastava kept the boundary line with all his fielders standing at long-on and long-off.
The move was not good enough to stop Sarfaraz as he patted the head of a bowler who went over the boundary.
The celebration was a war cry and a thigh thump. There were tears of relief that he shed after completing what he had done.
The Indian Test team’s middle order is still packed but the way Sarfaraz is batting, in the words of head coach Rahul Dravid, he is not only knocking but knocking on the door of selection.
Sarfaraz was involved in four short, but very effective, partnerships that could have proved decisive if the match was a matter of an innings.
He took 40 for the seventh wicket with Tanush Kotian (15), 26 for the eighth wicket with Dhawal Kulkarni (1), 39 for the ninth wicket with Tushar Deshpande (6) and Mohit Awasthi (7) for the last wicket. Added 21 invaluable runs for him. ,
By the time he became the last Mumbai batsman to be dismissed, he had ensured that the total was high enough for his bowlers to defend.
But there are ominous signs as MP’s batsmen are looking solid so far and Mumbai’s bowling line-up hasn’t made much of an impact, except for Tushar Deshpande’s delivery which straightened to find Himanshu Mantri’s (31) pad .