Three centurions power Mumbai to the extreme

In-form Sarfaraz Khan, and openers Aakarshit Gomel on debut and Hardik Tamore score tons against Madhya Pradesh.

Photo: BCCI Domestic/Twitter

Mumbai were blessed with as many as three centuries in their final Ranji Trophy match of the season against Madhya Pradesh with Sarfaraz Khan continuing his solid form, debutant Aakarshit Gomel hitting the ground running and Hardik Tamore scoring his maiden first-class ton at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

The match, however, ended in a draw as Mumbai's campaign in the Ranji Trophy ended with Sarfaraz Khan, an Eagle Thane Strikers star in T20 Mumbai, emerging as the leading run-getter for his side, and fifth overall this season in just six matches. The four batsmen above him have played three matches more than the 22-year-old.

Opting to bat first in the Elite Group B match, Mumbai were rattled in the opening session as they were left at 72/3 when Sarfaraz Khan joined opener Aakarshit Gomel, who was making his maiden first-class appearance.

The duo put on 275 runs for the fourth wicket before Aakarshit Gomel fell for an impressive 122 (240b, 11x4, 1x6). Sarfaraz Khan left soon after, having belted 177 in just 210 balls, with 24 fours and 3 sixes, at a strike rate of 84.29.

"I have been playing together with Sarfaraz since childhood so we know each other well," Aakarshit Gomel told the media. "The plan was that once I got the start, I had to bat long.

"We know how Wankhede is, the ball swings and zips through at the start. I knew I had to play out the first spell and give the team a good start. Then we lost a couple of wickets and we needed to build a partnership," he pointed out.

"It was my first match so there was a bit of pressure as well, but there was good support from the seniors and support staff, things like getting messages at the right time," added Aakarshit Gomel, who has played for SoBo Supersonics and Aakash Tigers Mumbai Western Suburbs in T20 Mumbai.

Mumbai scored 427 in their first innings and then reduced Madhya Pradesh to 72/5 before the visitors resisted and managed to end up with 258. Ankush Jaiswal, the only bowler to take a hat-trick in T20 Mumbai, was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/58 as he cleaned up four of the last five wickets to fall.

With a hefty lead of 169 runs, Mumbai came into the second innings with the intent of scoring runs quickly. This time it was the opener, Hardik Tamore, who held his end up.

He joined Shams Mulani, promoted to number five, to forge a 133-run partnership in just 144 balls for the fourth wicket. Shams Mulani made a solid 70 runs in 85 balls with 10 fours at a strike rate of 82.35 while Hardik Tamore, a Shivaji Park Lions mainstay in T20 Mumbai, managed his maiden domestic ton with 113 in just 132 balls, at a strike rate of 85.61, with 12 boundaries and a maximum.

Declaring at 238/5, Mumbai set Madhya Pradesh a target of 408 but the visitors managed 314/6 to draw the game.

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