Stroke-filled Suryakumar Yadav steps up for Mumbai

Shams Mulani put on an all-round performance with his fourth straight fifty and five wickets in the match.

Photo: BCCI/Twitter

Suryakumar Yadav led Mumbai's assault against Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy after scoring a blazing century in the second innings at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot to lead the visitors' fight back in the match that eventually ended in a draw.

Opting to bat first in the Elite Group B fixture, it was Sarfaraz Khan who came to the rescue again in the first innings though. After scoring unbeaten triple and double centuries in his previous two innings, he came to the crease with Mumbai at 74/3, which soon became 88/4. It meant that after an opening stand of 62, Mumbai lost four wickets for just 26 runs.

It was here when Sarfaraz Khan joined hands with Shams Mulani to forge a 109-run partnership for the fifth wicket before he fell for 78 (126b, 9x4, 2x6). It meant that he had scored 605 runs before being dismissed over three innings in the Ranji Trophy.

Shams Mulani's fine form with the bat continued as he managed to score 60 (176b, 6x4, 2x6) before he was dismissed with Mumbai's first innings ending at 262.

Saurashtra took a 73-run lead as they put on 335 in response with Royston Dias emerging as the pick of the bowlers with a haul of 4/64 in 26 overs.

Suryakumar Yadav enjoys his stay

Mumbai soon overcame the lead with Suryakumar Yadav taking the attack to the opposition. At the crease after an early wicket, he put on 119 runs for the second wicket with Jay Bista (46) and 98 runs for the third wicket with Shams Mulani.

In the midst, Suryakumar Yadav, a title-winning captain in the inaugural T20 Mumbai league, blazed 134 runs in just 130 balls at a strike rate of 103.08 with 17 fours and 3 sixes.

"Always good to score runs, especially for Mumbai," Suryakumar Yadav told reporters. "In crunch situations, it's very important for the senior players to step up, so it feels good. It was an important knock... Really happy with it.

"I was given the freedom to take chances because there was a lot of batting to come, I kept playing my strokes, kept backing myself and just enjoyed my stay in the middle," he added.

From there, Mumbai kept on piling the runs as Shams Mulani and Sarfaraz Khan forged a 63-run partnership next in just 60 balls as the visitors looked to up the tempo.

Shams Mulani scored his fourth straight fifty in the Ranji Trophy, missing his maiden first-class century when he fell for 92, racked up in just 98 balls with 10 fours and a six.

Mumbai eventually declared at 362/7 leaving the home side with 290 for the victory.

The visitors made a strong start to the final innings as they reduced Saurashtra to 0/2 in 3.4 overs with Shashank Attarde doing the early damage. That rolled to 83/7 with a concerted bowling effort before Saurashtra held through for another 40 overs and managed to draw the match at 158/7.

Shashank Attarde finished with 3/45 while Shams Mulani bagged 3/47 and ended with a match haul of 5/130 to cap a fine all-round performance.

Mumbai will play their next Ranji Trophy match against Madhya Pradesh at home on Wednesday.

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