Ranji Trophy 2024 final: Bowlers, Musheer and Rahane give Mumbai upper hand

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Mumbai found themselves in a commanding position after Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy 2024 final against Vidarbha at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday, March 11 courtesy of a clinical all-round effort.

Having reduced Vidarbha to 31/3 by stumps on Day 1 after posting 224 in their first innings, Mumbai bowled their opponents out for 105 in 45.3 overs on Day 2. Shams Mulani (3/32) and Tanush Kotian (3/7) put in excellent efforts, while the retiring Dhawal Kulkarni added picked up two towards the closing stages of Day 1.

Musheer Khan and skipper Ajinkya Rahane then struck unbeaten half-centuries as Mumbai reached 141/2 at stumps on Day 2 and have a significant lead of 260 runs.

Kulkarni struck the first blow on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy 2024 final, having Atharva Taide (23) caught behind with a length ball that nipped off the seam. Aditya Thakare (19) and Yash Rathod (27) added 40 runs for the fifth wicket, but neither of them could build on the start, which is what Vidarbha desperately needed.

Thakare was trapped lbw by an arm ball from Mulani. Vidarbha skipper Akshay Wadkar (5) also fell to the left-arm spinner, caught behind off a delivery that spun away. Mulani had his third when Harsh Dubey (1) lobbed a bat-pad catch to short leg. The dismissal reduced Vidarbha to 87/7.

Rathod’s resistance ended when he dragged a tossed-up delivery from Kotian onto the stumps. Kotian also dismissed Yash Thakur (16) and Umesh Yadav (2) as Mumbai gained a significant first-innings lead of 119. Yash Thakur was caught at mid-off, looking to take on the bowler, while Umesh also miscued an attempted big hit.

Musheer-Rahane consolidate Mumbai’s position in the Ranji Trophy 2024 final

In their second innings, Mumbai lost both their openers cheaply. Prithvi Shaw (16) was cleaned up by a ripper from Yash Thakur that pitched outside off stump and came back in sharply to crash through the batter’s defense. Bhupen Lalwani (18) was caught at midwicket as he uppishly flicked a full ball from Dubey.

Musheer (51* off 135) and skipper Rahane (58* off 109) then featured in a resolute third-wicket stand of 107* to put Mumbai in a commanding position at stumps on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy 2024 final.

Musheer struck three only fours in his defiant knock, while Rahane returned to much-needed form, hitting four fours and a six.

The Mumbai captain had only one half-century in 11 innings in the tournament, heading into the final.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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