Ranji Trophy: Sarfaraz Khan's maiden of the triple century helps Mumbai take the lead in the early innings
MUMBAI: Staying true to his words, young man Sarfaraz Khan he hit his triple-century maiden to give Mumbai the crucial advantage in the first innings and get three points on the last day of his Group B Elite Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.
Uttar Pradesh had posted a humongous 625/8 declared in their first-essay courtesy wicket-keeper Upendra Yadav Invicta maiden of double ton.
But Sarfaraz's Herculean task (301 was not 391 balls; 30x4; 8x6) eclipsed Yadav's double ton on a flat court, which had absolutely nothing for players even on the last day.
The right-handed Sarfaraz was the cinnamon of all eyes in the Wankhede Stadium , while hitting for 633 minutes and hit 30 four and eight six.
What is more special about his hit is that the pint-sized batter suffered a fever two nights ago, but went out to bat and did the work for his team.
Sarfaraz, who had played for Uttar Pradesh and returned to Mumbai, had all shots in the book.
But most importantly, contrary to his style, he showed moderation and respected good balls.
Sarfaraz, in the process, became the seventh hitter in Mumbai to score a triple ton in first class cricket and joined the illustrious list comprising Wasim Jaffer (301 and 314 not out), Rohit Sharma (309 not out) , Ajit Wadekar (323), Sunil Gavaskar (340), Vijay Merchant (359 not outside) and Sanjay Manjrekar (377).
The hosts resume the final day on overnight score of 353/5 needing 273 more runs to overhaul Uttar Pradesh 's first innings total, with 22-year-old Sarfaraz unbeaten on 132 in company of his skipper Aditya Tare, who was unbeaten on 9 .
Mumbai had a difficult task at hand, but the way Sarfaraz, who had faith in his abilities, built his entrances, was remarkable.
Sarfaraz and Tare launched themselves in an apathetic UP attack, as they were determined to get three points.
They made sure that the first session remained without wicket, as Mumbai had lunch at 434/7.
Tare played a second perfect violin, as the duo launched a counterattack.
Sarfaraz first got able support from Tare (97 off 144 balls, 14x4) and then Shams Mulani (65 off 82 balls; 5x3; 1x6), as they took the game away from Uttar Pradesh.
While Sarfaraz and Tare added 179 runs for the sixth wicket, he and Mulani added 150 runs for the seventh wicket and it was their partnership that ensured Mumbai crossed Uttar Pradesh 's first-innings total.
Sarfaraz, who had completed his individual 250, took a single, as Mumbai surpassed Uttar Pradesh 's mammoth total and celebrated like the team had won the match.
Then Mumbai allowed Sarfaraz to complete a deserved 300.
He completed his triple ton with a six-inch wide width, after which the match was canceled.
Uttar Pradesh bowlers struggled on day three and four and had an off-day in the field.
They were able to take only two wickets on the last day.
Mumbai play Himachal Pradesh next in away encounter at Dharamshala, and Sarfaraz's innings would have given the 41- times Ranji Trophy champions confidence that they can make the knock-outs.
Brief Scores: Uttar Pradesh 625/8 declared v/s Mumbai 688/7 (Sarfaraz Khan 301 not out; Siddesh Lad 98; Ankit Rajpoot 3-133) Mumbai took first-innings lead. Mumbai 3 points, Uttar Pradesh 1 point.
In Dharamshala: Himachal Pradesh 496 v/s Baroda 150/2 (Vishnu Solanki 85 not outside; Vaibhav Arora 1-42). Drawn match. Himachal Pradesh 1 point, Baroda 1 point.
In Indore: Saurashtra 344 and 256/9 (Harvik Desai 115, Cheteshwar Pujara 69; Gourav Yadav 4-65) v/s Madhya Pradesh 280 and 223/9. Drawn match.
Saurashtra took the lead in the first innings. Saurashtra 3 points, MP 1 point.