Madhya Pradesh bounced back from second session onwards.
A 400-plus first-innings total will now depend on the season’s highest run-getter Sarfaraz Khan (40 batting, 125 balls), who is looking good for another big knock with the dependable Shams Mulani (12 batting, 43 balls) giving him company.
While left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya was the tireless operator from one end, having sent down 31 overs for figures of 1 for 91, seamer Gaurav Yadav (23-5-68-0) was distinctly unlucky and the wickets column don’t reflect the relentless pressure that he put on Mumbai batters, especially skipper Shaw.
Mumbai did enjoy the advantage during the first hour after Shaw opted to bat and, along with Jaiswal, took on the MP attack. The strategy to start with Kartikeya’s slow left-arm orthodox seemed to have backfired when Jaiswal took him on and lofted him over long-on for a six.
Shaw followed suit and hit Kartikeya over long-off for a six as they added 87 for the first wicket.
But while Jaiswal, with his drives and upper cuts, looked to continue from where he left in the semi-final, Shaw, despite his seven fours (at least three of them behind square) looked edgy.
The first breakthrough came minutes before lunch break when Anubhav, who was bowling closer to the stumps, decided to move slightly wide and fired in a couple of deliveries with the angle.
Anubhav, who had started operating wide of the crease, started cramping the left-hander for room. As he was finding it difficult to get the boundaries, Jaiswal, without much room, tried the square cut but failed to keep it down and Dubey at gully took a sharp low catch.
Hardik Tamore (24) was living dangerously till Saransh got some drift and the delivery straightened after pitching, taking the outside edge into Rajat Patidar’s hands in the first slip.
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