Pandit praises Shreyas Iyer for his “brave” performance.

Mumbai’s most dependable batsman, Shardul Thakur, was out on the first ball of his team’s second innings, but Mumbai could afford this infrequent slip-up from their great all-rounder. In the Ranji Trophy final, Musheer Khan and Shreyas Iyer had essentially stolen the game away from the Vidarbha team when Shardul arrived at the crease. It might be too much for the visitors to handle their intimidating 168-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Despite the inherent uncertainty in the game, Mumbai’s 42nd Ranji title looks certain with a margin of more than 500 runs (538 is the goal and Vidarbha were 10 for no loss at stumps on Day 3).

Harsh Dubey, the leader of Vidarbha, however, seemed just as certain that they would reach the goal. “We have optimism and self-assurance. After taking five wickets in the second innings against Mumbai, Dubey declared, “We have nothing to lose and we will go for the target.”

After Ajinkya Rahane, the batsman who had gone undefeated the previous night, was dismissed early for 73, Musheer and Iyer teamed up during the opening session of Day 3. Though Iyer’s innings stood out as a timely atonement, the captain also made amends with a well-crafted half-century, which was his finest performance in eight matches this season. Iyer needed a huge score in the second inning after coming under fire for a run of poor scores, which included a depressing 7 in the first. With 10 fours and three sixes in a scorching 95-run innings, he proved his mettle. Even if it was a mockery of justice, he had done his part to solidify Mumbai’s lead going into the championship.

“Shreyas played a crucial innings, and he came through when it counted. His innings against New Zealand in the World Cup semifinal at the Wankhede, though in a different format (he had made 105 off 70 deliveries before), was reminiscent of that one. It was unfortunate for him not to score many runs in the previous few games, considering he is currently playing excellent cricket. He is playing freely and isn’t changing his style of play, as evidenced by the ten boundaries and three sixes he hit. The Kolkata Knight Riders coach, Chandrakant Pandit, stated that Iyer’s innings will benefit him greatly. Iyer will skipper the squad in the 2019 IPL season.

According to Pandit, Musheer (136 off 326 deliveries) is a typical Mumbai batsman who enjoys playing extended stretches of cricket. “I appreciated his strategy, and Vidrabha might have had difficulties as a result of his collaboration with Iyer. But I believe Ajinkya’s (73) jab was the greatest. He scored those runs during a good run of form for Umesh Yadav. It will be really difficult for Vidarbha now that they have so many runs on the board, Pandit said to Cricbuzz. Pandit had led Vidarbha to two Ranji victories in the 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons.

Iyer executed massive shots with bravery, matching Musheer shot for shot. He got out, though, in his audacious attempt to clear the ball over the fence, which would have taken him over the three-figure mark. He was dismissed after the willow slid out of his hand due to improper touch with the ball, which happened at long off. Even if Iyer’s exit from the crease was accompanied by bad luck, his contribution nevertheless made a significant impression and demonstrated his class and determination.

“Working with Test players simplifies my tasks.” I’m pleased with my century in the championship. I dreamed about it. With Iyer, bhai, it was a good stand; he was telling me what to do. After reaching his century in front of Mumbai greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, and Pandit, Musheer commented, “We planned to bat for the entire day. Mumbai bowling is strong, and the players are confident of bowling out the visitors soon on Tuesday.”

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