With Karun Nair out of the picture, Mumbai wins the Ranji final.

Karun Nair’s extended stand in challenging batting conditions at the Wankhede Stadium kept Mumbai at bay for almost the whole fourth day, but his departure in the final few overs made a big difference in the match against Vidarbha, who had set a record 538 runs to win the Ranji Trophy.

Mumbai needs five wickets to win their 42nd title going into the final day, while Vidarbha needs 290 runs.

After adding 54 runs to Vidarbha’s overnight total, openers Atharva Taide and Dhruv Shorey were dismissed in the space of three balls during the morning session, forcing Nair (74 off 220) to come to the crease. When facing left-arm spinner Shams Mulani, Taide mishandled the paddle, and Tanush Kotian bowled Shorey with an offbreak.

Mumbai’s spinners produced a lot of turn and bounce off the ground, but Nair was able to block most of those deliveries and occasionally even win a few too. He was dropped behind off of Kotian’s bowling on 4 and edged past Tushar Deshpande on 14 but the ball didn’t carry.

After lunch, Aman Mokhade was removed by an arm-ball from Musheer Khan, after he and Nair had put up 54 runs for the third wicket. Mumbai then managed to evaluate the situation skillfully, trapping Yash Rathod in front and giving Kotian his second wicket. However, because it appeared as though the ball struck the bat and pad simultaneously, the decision caused controversy at the time.

However, Rathod’s dismissal allowed skipper Akshay Wadkar to come in, and the two of them formed a strong combination that saw them add 90 runs for the fifth wicket. Before Musheer managed to get one to drift, dip, and turn away from Nair and elicit his outside edge, all appeared stable for Vidarbha. Even though Vidarbha gave a hopeful appraisal, Nair’s performance was too excellent for him. That was the second time that day that Musheer had made a significant breakthrough for Mumbai.

Wadkar, who reached his fifty off eighty deliveries, will be crucial to Vidarbha’s struggle on the last day.

Synopsis: Mumbai 248 & 418 lead Vidarbha 105 & 248/5 (Nair 74, Akshay Wadkar 56*; Musheer 2-38, Kotian 2-56) by 289 runs.

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