Mumbai abort chase, settle for a draw
Gujarat 244 (Parthiv 101, Chavan 3-54) and 337 (Juneja 98, Chavan 4-124) drew with Mumbai 447 (Jaffer 171, Kushang 3-79) and 65 for 1 (H Shah 42*)
Mumbai aborted a chase of 135 off a minimum of 41 overs and instead settled for three points for the first innings lead against Gujarat in their last Ranji Trophy Group A game at the Dr DY Patil Sports Stadium.
The Mumbai bowlers were made to toil for more than half the day's play, courtesy Manprit Juneja and Chirag Gandhi's attractive batting. So, Mumbai had to keep the scoreboard flowing in order to achieve the target that was not out of reach by any means, especially since the wicket was playing true even on the fourth day.
With Wasim Jaffer, who anchored the first innings with a trademark 171, having to rush to a hospital in the morning since his father suffered a cardiac arrest, Aditya Tare walked out to bat along with Kaustubh Pawar. But the duo showed little intent of going for the target. The only instance of Mumbai trying for six points came when Hiken Shah, replacing Tare who was caught behind the wicket in the eighth over, hit left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv for four boundaries in an over before tea.
However, the half an hour following the tea break saw neither Pawar nor Shah trying to up the ante, even when Parthiv Patel took his gloves off and rolled his arm over, making it evident they were settling for a draw. As a result, it did not come as a surprise when both the teams shook hands at the start of the mandatory overs.
"It wasn't really going to matter eventually - whether we went for the target or not. The fact is we have achieved the objective of qualifying for the semi-final. It doesn't really matter whether we qualify second or third since the line-up for second and third teams from top two groups is going to be decided by chits," Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni said.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo