Mumbai hammer Saurashtra for 40th Ranji Trophy title

Mumbai, Jan 28 (IANS) Mumbai cantered to their record 40th Ranji Trophy title after dismissing Saurashtra for 82 in their second innings on day three of the final at the Wankhede Stadium here Monday.

The Saurashtra batsmen meekly surrendered before the Mumbai bowlers, their innings lasting a mere 36.3 overs on a pitch that did not appear to have any demons. Medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni picked up five wickets to end the game with a nine-wicket haul.

Earlier in the morning, the hosts went on to make 355 in their first innings that saw Wasim Jaffer breaking the record for most centuries in Ranji Trophy by an individual when he hammered his 32nd Ranji ton.

Mumbai had a firm grip on the game after they bowled Saurashtra out for 148 on the opening day.

With their resounding victory, Mumbai extended their domination in the tournament. They have now competed in 44 Ranji finals and lost only four times - the losses coming against Karnataka, Holkar, Delhi and Haryana.

"It is a great feeling to get a hundred in the finals," said Man of the Match Wasim Jaffer, whose century helped him surpass the tally of Delhi's Ajay Sharma of 31.

On how the season went by, Jaffer said: "We have been playing touch cricket, but once we qualified for the knockouts we did really well. We got them (Saurashtra) out for 148, it was important to bat well, and that's what we did."

Mumbai added 68 runs to their overnight score to close innings at 355 before their bowlers ran through Saurashtra's batting.

With Saurashtra reeling at 34 for seven, it seemed the match would end earlier than it did. Saurya Sanandiya (16) and Dharmendrasinh Shandilya (22) hung on for a while but the inevitable happened 40 minutes after the tea break.

Besdies Kulkarni's sterling effort, Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar took four wickets.

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