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Mumbai ride on Zaheer fifer to clinch thriller

Zaheer Khan’s incisive spell today helped Mumbai pull off a stunning seven-run win over Madhya Pradesh in what turned out to be the most interesting Ranji Trophy group league encounter of this season.

Chasing a victory target of 311 on the final day, MP came tantalisingly close getting all-out for 303 giving the visitors their first outright win of the season. Mumbai now have 20 points but are placed fourth behind MP who are also on 20 but are ahead due to more outright wins.

If the highlight of the final day was brilliant 128 by MP opener Jalaj Saxena and Zaheer’s brilliant post-lunch spell of 13 overs that saw him get five for 79, the last 20 minutes were easily the most exciting of the match when it could have gone either way.

MP’s No 11 Ishwar Pandey first hit Zaheer over mid-wicket for a big six and then hit Abhishek Nayar for couple of huge hits over long-off to bring the equation down to eight runs.

However Pandey wanted to hit Nayar for a third six which was taken by the substitute fielder in the deep extra cover as dressing room erupted in joy.

The match can be termed as the best advertisement for domestic cricket where the 22-yard strip provided was top-class.
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