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Mumbai top Group B, Gujarat see exit door

Mumbai grabbed a handy 110-run first innings lead over Gujarat before their concluding Group B Ranji Trophy game ended in a tame draw with the hosts topping the group with 35 points.

Gujarat picked up one point from the drawn encounter to take their tally to 24, the same as Madhya Pradesh.

But MP’s net run rate (Minus 0.059) was marginally superior to Gujarat’s (Minus 0.092) which was enough to pilot the former into the quarter finals along with Mumbai and second-placed Punjab (26 points) from the group.

The knock out quarter finals are to be held from February 3-7, 2016. When play started on Friday with Gujarat on 355 for 5 chasing Mumbai’s imposing first innings total of 531, the onus was on Bhargav Merai (unbeaten 150 overnight) to try and take the visitors past the 40-time champions’ huge score.

But Merai fell for 166, after adding 16 more runs to his last evening’s score, and the slim hopes of Gujarat of grabbing the first innings lead vanished.

Merai, who was let off when on 0 on Thursday off his own bowling by Shardul Thakur, repaid the compliment and the bowler accepted the catch on Friday to end his marathon 331-minute knock in which he hit 16 fours.
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