It took Mumbai just a couple hours on Day four to defeat Assam by an innings and 128 runs in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group B fixture.
Resuming the day at 36 for five, Assam needed a miracle to turn things around, but Mumbai had other plans.
After Shardul Thakur’s short-pitched deliveries rattled Assam batters earlier in the innings, Musheer Khan and Shams Mulani claimed two wickets apiece and cut short Assam’s second innings to 189.
The wicket remained flat without much support for the bowlers. But Assam batters, barring stand-in captain Gokul Sharma, crumbled under pressure.
Picking up from where he left off in the first innings with a 73, the seasoned Gokul (82, 136b, 14×4) showed character in the second essay, unfurling a flurry of boundaries.
Early in the day, Swarupam Purkayastha was run out by Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane. As the players from the visiting side celebrated, there was a pall of gloom in the Assam dug-out.
Gokul remained the lone warrior. He put on a 38-run partnership at the fag end with Sibsankar Roy (17, 22b, 3×4) before Royston Dias cleaned up the latter.
Assam’s innings would have folded much earlier had Mohit Avasthi not dropped Gokul on 65.
Gokul went on to add 75 with Roshan Alam (42 n.o., 38b, 9×4) for the ninth wicket, before Armaan Jaffer caught Gokul at short leg off Musheer.
Assam failed to make the home advantage count, but as the knockout race intensifies, this win comes as a breath of fresh air for Mumbai. None of the national selectors was in attendance as Rahane and Prithvi Shaw – who made 379 – paved the way for Mumbai’s win. The 41-time champion will play its next away game against Delhi.