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Slow and steady, Dubey, Patidar frustrate Kerala bowlers 

Former scores his second First Class hundred; Patidar (75 batting) puts a high price on his wicket

Former scores his second First Class hundred; Patidar (75 batting) puts a high price on his wicket

Yash Dubey took 41 balls to reach from 90 to 100. On 99 alone he faced 13 balls.

It was that kind of day at the Saurashtra Cricket Ground (C). The kind of day when the batters are more than content to tell themselves “well left” to most balls of an over and wait patiently for the next run, no matter how long it took.

Dubey’s patience lasted the whole day. And he will be back on Friday morning to renew his torment of the Kerala bowlers.

His unbeaten 105 (264b, 15×4) ensured that Madhya Pradesh was in the driving seat after choosing to bat first. It ended the day at 218 for two in the crucial Ranji Trophy Group A match.

Slow batting

Yes, the batting was painfully slow, runs coming at 2.42 runs an over, but on a surface that didn’t seem to offer much to bowlers of any kind, the first innings could become important, especially if there is no decisive result.

With Dubey looking increasingly like an immovable object, and Rajat Patidar (75 batting, 183b, 13×4), who seemed determined to emulate his partner’s strike rate, too putting a very high price on his wicket, Madhya Pradesh should be hoping to bat for most of the second day. The two have so far added 130 for the unfinished third wicket, from 342 balls.

Patidar had joined Dubey when Shubham Sharma had a rare failure here. His lowest score in the three innings before this one was 92.

Shubham was caught behind trying to glance left-arm spinner Sijomon Joseph. Eight overs before, Jalaj Saxena had provided the breakthrough after Dubey and Himanshu Mantri put on 62 for the first wicket.

Mantri (23) was superbly caught at slip by P. Rahul, as he attempted to cut Jalaj. The fielder had dropped him earlier, in fact, off seamer M.D. Nidheesh.

Dubey and Patidar gave no such opportunities, as they showed remarkable abstinence.

The day was drawing to a close when Dubey finally reached his second First-Class hundred, finally taking a single to covers off Sijomon, after playing all those dot balls.

The scores:

Madhya Pradesh —1st Innings: Himanshu Mantri c Rahul b Jalaj 23, Yash Dubey (batting) 105, Shubham Sharma c Vishnu b Sijomon 11, Rajat Patidar (batting) 75; Extras (b-4): 4; Total (for two wkts. in 90 overs): 218.

Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-88.

Kerala bowling: Nidheesh 16-5-54-0, Thampi 12-1-33-0, Basil 18-8-32-0, Jalaj 22-8-41-1, Sijomon 22-2-54-1.

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