Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of Day Three of the Round 8, Group B match of Ranji Trophy 2015-16 between Mumbai and Gujarat at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It’s a clash of the top two teams in the table as Mumbai, who are placed on the top, with 32 points from seven games, have four wins and three draws, while a game ended in no contest. Gujarat are placed at the second spot, with 23 points from seven games as well, along with three wins, a loss and a couple of draws, while a game ended in no contest. With Mumbai already having qualifed for the quarter-finals would look to spoil Gujarat’s party as they need to win this tie to seal their spot in the quarters. COMPLETE COVERAGE: Ranji Trophy 2015-16

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 355/7 | Overs 125 | Trail: 176| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 150(315), Ramesh Powar 0(12): Rush Kalaria is caught by Aditya Tare on the bowling of Shardul Thakur. Ramesh Powar has arrived at the crease after the dismissal of Kalaria. Having faced 12 balls, he is yet to open his account. Bhargav Merai has reached his 150 and the umpire has declared the end of third day’s play. At stumps on day three, Gujarat were trailing by 176 runs. They have shown resilience after being reduced to 139 for five by the Mumbai bowlers. OUT! Rush Kalaria c Aditya Tare b Shardul Thakur 24(59)

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 348/6 | Overs 120 | Trail: 183| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 147(305), Rush Kalaria 20(51): Bhargav Merai is three short of his 150. He has struck 13 sweetly timed fours in his innings. Rush Kalaria is batting on 20. The seventh wicket partnership is now worth 54 runs. Gujarat still trails by 183 runs. They have succeeded in fending off the follow-on.

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 312/6 | Overs 107.1 | Trail: 219| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 130(265), Rush Kalaria 5(14): Shardul Thakur finally succeeds in breaking the partnership. The sixth wicket partnership fetched Gujarat 155 runs. Akshar Patel is unfortunate to miss out on a century. He made with the help of 10 boundaries. Rush Kalaria has come to the middle after Akshar’s departure. Bhargav Merai is batting on 130 having struck 12 fours. Gujarat now requires only 20 runs to avoid the follow-on. OUT! Akshar Patel c Nikhil Patil b Shardul Thakur 88(180)

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 281/5 | Overs 99.2 | Trail: 250| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 110(241), Akshar Patel 82(171): Akshar Patel slams a boundary and takes his tally to 10 fours. Gujarat now trails by 250 runs; still in danger to follow-on. Akshar Patel is batting in lower 80s. The partnership is now worth 142 runs. Mumbai is still on top but this partnership is looking dangerous for them.

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 272/5 | Overs 97.3 | Trail: 259| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 108(237), Akshar Patel 75(164): Bhargav Merai has slowed down a little after having reached his century. Akshar Patel on the other hand has upped the tempo, scoring 35 runs off the last 50 deliveries he faced. Gujarat are still trailing by 259 runs but it looks like they will succeed to avert the follow-on. Jasprit Bumrah and RP Singh are next in the batting order unless Gujarat’s captain Parthiv Patel thinks otherwise.

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 233/5 | Overs 84.3 | Trail: 298| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 100(210), Akshar Patel 45(114): Bhargav Merai cracks century with the help of 10 boundaries. A very good knock by the 23-year-old right-handed batter. Akshar Patel too is nearing his fifty. Gujarat still trails by 298 runs. The partnership is now worth 94 runs. It has bailed Gujarat out of serious trouble when they were struggling on 139 for the loss of five wickets. Mumbai bowlers are finding it hard to break this partnership.

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 210/5 | Overs 73.4 | Trail: 321| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 87(178), Akshar Patel 34(80): Bhargav Merai and Akshar Patel have struck a rapport and are batting well in tandem. Their partnership has fetched Gujarat 71 runs and it is looking strong. Merai is approaching his century. He has slammed 10 shots to the fence so far. Akshar Patel too is batting well on 34 with the help of three boundaries. Gujarat still trail by 321 runs; they require 122 runs to fend off the follow-on.

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 183/5 | Overs 63.2 | Trail: 348| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 74(155), Akshar Patel 21(40): Gujarat batsmen— Bhargav Merai and Akshar Patel are striving to make a partnership. Bhargav has batted very well and if it would not had been for him, Gujarat could had been bowled out till now. He thoroughly deserves to get to his century. Mumbai have played exceedingly well in the match with both bat and ball. They never allowed to Gujarat any leeway in the game and that is the reason they always had an upper hand. If another wicket falls, it might be floodgates for Gujarat as their tailenders are not good with the bat maybe except Ramesh Powar, who can bat a bit.

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 169/5 | Overs 59.2 | Trail: 362| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 71 (147), Akshar Patel 14(24): Gujarat lose two wickets in quick succession. Badrey Alam sends Raijul Bhatt and Parthiv Patel back to the dugout. Bhargav Merai is still at the crease batting on 71 with the help of nine shots to the fence. Akshar Patel is the new batsman at the crease batting on 14. Gujarat now trails by 362 runs and requires 163 runs to avert the follow-on. OUT! Raijul Bhatt b Badrey Alam 31(99), OUT! Parthiv Patel lbw Badrey Alam 4(6)

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 134/3 | Overs 46 | Trail: 397| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 55(105), Rujul Bhatt 31(91): Bhargav Merai has completed his half century. Raijul Bhatt is giving him good support at the other end. Gujarat now trails by 397 runs, they have a long way to go. Mumbai in driver’s seat at the moment. Skipper Parthiv Patel and Akshar Patel are next in the batting order.

Live Cricket Score: Gujarat 118/3 | Overs 38.3 | Trail: 413| Mumbai 531 | BATTING: Bharghav Merai 46(84), Rujul Bhatt 24(68): Gujarat have resumed their batting on the third day from their overnight score of 102 for the loss of three wickets. They have added 16 runs till now. Bhargav Merai is just four short of his fifty. He has struck four boundaries in his innings so far. Raijul Bhatt is batting at the other end on 24. Mumbai now trails by 413 runs.

Left-handed opener Akhil Herwadkar missed out on a maiden double century by eight runs after a marathon stay, as Mumbai amassed an imposing first innings total of 531 before reducing Gujarat to 102 for three on day two of their four-day Group B Ranji Trophy match on Wednesday. Herwadkar occupied the crease for three minutes under eight and a half hours during his 326-ball 192 that included two sixes and 22 fours. He departed 20 minutes after lunch, having commenced at his overnight 143 in a team score of 370 for two.

Teams:

Mumbai: Aditya Tare (c) (wk), Shardul Thakur, Surya Kumar Yadav, Iqbal Abdullah, Akhil Herwadkar, Nikhil Patil, Shreyas Iyer, Siddhesh Lad, Jay Bista, Badrey Alam, Balwinder Sandhu.

Gujarat: Akshar Patel, Parthiv Patel (c), Jasprit Bumrah, RP Singh, Manpreet Juneja, Priyank Panchal, Bhargav Merai (wk), Rujul Bhatt, Rush Kalaria, Alshaaz Pathan, Ramesh Powar.