SARFARAZ Khan hasn’t forgotten the tough times he faced in the past few years. He recalls those days when he would even struggle to reach 50 in Ranji Trophy games. On Wednesday, the middle-order batsman scored unbeaten 169 against Madhya Pradesh albeit in an inconsequential Ranji Trophy game at Wankhede Stadium. Khan rescued Mumbai after the hosts were 72/3, needing a big partnership to avoid another wretched total.
Khan and debutant Aakarshit Gomel slammed a century each as Mumbai eventually ended Day One at 352/ 4. Though Gomel took his time to score his 122 from 240 balls, it was Khan who stole the show yet again to slam his third big hundred in four games. He was lucky once to be bowled off a no-ball when he was on 4.
In a dreadful season for Mumbai from which they have scanty positives to take, Khan has given them rare moments to cherish. Before coming into this game, he had scores of 301*, 226*, 78 and 25.
Khan is enjoying this dream run and wants the dream to be bigger than before. It wasn’t just the bowlers who were trying to make his stay uncomfortable, the humid weather too tested Khan’s patience.
“My aim was to score 100 and if I scored a hundred, my next target was to score big. Life mein aise bahut baar hota hai ki hum ek-ek run ke liye marte hain. (Many times even scoring one run is a struggle) And when you score it is important to make it big. Abbu bolte hain ek-ek run counts. I have seen those days when I had to try very hard to score runs,” Khan told The Indian Express.
For a man whose love of food is well-known, he had to remain on a firm diet. Khan revealed that he didn’t have a single morsel during the lunch session, instead he preferred to drink coconut water. In this humid weather, he says, skipping lunch was best for his body. “I don’t each lunch when I bat, I only drink coconut water. Somewhere I have a feeling that if I have lunch, my body will be heavy at the same time I can’t run those quick doubles. So if I have to have anthing, I will like to have runs,” he adds.
With Gomel taking all his time to score his runs, Khan ensured he paced up the scoreboard by playing an attacking innings. His unbeaten hundred had 22 fours and three sixes and it came in 204 balls.
Earlier, Mumbai had won the toss and elected to bat first with Hardik Tamore getting out in the fifth over of the day. Suryakumar Yadav came and swung his bat as he slammed nine boundaries in his 39 ball-43 before medium-pacer Kuldeep Sen got him. Siddhesh Lad continued to find it tough to score this season as Sen sent his timber flying. MP must have hoped to cash in on the chance of early wickets. But Khan had other plans.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 352 for 4 (S Khan 169 not out, A Gomel 122, S Yadav 43, Kuldeep Sen 3-67) vs MP.
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