Indore: Gujarat batsmen have hogged the limelight for the entire season, but their unheralded bowling line-up, sans India players Akshar Patel and Jasprit Bumrah, came to the party by dismissing defending champions Mumbai for a modest 228 on the first day of the Ranji Trophy final here.
On a Holkar Stadium track that had something in it for the seamers, Parthiv Patel called it right at the toss and then his military medium pacers led by veteran Rudra Pratap Singh (two for 48) bowled with a lot of discipline to restrict the powerful Mumbai batting line-up. At stumps on Tuesday, Gujarat were two without loss.
Seamers Chintan Gaja and Rush Kalaria complemented Singh well, while spinners left-armer Hardik Patel and part-time off-spinner Rujul Bhatt also provided important breakthroughs.
The 41-time champions lost wickets at regular intervals despite rookie sensation Prithvi Shaw (71) once again hogged the limelight with some delightful stroke-play. The talented Suryakumar Yadav (57) did all the hardwork before throwing it away, while Abhishek Nayar (35) ran out of partners in the end.
All the Gujarat seamers bowled within 130kmph but got the ball to move both ways which brought about the downfall of the Mumbai batsmen. Singh started the slide as left-handed Akhil Herwadkar got a fuller delivery that straightened enough to catch him plumb in front.
Shreyas Iyer took guard outside the crease to negate swing as he spanked a couple of fuller deliveries from Gaja who then altered the length. But then Iyer rushed like a raging bull only to edge one to Parthiv behind the stumps.
The first session, though, belonged to young Prithvi, who again showed that he is another rare talent emerging from the Mumbai stable of batsmanship.
Equally adept on front and back foot, his punches were a delight. He possesses an upright stance and fine balance.
He time and again rocked back to punch between the cover and cover point region, hitting 11 boundaries in all.
The time during which he was in flow, even a normally attacking Suryakumar curbed his natural instincts to let the youngster hog the limelight. At 17 years and 62 days, Prithvi became the youngest half-centurion in a Ranji Trophy final. He was looking good for a three-figure mark before a horrible mix-up with Suryakumar saw him run out.
Suryakumar could be blamed partly as he pushed for a tight single dabbing one towards short cover. The duo had added 52 runs by then and a tight single wasn't necessary then.
Prithvi responded late and by the time he decided not to go for the single, Suryakumar had almost reached the non-striker's end that led to the youngster sacrificing his wicket for the senior pro.