Day Two was an aberration. Day Three was déjà vu!
If Saurashtra’s performance on the second day of the Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai [ Images ] provided a semblance of resistance, the third day was a catastrophe.
It resembled their effort on the opening day, when they were dismissed for a paltry 148 in their first innings. In fact, it was worse.
Having got themselves back into the match, albeit aided by some sloppy batting from the home team, the visitors let the opportunity slip again.
And it proved to be a costly slip.
It had taken Mumbai six days to get to the final, edging Services by virtue of a first innings lead in a rain-curtailed game at the Palam Ground.
It took them less than three days to win the decider and pocket their 40th Ranji Trophy title.
For the record, Mumbai thrashed Saurashtra by an innings and 125 runs at the Wankhede stadium, on Monday.
Losing a final against a team that is synonymous with Ranji success is no shame. However, Saurashtra’s meek capitulation was indeed a shame.
Considering it was their first final appearance in the country’s premier competition, it would be definitely something that the visitors would like to put behind them.
Resuming at their overnight score of 287 for six, Mumbai lost Dhawal Kulkarni (18) in the fourth over of the day, Siddharth Trivedi [ Images ] having him caught by Shitanshu Kotak at first slip.
Hiken Shah (55) and Ankeet Chavan (41) combined well for the eighth wicket, adding 41 runs, the former reaching his fifth half century of the season in the process.
Saurya Sanandiya ended the resistance, having Shah caught behind and Kamlesh Makvana wrapped up the tail, catching both Chavan and Shardul Thakur (10) off his own bowling.
The home team was dismissed for 355, for a first innings lead of 207 runs -- a sizeable figure considering the nature of the wicket.
And it took them just three balls to build on their advantage, Ajit Agarkar [ Images ] having Kotak caught behind even as lunch was taken.
It was a dual failure for Kotak, the veteran, playing in his first Ranji final in a career spanning more than two decades.
The first half hour after resumption spelt disaster for the visiting team.
Agarkar, in his third over of the innings, had Sagar Jogiyani (0) caught behind and in the next over, Kulkarni had Rahul Dave (5) caught by Chavan at gully.
Mumbai's captain returned to trap Aarpit Vasavada (0) plumb in front. And when Kulkarni cleaned up Jaydev Shah (6) and Sheldon Jackson (9) in quick succession, Saurashtra had been reduced to 20 for six in their second innings, with not even 14 overs bowled.
Makvana (7)and Sanandiya (16) held out for seven overs before Abhishek Nayar [ Images ] had the former caught by Shah at first slip.
A spectacular catch by Vishal Dabholkar at gully ended Sanandiya’s resistance, Kulkarni getting his fourth wicket as a result.
Saurashtra's innings ended soon after tea, Agarkar having Jaidev Unadkat (9) caught behind before Kulkarni ended Jadeja’s (22) resistance, having him caught behind.
The latter dismissal helped Kulkarni complete a five-wcket haul (five for 32), his second of the season.
Saurashtra could manage only 82 runs in their second innings.
Photograph: Bikash Mohapatra