Parthiv keeps running

Over the past five years Gujarat have never made it to the knock-out stages of the Ranji Trophy. But in three of those five years, their skipper Parthiv Patel has crossed the 800-run mark. The first day's statistics summed up largely why Gujarat have not been able to reach the knock-outs. Gujarat were bowled out for 244 and of these runs Parthiv scored 101 at the DY Patil Stadium.

That this century came against Mumbai, an attack that included Zaheer Khan and Dhawal Kulkarni, adds significance to the knock. In 12 innings so far this season, including Saturday's knock, Parthiv has made 848 runs with three hundreds and six fifties.

Parthiv played every ball on merit. Against in Zaheer in particular he played with minimal risk. Against the short-ball, however, Parthiv was aggressive. Kulkarni used the bouncer early in the innings and Parthiv dispatched it to fine leg.

When Javed Khan, another medium pacer bowled short Parthiv played it late and over the slips.

When medium-pacer Abhishek Nayar tried to tempt him with width, Parthiv restrained himself and left the ball. Mumbai had a chance to get rid of Parthiv when he was on 64, but Hiken Shah dropped a sitter off the bowling of Kulkarni

Against the spinners, Parthiv was keen to use his feet. He never allowed left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan to settle down and attacked him whenever there was flight on offer. While Parthiv's immediate goal is to ensure that his side reaches the knockouts; Gujarat are second in Group A with 21 points but have Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh breathing down their neck. He, however, also has the bigger picture in mind.

Parthiv's run-making efforts in previous seasons have earned him a recall in the short forms of the game. He had marked his return to the ODI side after a gap of over six years with back-to-back half centuries against New Zealand in December 2010.

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