On Thursday, Sarfaraz Khan smashed a brilliant century for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy final against Madhya Pradesh. In his celebrations, he also brought out the late Sidhu Moose Wala’s signature ‘thigh-slap’ step, and later confirmed that it was his tribute to the Punjab singer. On Day 3 of the match, Madhya Pradesh’s Yash Dubey repeated Sarfaraz’s gesture after he reached the three-figure mark in the game.
Madhya Pradesh made a strong start to Day 3 and didn’t lose a wicket in the entire first session, as Dubey and Shubham Sharma added 105 runs to the overnight total of 123/1. In the second-last over before Lunch, Dubey reached his century with a four towards leg-side, and as he burst into celebration, the batter first did KL Rahul’s ‘shut-out-the-noise’ celebration, and followed it up with Moose Wala’s ‘thigh-slap’ step, drawing a roar from the crowd.
Following his century on Day 2, Sarfaraz had stated that the signature step was his tribute to Moose Wala, adding that he “loves his songs.” The music icon was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Jawaharke village in Mansa, Punjab on May 29.
“This was for Sidhu Moosewala. I love his songs and mostly me and Hardik Tamore (keeper) listen to his songs. I did a similar kind of celebration during an earlier match also (in his memory), but then, Hotstar didn’t show it. I had decided once I score another hundred, I would repeat the celebration,” he had said in a press interaction following the day’s play.
Earlier in the game, Sarfaraz’s 131 ensured Mumbai reached a strong total of 374 in the first innings of the final. During the closing stages of Day 2, Tushar Deshpande gave the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions their first breakthrough, as he dismissed wicketkeeper-batter Himanshu Mantri on 31. However, Dubey (101*) and Sharma (88*) stabilized the MP innings by Lunch on Day 3.
While Mumbai are chasing a record-extending 42nd Ranji Trophy win, Madhya Pradesh are eyeing a fifth title.