Ranji Trophy: Kulkarni comes up with a vital fifty

Mumbai did well to register 332 in its first innings. In response, Andhra was 74 for two when stumps were drawn on Day 2.

Dhawal Kulkarni scored an unbeaten 50 to help Mumbai register a 300 plus score against Andhra.   -  Special Arrangement

Mumbai did well to register 332 in its first innings and then remove Andhra’s openers early on. The host had recouped to 74 for two when stumps were drawn on Day 2 of their Ranji Trophy Group C match at the C.S.R. Sarma College ground on Saturday.

Rain robbed the second day of an hour and 10 minutes in the morning and Mumbai went to lunch at 273 for six.

Scorecard

The post-lunch session proved most productive for Andhra, frustrated as it might have been by the stubborn stand for the seventh wicket between the overnight pair of Abhishek Nayar and Dhawal Kulkarni that spanned 23.2 overs and three sessions for a mere 31 runs.

K.V. Sasikanth separated the duo, his straight one dipping below Abhishek’s outstretched blade on an attempt to cut and pegging back the left-hander’s leg stump.

Two balls later, he had Shardul Thakur caught behind.

Debutant Karsh Kothari cut twice to the fence but was beaten and bowled by Hanuma Vihari. Mumbai found its Man Friday in Kulkarni who let out the steam with a huge six over long-on and a couple of boundaries.

In his invaluable and unbeaten 50, the medium pacer had smacked two sixes and five boundaries.

More importantly, he farmed the strike, shielding the tail-enders from an aggressive Andhra attack keen to mop up the innings.

Mumbai’s reprisal was swift. Abhishek trapped D.B. Prasanth Kumar leg before in the first over after tea.

Getting the ball to bounce and move, the Mumbai medium pacer bowled nine overs on the trot from the hill end, one of them a maiden, to concede just 17 in that spell.

Not much later K.S. Bharat was run out by Shreyas Iyer’s direct hit from extra-cover.

The home side captain Vihari then got his head down to the task of containing the damage, faced 48 balls before he cracked two boundaries off the next two.

With two-down batsman Ricky Bhui for company, he warded off a six-pronged Mumbai attack that, after another burst from Abhishek, turned to spin as light faded and the day drew to a close.