Ranji Trophy: Odisha pulls Mumbai plug after Shaw ton

The rookie opener slammed his fourth first-class hundred in fifth appearance; senior pro Rahane scores gritty 49 on domestic comeback.

Mumbai opener Prithvi Shaw in action against Odisha at the KIIT Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

 

Rookie opener Prithvi Shaw (105, 153b, 18x4) starred in the first half of the day with a sterling hundred — his fourth in five first-class matches — but the Mumbai middle-order didn’t live up to expectations as the visiting side missed out on snatching an advantage against Odisha on the opening day of Ranji Trophy Group C encounter.

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After being put to bat, when Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane (49, 122b, 8x4) were at the crease on a greenish KIIT stadium that had a bit of an uneven bounce, Mumbai looked set for a gargantuan total. However, due to disciplined bowling by Odisha bowlers — especially the pace quartet of Suryakant Pradhan, Basant Mohanty, Deepak Behera and Biplab Samantaray — the home team staged a comeback to restrict Mumbai to 264 for six at stumps.

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The conditions, the nature and quality of opposition may have been different than that during Mumbai's tie against Tamil Nadu last week, but the graph of the opening day's play was quite similar to that at the Bandra Kurla Complex ground. Shaw, the 17-year-old, pulverised the opposition after Akhil Herwadkar had shouldered arms in the sixth over to become Mohanty's 300th first-class victim.

Rahane, featuring in his first Ranji match since November 2013, held on to an end, Shaw didn't waste time in displaying his wide array of strokes. Fuller balls were caressed through covers without any fuss, while anything that was slightly pitched short saw the youngster rock on to the back-foot and unleash his trademark cut.

I am disappointed that I could not carry on and put the team in a stronger position

- Prithvi Shaw, Mumbai opener

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Just after he steered Pradhan for a four behind the wicket to cross his fifty, Shaw welcomed left-arm spinner Dhiraj Singh with three consecutive boundaries off his first three balls. A lofted slog sweep was followed by a sweep and straight drive to demoralise the spinner. Rahane then joined the action by flicking and driving him for three boundaries in the bowler's next two overs as Mumbai sat pretty at 119 for one at lunch.

Thanks to a flurry of boundaries, it took Shaw just 17 more balls after the break to race from 73 to 100 — his third in four Ranji games — thanks to a lofted drive over covers off Pradhan. Soon afterwards, he succumbed to one from Mohanty that came in and kept little low that caught him plumb in front of the wickets.

We would have been happier had we conceded 30 runs less or taken two more wickets

- Govinda Poddar, Odisha skipper

Then on, Odisha tightened the screws and conceded just 108 in the 46 overs that followed Shaw's dismissal. They also earned the scalps of four more Mumbai batsmen, including Rahane whose swat outside off resulted in a nick to the keeper.