Ranji Trophy: Thakur, Kulkarni run through Andhra

Shardul Thakur and Dhawal Kulkarni took eight wickets between them to dismiss Andhra for 215 on Day Three of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy Group C tie. At stumps, Mumbai had an overall lead of 307 runs, with six wickets in hand.

Andhra captain Hanuma Vihari scored 70 before being dismissed by Shardul Thakur.   -  Kommuri Srinivas

 

Mumbai’s might prevailed, Andhra’s batting buckled. Inspired bowling from Dhawal Kulkarni (three for 44) and high-velocity stuff from Shardul Thakur (five for 55) had the host dismissed for 215 from 185 for four at lunch in a dozen second-session overs.

The visitor thus usurped a 117-run first-innings lead on the penultimate day of its Ranji Trophy Group C tie at the C. S. R. Sarma College ground. Mumbai closed Day Three on 190 for four, thanks to Shreyas Iyer’s splendid, unbeaten 75 (7x4, 1x6). It is now 307 runs ahead.

Scorecard

Andhra’s overnight pair of G. Hanuma Vihari and Ricky Bhui on Sunday morning set out in right earnest. The home side captain reached 50 with a couple while Bhui square-cut Minad Manjrekar to the boundary to record his half-century. The odd ball kept low but the duo’s defences seemed watertight, letting little through. After seeing their side cross 100, the two added 152 for the third wicket, shaping a turnaround of sorts if not a recovery from the loss of both openers for 25.

Day Two report: Kulkarni comes up with a vital fifty

With a little over half an hour left for lunch, Vihari fished outside off to a delivery from Thakur that was leaving him, and played the ball into the hands of first slip Suryakumar Yadav. After the triple-century against Odisha, the Andhra captain had seemed set to make the magic mark at least thrice but failed to convert the 60s and 70s to three figures.

Collapse

Bhui fell to a beauty from Kulkarni - the most effective of the Mumbai pacemen - who was introduced for the first time from the hill end. Well settled by now, the batsman offered no stroke to a ball that swung in late and uprooted the off-stump.

Shardul Thakur ended up claiming five wickets. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas

 

The India discard continued his destruction after lunch and from the same end. Hitting the deck with precision, he got the ball rise to M. Pranith. Late to respond, the southpaw was caught off guard, wasn’t sure about bounce or movement and nicked to stumper Aditya Tare.

Thakur completed the middle-order’s demolition, trapping B. Sumanth and Ashwin Hebbar in front. The bearded speedster then went about cleaning up the tail. The thick edge he extracted from Bandaru Ayyappa flew above the waiting cordon but Yadav leapt to hold the ball and pulled off a spectacular one-handed catch. Thakur signed off in style, breaking Andhra’s last batsman P. Vijay Kumar’s off-stump.