Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Mumbai fights back to snatch advantage from Baroda

Royston H Dias picked four wickets and Shubham Ranjane took three as Mumbai bowled out Baroda for 436, before taking a vital lead at Stumps on Day three.

Hardik Pandya took two wickets but couldn't stop Mumbai from taking a vital lead.   -  Prashant Nakwe

A spirited Mumbai fightback, spurred by Shubham Ranjane’s swing bowling with Royston Dias and Akash Parkar chipping in with key strikes, meant Hardik Pandya was left with too much on his platter and Mumbai walked away with a slender advantage against Baroda in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group A contest.

The late Mumbai charge on the penultimate day at Wankhede Stadium meant when Pandya was pouched down the leg by wicket-keeper Aditya Tare off Dias, Baroda was bowled out for 436, chasing Mumbai first innings total of 465.

As it Happened

Pandya then struck twice with the ball in a fierce spell to bring back the demons of the Gujarat match for Mumbai as it finished the day at 20 for two.

Despite losing overnight centurion Vishnu Solanki, who was adjudged leg-before off Dias to end the 253-run partnership for the second wicket, and opener Aditya Waghmode, who miscued a pull in the deep after reaching the milestone, Baroda was safely placed at 320 for three at lunch.

With leftie Shivalik Sharma striking the ball cleanly, Pandya concentrating on a long haul and a long batting order to follow, Mumbai needed an individual brilliance to get them back in the game. Sharma and Pandya made them toil for almost an hour into the afternoon session, with the stylish left-hander crossing his fifty.

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Ranjane then provided the spark Mumbai was desperate for as he struck in three consecutive overs. He first forced Sharma to nick to Tare, then was gifted a wicket with Yusuf Pathan holing out to long-off and then bowled one in the perfect channel to all-rounder Swapnil Singh to get Tare back in action.

The spell that eventually read 10-3-20-3 truly got Mumbai on top.

Had Eknath Kerkar not made a mess off a dolly at first slip off Shivam Dube to see the back of Mitesh Patel before tea or had Dube not overstepped when Pandya played him on to the stumps soon after the break, Mumbai would have got a sizeable lead.

Aditya Waghmode celebrates after scoring a brilliant hundred.   -  Prashant Nakwe

 

Once he was fortunate, Pandya swiftly changed the gears, driving and pulling the pacers through line to the delight of the Sunday spectators.

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He had lost Patel by then, whose nick off left-armer Dias was pouched by Shreyas Iyer at second slip, and Bhargav Bhatt threw his bat around for valuable runs.

At 432 for seven, Baroda was within touching distance but Parkar changed the complexion with wickets off consecutive balls to tilt the game in Mumbai’s favour.

Earlier in the morning, Waghmode cruised to a deserving hundred after starting the day at 87 and swung his arms like a cradle, to mark the birth of a baby girl earlier in the week. But his hundred eventually couldn’t really swing the game in Baroda’s favour.

Brief scores:

At Mumbai: Mumbai 465 & 20 for two in 11 overs vs. Baroda 436 in 146 overs (Aditya Waghmode 114, Vishnu Solanki 133, Shivalik Sharma 51, Hardik Pandya 73, Royston H. Dias four for 99).