Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Solanki, Waghmode put Baroda in command over Mumbai

Mumbai’s pace bowling lacunae were exposed yet again as Vishnu Solanki and Aditya Waghmode’s record partnership for the second wicket kept Baroda in the hunt of the host’s first innings total of 468.

Vishnu Solanki celebrates after reaching his century against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Mumbai’s pace bowling lacunae were exposed yet again as Vishnu Solanki (128 n.o., 231b, 17x4) and Aditya Waghmode’s (87 n.o., 237b, 9x4, 2x6) record partnership for the second wicket kept Baroda in the hunt of the host’s first innings total of 468.

Highest stand

Riding on the unbroken 232-run stand — Baroda’s highest for the second wicket against Mumbai — the visitor finished the second day at 244 for one. If the duo can see off the second new ball on the third morning, due in one over, the stage will be set for all-rounders Hardik Pandya, Yusuf Pathan and Swapnil Singh to press the accelerator on Sunday.

Once Pandya wrapped up the Mumbai tail with wickets off successive deliveries — Akash Parkar caught behind down the leg off a short ball and last-man Royston Dias poking at a full delivery to Yusuf in the slips — to complete his third five-for, the onus was on Mumbai pacers to make full use of the new ball.

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Baroda captain Kedar Devdhar timed a crisp cover drive and a cut off Dias in the first over. But Shivam Dube struck off his first legal delivery, trapping Devdhar in front of the wickets.

Then on, till the end of the day’s play, the four-pronged pace attack and left-arm spinner Karsh Kothari didn’t look penetrative on a pitch that didn’t offer much for the bowlers.

To add to Mumbai’s woes, Shreyas Iyer dropped a regulation catch of Waghmode at covers off Dias when the left-hander was on one.

Aditya Waghmode at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.   -  Prashant Nakwe

 

Ranjane bowls well

That Shubham Ranjane, the part-time medium-pacer, was the pick of Mumbai bowlers speaks volumes about its attack. Even he was unlucky as at least two edges that he derived off Waghmode’s willow after tea raced to boundary through gaps in the cordon.

Solanki, meanwhile, paced his innings well, displaying his mastery over drives and cuts time and again. After being unbeaten on 84 at tea, the diminutive Solanki creamed Dube through covers for his 15th boundary soon afterwards to complete his fifth first-class hundred.

At Mumbai: Mumbai 465 in 92.5 overs (Siddhesh Lad 130, Shreyas Iyer 178, Shubham Ranjane 42, Hardik Pandya five for 81, Bhargav Bhatt four for 76) vs. Baroda 244 for one in 79 overs (Aditya Waghmode 87 batting, Vishnu Solanki 128 batting).