Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Sarfaraz, Mulani rescue Mumbai from 88/4

Despite a greenish patch, the wicket at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium has been assisting spinners, thanks to multiple cracks on the surface.

Sarfaraz Khan was dismissed for the first time after scoring 605 runs in his last three innings.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

 

Sarfaraz Khan (78 off 126 balls) and Shams Mulani (59* off 171 balls) resurrected Mumbai’s innings with a 109-run partnership for the fifth wicket after Dharmendrasinh Jadeja’s early blows. But the Saurashtra left-arm spinner came back stronger as his maiden fifer (5/90) of the season restricted Mumbai to 249 for the loss of eight wickets on day one of the Ranji Trophy fixture here on Tuesday.

Despite a greenish patch, the wicket at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium has been assisting spinners, thanks to multiple cracks on the surface.

Dharmendrasinh took full advantage of it, causing a mini-collapse in the morning session after Jay Bista and Bhupen Lalwani had given Mumbai a good start.

Statbox

Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan was dismissed for 78 versus Saurashtra after scoring 605 runs. He is seventh in the list of most runs between dismissals in First Class cricket after K.C. Ibrahim (709), Graeme Hick (645), Vijay Merchant (634), Patsy Hendren (630), S. Badrinath (625) and Pankaj Dharmani (608).

Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund crossed the 10,000-run mark in First Class cricket during the opening day’s play against Baroda. He was 34 runs short at the start of the game.
 

Siddharth Kaul’s hat-trick hogged the limelight on a day that saw 24 wickets falling on the opening day of Punjab’s home game versus table-toppers Andhra Pradesh in Patiala.

 

The lanky spinner first trapped Bista in front of the stumps and then, forced Lalwani to make a mistake for a regulation catch to mid-off. Sandwiched between the two dismissals was the big scalp of Suryakumar Yadav, who was unfortunate to be adjudged lbw off Prerak Mankad for a duck.

With Mumbai having lost three for 12 in five overs, Sarfaraz — having been unbeaten for 527 runs coming into the game — started the rebuilding act along with Siddhesh Lad but the diminutive Lad fell just before lunch to Dharmendrasinh’s ploy of bowling a straight line.

At 93 for four, Mumbai had its backs to the wall but the right-left combination of Sarfaraz and Mulani ensured a wicketless second session. While Sarfaraz rotated the strike well, Mulani defended staunchly.

The duo had an aggressive intent after tea with Mulani hitting a six off Kamlesh Makwana over long-off in the first over.

Sarfaraz took the cue and targetted the off-spinner for a six and a four in the next. However, the seasoned Makwana had the last laugh as one that spun and kept low resulted in crashing into the stumps of Sarfaraz. The dismissal was Sarfaraz’s first after scoring 605 runs.

Despite Mulani’s sensible batting, Dharmdendrasinh led Saurashtra’s resurgence to ensure it didn’t miss Jaydev Unadkat’s services at all.

Brief scores: Mumbai 249/8 (S Khan 78, S Mulani 59*; D Jadeja 5/90) at stumps on Day I

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