Mumbai set to register first win in last league match

Tushar Deshpande, Shardul Thakur rip apart Chhattisgarh to set the stage for victory.

Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur celebrates the dismissal of Ashutosh Singh on the second day of the Ranji trophy match against Chhattisgarh at the Wankhede Stadium.   -  Vivek Bendre


Amandeep Khare was the best batsman on view on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match between Mumbai and Chhattisgarh at the Wankhede Stadium. There was assistance from the pitch for the seamers and Khare played the waiting game to keep the Mumbai pace battery at bay for two hours and eight minutes before falling the fourth victim to Shardul Thakur.

But his resolve and some big blows by Vishal Singh — the two put on 61 for the fifth wicket — did not help Chhattisgarh’s cause in a match the home team should clinch before lunch on the third day. The umpires extended play by half-an-hour, but needing 91 to win, the Mumbai openers Jay Bista and Vikrant Auti batted cautiously to make 77 runs off 22 overs.

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For the second day, the medium pacers of both teams manipulated the seam expertly to cause the downfall of the batsmen. Resuming at the overnight score of 118 for three, Mumbai was skittled out for the addition of seventy runs. The home team could have been dismissed for a lower score had wicketkeeper Lavin Coster not put down left hander Shivam Dube on two.

Recalled after being dropped for three matches, Suryakumar Yadav, showed much promise when he worked away the second ball of the day from seamer Pankaj Rao to the mid-wicket fence, but once he pressed forward to defend Rao and edged to Ashutosh Singh in the slip cordon, runs were not easy to come by.

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Shubham Ranjane showed the full face of the bat and hit three straight down the ground boundary shots, but he fell playing across to Shakeeb Ahmed.

With very little to defend, the likes of Rao, Ahmed, Harpreet Bhatia and Abhimanyu Chauhan bowled with nagging accuracy and outsmarted the Mumbai batsmen. After the dismissal of Yadav in the 14th ball of the first session, the visitor’s fielder at cover, Ajay Mandal, plucked a spectacular overhead catch to send back the night watchman Dhrumil Matkar and then, Ashutosh converted a one-hander at slip to bring an end to Dube’s tenure in the middle.

Mumbai took lunch without separating the rival’s opening pair, but after the break, Thakur picked up three quick wickets. Soon Vishal Singh counter attacked Tushar Deshpande, but after he was given out caught on the leg side by umpire Nitin Menon, the Chhattisgarh second innings folded up from 134 for 6 to 149.

Seventeen wickets tumbled on the second day, partly because of some efficient bowling and partly because of inept batting.

Brief scores: Chhattisgarh 129 & 149 (V Singh 47; T Deshpande 4/53, S Thakur 4/47) Mumbai 188 & 77/0 (J Bista 36 not out) needs 14 runs to win

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