Ranji Trophy: A great day out for Pradeep at the Wankhede

Railways dismisses Mumbai for 114 to stay on top on Day 1; fast bowler T. Pradeep claims 6/37 and lights up a cloudy Wankhede Stadium.

Railways quick T. Pradeep in action against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

 

Seamers had a field day in hazy atmosphere as fifteen wickets tumbled on the first day of the Ranji Trophy match between Mumbai and Railways at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

Outstanding among the seven seamers seen in action was a beginner in first class cricket, Thippeswamy Pradeep, who was only playing his third Ranji match for the Railways. He had turned out in 16 white-ball cricket matches for Karnataka when he started his career two years ago.

The 25-year-old came into the biggest match of his nascent domestic career with four wickets for 115 runs off 240 deliveries against Uttar Pradesh and Saurashtra.

On eventful day, he had a rich haul of 6 for 37 in 10.3 overs and the champion team with a handful of top class batsmen fell apart to accurate spells that lasted a mere 28 overs and three balls. Mumbai was embarrassingly skittled out at the stroke of lunch.

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The first big wicket of the morning, after Railways chose to bowl, was that of the in-form Prithvi Shaw. He got going with a boundary shot directed front of square on the off side, but the new ball operator, Amit Mishra squared up the right hander twice in the third over and had him caught by Pratham Singh at gully placed wide, after the cordon was reinforced with a third slip.

After Mishra provided the breakthrough, Pradeep adhered to a disciplined line and got rid of tough customers like Jay Bista, Ajinkya Rahane and Suryakumar Yadav, and mopped up the lower order and tail in quick time. In between, Himanshu Sangwan sent down a yorker to get rid of Siddhesh Lad.

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Mumbai hit back with debutant seamer Deepak Shetty taking three for 20 off 11 overs. But Arindam Ghosh — a seasoned campaigner for Railways — struck nine fours in his 75-ball unbeaten 52, and forged an unbroken stand of 73 for the sixth wicket with skipper Karn Sharma.

The umpires called off play — 47 minutes after the tea break — due to poor light.

Brief scores: Mumbai 114 (S Yadav 39; Pradeep T 6/37); Railways 116/5 (A Ghosh 52*, K Sharma 24*; D Shetty 3/20) at stumps on Day 1

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