Vijay Hazare Trophy: Mumbai rides on Ranjane show 

All-rounder Shubham Ranjane stands out (2/28 and 59 not out) as Mumbai beats Tamil Nadu by two wickets.

Shubham Ranjane safely took Mumbai to victory with an unbeaten 57.   -  K. Pichumani

Mumbai cricketers carry the moniker ‘khadoos’ — which signifies grit, intimidation and the ability to dominate in the face of adversity.

The Aditya Tare-led side lived up to its expectations as it thrashed Tamil Nadu (TN) by two wickets in the Group C clash of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the SSN College grounds here on Thursday.

Opting to bowl, Mumbai bowled out TN for 183 in 49.3 overs. But while chasing, it lost half of the side within 80 runs. The 71-run stand for the sixth wicket between youngsters Shubham Ranjane (59 not out) and Shivam Dubey (28) turned the tide.

Prithvi Shaw, the India U-19 World Cup-winning skipper and the talk of the match, was the first casualty. The right-hander looked in good touch; he even hit a couple of boundaries but Balachander Anirudh caught him at square leg off Krishnamoorthy Vignesh in the third over.

READ: M. Vijay dropped from TN squad

Akhil Herwadkar (18 off 18) and Siddhesh Lad (10 off 17) followed suit leaving Mumbai reeling at 37/3. Suryakumar Yadav (21) — who scored a ton in the opener — tried to stitch a partnership with skipper Tare. But the stylish right-hander fell prey to India international Ravichandran Ashwin, who has been trying out leg breaks along with his regular off spin deliveries.

The experienced spinner also got rid of Tare (17) when the scoreboard read 79/5.

Ranjane took charge and kept stealing singles at regular intervals. When the right-hander was on 40, Ashwin almost got him but N. Jagadeesan couldn’t make most of the opportunity behind the stumps. His knock comprised six fours and two sixes.

Dubey — who got out to a full toss off Ashwin — hit two sixes as well. Ashwin finished with impressive figures of 3/35. TN had a similar start to that of Mumbai in the low-scoring wicket. The top order, including skipper Vijay Shankar (11), was sent to the pavilion with the team struggling at 87/5.

It was Ashwin who stood like a rock and scored a gutsy 41(off 77 balls) to ensure a decent total; Jagadeesan (31 off 44) chipped in to brighten the situation. Ranjane also picked up two wickets (2/28), but it was Dhrumil Matkar’s twin strike, to dismiss Jagadeesan and Washington Sundar (0), which could be called the turning point of the game.

Murali Vijay, another India international, who turned out in the last game missed the rubber due to a niggle.

Time to step up

“I think we were 20-25 runs short. They won the match in the 49th over being eight down, a wicket could have made a difference too. It was not easy for us to bat in the morning; it was holding a lot more. When spinners bowled, it was gripping a lot more. There were a few wickets lost to loose deliveries. As batsmen, we need to take responsibility and bat long. We have done that before,” Shankar, who also took a wicket (that of Lad), added. Shankar wants his boys to take a leaf out of their performances last  year and do an encore. “We have been successful last year, we won both Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy. The tournament is not over and we need to keep winning games.”

Ashwin – the leggie

Ranjane, who won the match for Mumbai, seconded Shankar on the nature of the wicket. “It was not easy to bat at all, especially with a spinner like Ashwin in their team. I played him for the first time and I found it difficult. The wicket was assisting the spinners and he is an experienced bowler. Due to the wicket, one ball turned and the other didn’t, so it wasn’t easy to go for the big shots. We didn’t experiment against his bowling,” he said. Talking about the edge which Jagadeesan couldn’t grab, he added, “It was a thick edge, but it was difficult for the ‘keeper too. I was lucky. The title is still far away and we need to win three more games. We want to win all three and boost our confidence.”

Brief Scores:

At MRF-Pachaiyappa’s: Rajasthan 266 for eight in 50 overs (Amit Gautam 31, Aditya Garhwal 40, Chandrapal Singh 71 n.o., Rahul Chahar 30, Aniket Choudhary 31 n.o., Amogh Desai four for 41) lost to Goa 267 for seven in 49.5 overs (Sagun Kamat 38, Keenan Vaz 46, Suyash Prabhudessai 59, Darsan Misal 66 n.o.). Points: Goa 4(8), Team Rajasthan 0(0).

At SSN: Tamil Nadu 183 in 49.3 overs (R. Ashwin 41, N. Jagadeesan 31, Dhawal Kulkarni three for 44) lost to Mumbai 184 for eight in 48.5 overs (Shubham Ranjane 59 n.o.). Mumbai 4(12), TN 0(4).

At Murugappa: Gujarat 248 in 49.4 overs (Dhruv Raval 51, Priyank Panchal 65, Bhargav Merai 31, Rujul Bhatt 56, Anshul Tripathi four for 37) lost to Madhya Pradesh 253 for six 45 overs (Naman Ojha 45, Rameez Khan 75, Harpreet Singh Bhatia 76, Piyush Chawla three for 54); MP 4(4), Gujarat 0(0).

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