Ranji Trophy: Shivam Dube hits century, saves Mumbai the blushes

Shivam Dubey’s knock of 110 helps Mumbai manage a first-innings total of 297; left-arm seamer Arzan Nagwaswalla is the wrecker-in-chief, with five wickets.

Crucial knock: Mumbai’s Shivam Dube celebrates his century on Wednesday.   -  Vivek Bendre

Allrounder Shivam Dube (110, 128b, 8x4, 6x6) scored his second first-class century to bail Mumbai out of trouble in its Ranji Trophy contest against Gujarat, and thereby continued to enhance his reputation. From the opposition ranks, 21 -year-old Arzan Nagwaswalla (five for 78) bowled an impressive spell, becoming a rare entrant to the near-extinct breed of Parsi cricketers.

At the end of of an intense first day on a lively Wankhede Stadium strip, both teams would be ruing missed opportunities.

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Left-arm pacers Nagwaswalla and Rush Kalaria reduced Mumbai to 74 for five in the first session before Dube’s stellar show; Dubey’s vital partnerships with Siddhesh Lad (62, 141b, 7x4) and the tail helped Mumbai recover before it was bowled out for 297 at the stroke of stumps. While Mumbai would be dejected for its middle-order batsmen gifting their wickets away, the Gujarat camp would wonder how the day could have panned out had Rujul Bhatt not dropped Dube early on in his innings.

Green look

With the Wankhede pitch wearing the greenest look in the last three years, Priyank Panchal’s decision to insert Mumbai in after having won the toss wasn’t surprising. With Mehul Patel — the first-choice new-ball bowler — tumbling over the Wankhede dressing room’s step minute before the toss, the onus was on Kalaria to step up. And he did it exceedingly well by pitching the second ball of the match in the perfect channel to entice Akhil Herwadkar into nicking the ball to the wicketkeeper; four overs later, he trapped Jay Bista with a full inswinger.

Arzan Nagwaswalla claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. Photo: Vivek Bendre

 

Suryakumar Yadav and Lad, promoted to No. 3, stabilised the innings, with Yadav looking at his fluent best. With Yadav flicking and driving with panache, Panchal desperately required a breakthrough. Nagwaswalla claimed three wickets in nine balls, all his dismissals caused due to batting errors. Yadav first attempted a half-hearted pull to top-edge it to deep fine-leg; Armaan Jaffer then played across the line too soon, and Aditya Tare was caught in two minds before offering catching practice behind the wicket.

Reprieve

At 74 for five, Lad found an ally in Dube and the duo saw the session off. Soon after lunch, had Bhatt not grassed an edge off Dube’s willow off Chintan Gaja when he was on 14, Mumbai would have been in doldrums at 113 for six. But once he survived, Dube made Gujarat pay with his hitting prowess. All of his eight sixes were aimed between widish long-on and long-off.

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Even though Lad, with a mistimed pull, followed his predecessors in executing poor strokes, vital knocks down the order by captain Dhawal Kulkarni and débutante Dhrumil Matkar helped resuscitate the innings; they ensured Dube reached his milestone and that Mumbai inched closer to the 300-run mark.

Nagwaswalla ended the innings with Matkar’s dismissal to earn a deserving a fifer.

Brief Scores
  • Mumbai 297 in 80.3 overs (Shivam Dube 110, Siddhesh Lad 62, Arzan Nagwaswalla 5 for 78, Roosh Kalaria 3 for 80) vs Gujarat