Ranji Trophy: Shivam Dube's all-round show gives Mumbai upper hand

Shivam Dube's 114 carried Mumbai to 411 before Railways was reduced to 115 for six on the second day of the Ranji trophy Elite `A’ match; Siddhesh Lad missed the century-mark by one run.

Tushar Deshpande celebrates with teammates after getting dismissing Nitin Bhille of Railways at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Shivam Dube fancies himself as an all-rounder. He is one. A century to bolster the innings and then a wicket of Railways’ opener Saurabh Wakaskar capped a fine day for this talented cricketer from the maidans of Mumbai. His 114, after resuming at 35, carried Mumbai to 411 before Railways was reduced to 115 for six on the second day of the Ranji trophy Elite `A’ match at the Karnail Singh Stadium here on Friday.

Ranji Trophy, Day 2: As it Happened
 

The pitch played true. There was hardly any help for the spinners. The seamers continued to toil as Mumbai showed no chance of relenting. Siddhesh Lad, overnight 80, was unlucky to miss his century by one run when he was bowled by left-arm spinner Avinash Yadav.

“There was not much turn and I was in no hurry either to get to the century. It was just that this particular ball landed in the `rough’ and turned. But I am happy Shivam got his century. He showed the responsibility,” said Lad, who admitted he wanted to get to the coveted mark for his father (Dinesh) who was watching from the stands. “He was watching my match after more than two years. I will take him out for dinner tonight,” said Lad.

Dube appears a compact cricketer, well focussed, playing to his potential and without losing his perspective. His self-confessed approach was the trusted one – play the ball on merit and show patience in the middle. But the stats of his batting did not match his style though. His 114 was constructed off 139 balls with 13 fours and four sixes.

“On such pitches you have to be patient whether batting or bowling,” said Dube, who played his part well, coming in at number 7 and leaving only after Mumbai had gained the upper hand to press for a victory on the remaining two days.

Railways’ response to the challenge was timid. The top order, with the exception of Mahesh Rawat (35b, 6x4) and Arindam Ghosh (115b, 5x4) lacked the will and discipline to stave off the Mumbai bowling. “We have the upper hand,” observed Dube, and rightly too.

Railways would struggle to force a draw from this position.