Mumbai restricts Baroda with resilient effort

Mumbai has restricted Baroda to 286 for 9 courtesy of an all-round effort by its bowlers on the first day of a Group A fixture in New Delhi.

Pinal Shah (right) top scored for Baroda with 66.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam (File Photo)

Pinal Shah, Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan strung useful contributions to save Baroda the blushes after it had elected to bat against Mumbai on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy match at the Palam ground here on Thursday.

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Baroda suffered frequent dents but Shah (66), Hooda (46) and Yusuf (41) offered the much-needed resistance to keep the Mumbai attack at bay. Thanks to their efforts, Baroda finished the day at 286 for nine when play was curtailed by four overs due to bad light.

Having scored 89 in the first session, Baroda added 103 in the second when Hooda, Shah and Yusuf showed the right intent with some aggressive strokes. The situation was well assessed by Mumbai seamer Shardul Thakur when he said, “I realised when I came back to bowl my second spell that we had to put in a great effort to stop Baroda from running away to a big score on a track on which batsmen could play their shots and was getting slow. (Deepak) Hooda was playing nearly everything off the front foot and I sought to push him back with a bouncer. We were fortunate that the ball kicked up a bit more and he was caught by Surya Kumar Yadav.”

It was indeed a crucial wicket for Mumbai since Hooda was in excellent nick. Mumbai also gained from the old ball since it did a bit in the second session. “There was some reverse swing that we got in the afternoon but the challenge was to bowl to batsmen who were set. We had to deliver one or two effort balls every over. The team and the situation demanded that. The last session was largely a mental effort when we were pushing to bowl Baroda out,” said Thakur.

From 89 for three, Baroda slipped to 244 for six and lost three more wickets to allow Mumbai breathe freely. Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit appreciated the work of his team, “We are pleased with the comeback after tea when we picked up five wickets. The track demands patience. We need to bat really well tomorrow to be able take control of the match and push for an outright result.”

Shah’s 66 was made off 125 balls with 10 fours while Hooda (88 balls, 4x4) and Yusuf (28 balls, 8x4) scored at a brisk rate. Mumbai was well-served by left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil’s three wickets besides Thakur’s two.