Ranji Trophy: Mumbai picks up three points

Hardik Pandya impressed in the Mumbai-Baroda Ranji Trophy match at the Wankhede Stadium for three days, passed the fitness test and got an early call for the Test series in Australia.

Hardik Pandya, who damaged his lower back during the Asia Cup tournament in mid-September, returned to action after nearly three months.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Hardik Pandya impressed in the Mumbai-Baroda Ranji Trophy match at the Wankhede Stadium for three days, passed the fitness test and got an early call for the Test series in Australia.

The Baroda all-rounder, who damaged his lower back during the Asia Cup tournament in mid-September, returned to action after nearly three months.

The 25-year-old could have played a game-changing role for his side on the fourth day of Elite Group A match, but after bowling four overs in the morning, Hardik played no further part in the contest.

READ| Hardik Pandya traveling to Australia, says Baroda captain

Devdhar clarifies

The Mumbai team was clueless as to why an important rival player left the field. The Baroda captain Kedar Devdhar said after the match was called off that Hardik was going to Australia and will not be available for the next league match against Railways starting on December 30.

Reliable sources told Sportstar that Hardik left the field because he had to complete paperwork for his departure to Australia.

With Baroda deprived of a key player, Mumbai, floundering at 20 for two, recovered to make 307 for seven off 84 overs when the captains decided to end the match before the start of the 15 mandatory overs.

In the pre-lunch session on Monday, the home team lost skipper Siddhesh Lad and Shreyas Iyer by the 27th over and things could have turned Baroda’s away had Devdhar had the option to deploy Hardik.

READ| India vs Australia: India needs to defy numbers to win Perth Test

Recovery

That was not to be and from 75 for four, Mumbai recovered through a doughty knock from debutant Vikrant Auti and left-hander Shivam Dube (76, 60b, 3x4, 7x6) who hammered left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh for four sixes on the on-side and and one over long-off (the third of the five-in-a-row effort).

Dube, who moved from 45 to 75 in the space of five balls, saw the sixth ball from Swapnil go wide. He perished nicking seamer Rishi Arothe to the keeper.

Read| India vs Australia: Shami shines but India on brink of defeat

After Dube’s fall, Mumbai added 12 more runs and declared its second innings, which also brought an end to the match.

Mumbai got three points from the drawn match and now has to win against Saurashtra, Chhattisgarh and Vidarbha to make it to the knockout stage.

At Mumbai: Mumbai 465 & 307 for seven decl. in 84 overs (Vikrant Vilas Auti 42, Shubham Ranjane 64, Eknath Kerkar 56 n.o., Shivam Dube 76) vs. Baroda 436; Points: Mumbai 3(8), Baroda 1(14).