Ranji Trophy: Mulani, Tare give Mumbai day one honours

Tamil Nadu had Mumbai 129 for five midway through the second session, but Mumbai captain Aditya Tare and Shams Mulani revived their side with a 155-run partnership.

Shams Mulani (left) and Aditya Tare put together a 155-run partnership for the sixth wicket.   -  M. VEDHAN

After two successive defeats, Mumbai needed its batsmen to step up. Shams Mulani (87) and skipper Aditya Tare (69 batting) did just that, their fighting knocks rescuing the team from a precarious 129 for five against Tamil Nadu on day one of their Group B Ranji Trophy match at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium here on Saturday. 

The duo added 155 for the sixth wicket, helping Mumbai gain a slight edge as it finished the day on 284 for six.

Missed opportunity

While the visitors will be happy with the way they fought back, the hosts will rue letting the opponent off the hook.

After Mumbai elected to bat, opener Jay Bista went after the TN pacers in his quickfire knock of 41 off just 48 balls with eight boundaries, including three in an over off K. Vignesh.

RANJI TROPHY - DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS

TN got its spinners in as early as the 10th over, and Sai Kishore delivered, taking the first three wickets. He bowled Bista and trapped Bhupen Lalwani with deliveries that spun into the right-handers.

Sai Kishore then had Siddhesh Lad with a ball that spun away as skipper B. Aparajith took a brilliant diving catch at first slip.

Double strike

Ashwin then struck twice in quick succession in the second session, sending back Hardik Tamore and Sarfaraz Khan, both caught at backward point.

However, Mulani and Tare capitalised on some ordinary bowling from the TN attack thereafter, scoring freely without taking any risks.

The duo never missed an opportunity to hit boundaries, with Mulani showing his wide repertoire of shots — from some crisp cover drives, cuts or pulls, to one that sailed for a six off Vignesh's bowling.

The left-handed Mulani made use of the reprieve he got on 22, when Indrajith dropped a sharp chance at first slip off Aparajith.

At the other end, Tare, who has had a torrid run so far, finally managed to find form as he looked in full control against Ashwin and Sai Kishore. He played some deft sweeps and cuts while making his first half-century of the season. 

In the last two sessions, the TN bowlers looked flat and created no real chances until Ashwin struck in the final over of the day with a delivery that spun sharply, forcing Mulani to edge to slip. It was the second new ball that did the trick for TN, which will be keen to mop up Mumbai’s tail on Sunday.

The scores:

Mumbai — 1st innings: Jay Bista b Sai Kishore 41, Bhupen Lalwani lbw b Sai Kishore 21, Hardik Tamore c Indrajith b Ashwin 21, Siddhesh Lad c Aparajith b Sai Kishore 0, Sarfaraz Khan c Indrajith b Ashwin 36, Shams Mulani c Aparajith b Ashwin 87, Aditya Tare (batting) 69; Extras (nb-7, w-2): 9; Total (for six wickets in 89.4 overs): 284

Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-79, 3-79, 4-95, 5-129, 6-284

Tamil Nadu bowling: Natarajan 22-4-76-0, Vignesh 8-2-36-0, Ashwin 27.4-9-58-3, Sai Kishore 27-7-77-3, Aparajith 4-1-27-0, Pradosh 1-0-10-0

Toss: Mumbai