Ranji Trophy: Mumbai in contention for bonus point

At the end of the penultimate day’s play, Railways, following on after folding up for a paltry 160 in its first innings, was 135 for four, still 50 runs adrift of making Mumbai bat again at the Gangotri Glades Cricket Stadium.

Vijay Gohil Mumbai Team

Mumbai dismantled the remaining seven first innings of Railways in the first 100 minutes of the day   -  M.A. Sriram

Vijay Gohil’s first five-wicket haul was the feature of an 11-wicket day that saw Mumbai still in contention of its first bonus point of the season during its Ranji Trophy Group A tie against Railways.

At the end of the penultimate day’s play, Railways, following on after folding up for a paltry 160 in its first innings, was 135 for four, still 50 runs adrift of making Mumbai bat again at the Gangotri Glades Cricket Stadium.

>SCORECARD

When Mumbai dismantled the remaining seven first innings of Railways in the first 100 minutes of the day, the bowlers would have hoped to repeat the same feat and ensure a grand birthday celebration for captain Aditya Tare, who marked the day with three catches and a stumping.

READ: >Gohil gives glimpse of his talent en route maiden fifer

However, the birthday boy’s reprieve to Saurabh Wakaskar off Balwinder Singh Sandhu early on in the second session, followed by staunch blocking of a reshuffled Railways batting order ensured Railways remained in the game going into the last day.

The first session belonged to the rookie spinner, playing only his fourth first-class game. He first drew Arindam Ghosh forward and beat him in the flight to disturb the woodwork. That was in the sixth over of the day after Railways started the day at 76 for three. Fifteen balls later, Shardul Thakur struck timber with a peach that the other overnight batsman, Nitin Bhille, had no answer to. Later in the same spell, Thakur induced an edge off Ashish Yadav’s willow to leave Railways reeling at 113 for six.

Balwinder Singh Sandhu then ended Railways captain Karn Sharma’s cameo by managing to get one to shape slightly away from the left-handed Sharma and get Tare into play. In the next over, Gohil got his fourth thanks to umpire S. Nand Kishore adjudging Faiz Ahmed leg-before despite the left-hander indicating his bat to the umpire after miscuing a sweep.

Gohil then completed his fifer by enticing last man Deepak Bansal into a lofted shot for Siddhesh Lad to complete a regulation catch running a few yards behind at mid-off.

While Gohil couldn’t repeat his act later in the day as Railways adopted an all-defensive approach, Tushar Deshpande ensured Mumbai continued to dominate with twin strikes to see the back of Ashish Singh and Shivakant Shukla.