On the final day of the Group ‘A’ Ranji Trophy encounter between Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh (UP) at the Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadeyar Ground (SNRWD), here, the latter needed 252 runs to register an outright win, while Mumbai needed to get nine UP wickets. Going by the manner in which Mumbai’s bowlers bowled in the first innings, they held a slight advantage. And, on Wednesday, they were on top of their game once again, bowling UP out for 173 to help Mumbai win the match by 121 runs and walk away with all six points.
Speedsters Shardul Thakur and Tushar Deshpande started the day’s proceedings and stuck to a trying line that ensured the UP batsmen never really had it easy. In fact, both bowlers had several appeals turned down. Overnight UP batsmen Shivam Chaudhary and Samarth Singh barely survived the initial onslaught of the Mumbai bowlers. They took the first drinks break of the session without losing a wicket and had, by then, added a further 42 runs to their overnight score of 43-1.
It was only after the introduction of spin that Mumbai got their first breakthrough. Debutante slow left-arm bowler, Aditya Dhumal who bowled magnificently in the match, lured Chaudhary to have a go at a well-flighted delivery and the latter fell for the trap after a patient 50. Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare stumped Chaudhary with ease. The batsman must have rued playing that shot, for he had been batting pretty sensibly until then, playing some decent strokes off his back-foot and rotating strike to ease the pressure off him. That wicket perhaps gave Dhumal the required push as he began to vary his pace intelligently.
The 22-year-old didn’t shy away from tossing the ball up and inviting the UP batsmen to charge at him. In between, he ripped one through, bringing the ball back in sharply. However, his efforts weren’t complemented by luck with many of his appeals turned down by the umpire, some of them looking close even from the media end.
Dhumal found enormous support in slow left-arm bowler Vishal Dabholkar, who is no stranger to such situations. He too kept varying his deliveries, and had about as much luck as Dhumal when it came to convincing the umpire. With both spinners subjecting the UP batsmen to tremendous pressure, it seemed a matter of time before Mumbai found a way through.
Samarth Singh, UP’s No. 3 batsmen, was the next to depart when Dhumal had him caught by Kaustubh Pawar at silly point for 42. Once the two set batsmen -Chaudhary and Samarth were back in the hut -it was curtains for UP, who were 105-3 at that point.
Dhumal added three more wickets to his tally and finished with figures of 20.2-6-53-5, while Dabholkar’s numbers read 21-143-4.
Finally some cheer for Pawar
In the two matches that Mumbai have played here, Mumbai opener Kaustubh Pawar did not have much to show. In the first match against Railways, he was out early in both innings. Against UP, he got just 4 in the first innings, while in the second, he was contentiously adjudged out when he was looking good on 29.
But when the match ended on the fourth day against UP, Pawar finally had something to cheer about, as the 26-year-old pouched four sharp catches – Samarth Singh, Rinku Singh, Umang Sharma and Ankit Rajpoot – in close-in positions (silly point and short leg) off the bowling of Dabholkar and Dhumal.”I enjoyed taking those catches,” Pawar said post-match. “Actually I’m a specialist in those positions. I have trained a lot to able to take those sharp catches,” he added.
GROUP A: At Nagpur (VCA Ground): Baroda 183 & 239. Railways 310 & 113/3 (Saurabh Wakaskar 45, Shivakant Shukla 56; Swapnil Singh 3/39). Railways won by 7 wkts. Railways 6 pts, Baroda 0. At Rajkot (Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground): Bengal 337 & 196/9 (Shreevats Goswami 61, Aamir Gani 45; Washington Sundar 3/29). Tamil Nadu 354 (K Vignesh 34*; Sayan Ghosh 5/123). Match drawn. TN 3 pts, Bengal 1. At Nagothane (Maharashtra): Gujarat 302 & 324/6 decl. (Samit Gohel 104, Parthiv Patel 139 not out). Madhya Pradesh 252 & 176/5 (HS Bhatia 103*, Naman Ojha 52; R Kalaria 3/38). Match drawn. Gujarat 3 pts, MP 1. At Mysore: Mumbai 233 & 286. Uttar Pradesh 225 & 173 (Shivam Chaudhary 50, Samarth Singh 42; Aditya Dhumal 5/53, Vishal Dabholkar 4/43). Mumbai won by 121runs. Mumbai 6 pts, UP 0. Points tally: Mumbai 25 (5 games), TN 20 (6), Gujarat 18 (4), Bengal 16 (4), Punjab 16 (5), MP 10 (5), Railways 9 (6), UP 4 (6), Baroda 3 (5).
GROUP B: At Hyderabad (Uppal): Assam 301& 164/4 (Rishav Das 68; Dhiraj Singh 2/27). Odisha 459/7 decl. Match drawn. Odisha 3 pts, Assam 1. At Vizianagaram: Karnataka 374 & 298/6 decl. Team Rajasthan 148 & 131(R Vinay Kumar 5/54, S Aravind 3/19). Karnataka won by 393 runs. Karnataka 6 pts, Rajasthan 0. Points tally: Karnataka 29 (5 games), Jharkhand 26 (6), Maharashtra 14 (5), Delhi 12 (5), Odisha 12 (5), Team Rajasthan 12 (6), Assam 8 (6), Vidarbha 7 (5), Saurashtra 6 (5).
GROUP C: At Valsad: Tripura 171& 315 (Yashpal Singh 59, A Dey 43; P Vijay Kumar 4/84, Bhargav Bhatt 4/85). Andhra 524/6. Andhra won by an innings & 38 runs. Andhra 7 pts, Tripura 0. At Kanpur: Chhattisgarh 238 & 311/9 decl. (Abhimanyu Chauhan 110, AS Dhaliwal 44; GK Singh 3/64). Himachal Pradesh 314 & 139/7 (Rish Dhawan 41not out; A Mandal 3/51). Match drawn. Himachal 3 pts, Chhattisgarh 1At Mumbai (Brabourne Stadium): Kerala 342 & 268/8 decl. (Rohan Prem batting 60; Saurabh Bandekar 5/74). Goa 286 & 279/5 (Sagun Kamat 151, Swapnil Asnodkar 41, Snehal Kauthankar 41; Iqbal Abdullah 4/66). Match drawn. Kerala 3 pts, Goa 1. At Cuttack (Barabati Stadium): Haryana 502. J & K 262 & (following on) 249/3 (Shubham Khajuria 110, Pranav Gupta 80; Mohit Sharma 3/21). Match drawn. Haryana 3 pts, J & K 1. At Mumbai (Bandra Kurla Complex): Hyderabad 580/9 decl. & 20/0. Services 360 (Md Siraj 3/65, M Ravi Kiran 3/68) & (following on) 239 (RS Gahlaut 59, V Yadav 47, V Hathwala 44; Ravi Kiran 4/32, Md Siraj 3/59). Hyderabad won by 10 wkts. Hyderabad 7 pts, Services 0. Points tally: Andhra 22 (6 games), Haryana 19 (6), Himachal 18 (6), Hyderabad 17 (5), Kerala 15 (6), Tripura 12 (5), Goa 11(6), Chhattisgarh 11(6), J & K 11(6), Services 6 (6).