Facing a huge pile of runs — Mumbai declared at 645 for nine — Baroda went to stumps in serious trouble, after losing half its side for 167 on day three of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal knockout match at the Wankhede stadium.
Visiting skipper Yusuf Pathan did not exactly cover himself in glory, departing after top-edging a wild swipe against his counterpart Ajit Agarkar to Dhaval Kulkarni at mid-on.
Pathan’s deputy Ambati Rayudu, however, is at the crease on 10 with the experienced Pinal Shah.
Mumbai, 478 ahead and with two more days of play left, will consider itself rather comfortably placed.
Openers Saurabh Wakaskar (51, 123b) and Aditya Waghmode (53, 153b) had played the new ball with confidence. Waghmode stood out with some fluent drives through the offside in a useful first-wicket stand that yielded 102 in 38.4 overs.
Left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar forced the first breakthrough, getting Wakaskar to edge one to first slip where Wasim Jaffer did well to latch on to a sharp chance.
Kulkarni sent back Abhimanyu Chauhan for nought and then had Waghmode driving against a rising ball, and nicking it to wicketkeeper Aditya Tare. Kedar Devdhar was also dismissed cheaply, setting the stage for Pathan.
Pathan had cut an imposing figure walking out to bat at No. 5. With three wickets gone for 120 in 50 overs, the situation was just right for him to take charge. His impetuosity at the crease has been his undoing in the past.
He flexed his arms straightaway with a flamboyant cover drive off Ankit Chavan, followed by a square drive and pull against Kulkarni to the fence.
Any hopes his teammates may have entertained of a captain-inspired fightback went up in smoke as Pathan’s attempts to go after Agarkar ended in disaster. He made 21 runs off 18 balls.
Earlier, Agarkar made a 52 off 53 before declaring Mumbai’s first innings just before lunch.
The Mumbai skipper walked away a satisfied man at the end of the day’s play, having played his part with the bat and enjoying the additional satisfaction of having sent back his counterpart. With his team staring at the possibility of following on, Pathan, on the other hand, will have two more days to ponder over his shot selection.
Mumbai — 1st innings: Wasim Jaffer b Gagandeep 150, Kaustubh Pawar lbw b Vahora 8, Hiken Shah c Pathan b Bhatt 9, Sachin Tendulkar b Vahora 108, Dhaval Kulkarni c Shah b Vahora 27, Abhishek Nayar c Shah b Vahora 132, Aditya Tare c Shah b Chauhan 64, Ankeet Chavan c Waghmode b Gagandeep 22, Ajit Agarkar (not out) 52, Javed Khan c Vahora b Bhatt 43, Vishal Dabholkar (not out) 0; Extras (b-8, lb-15, w-4, nb-3): 30; Total (for nine wkts. decl. in 204 overs): 645.
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-35, 3-269, 4-286, 5-356, 6-479, 7-533, 8-563, 9-636.
Baroda bowling: Murtuja Vahora 48-13-119-4, Gagandeep Singh 43-7-136-2, Bhargav Bhatt 41-3-128-2, Ketul Patel 38-6-139-0, Abhimanyu Chauhan 19-4-53-1, Ambati Rayudu 6-1-18-0, Aditya Waghmode 9-0-29-0.
Baroda — 1st innings: Saurabh Wakaskar c Jaffer b Dabholkar 51, Aditya Waghmode c Tare b Kulkarni 53, Abhimanyu Chauhan b Kulkarni 0, Kedar Devdhar lbw b Dabholkar 16, Yusuf Pathan c Kulkarni b Agarkar 21, Pinal Shah (batting) 6, Ambati Rayudu (batting) 10; Extras (nb-7, w-1, lb-2): 10; Total (for five wkts. in 64 overs): 167.
Fall of wickets: 1-102, 2-109, 3-120, 4-150, 5-150.
Mumbai bowling: Javed Khan 6-1-17-0, Dhaval Kulkarni 14-6-41-2, Abhishek Nayar 8-2-17-0, Ajit Agarkar 12-6-22-1, Ankeet Chavan 7-0-25-0, Vishal Dabholkar 17-5-43-2.