Accumulating runs patiently, Mumbai tried further to break down Baroda’s resolve on day two of their five-day Ranji Trophy quarterfinal at the Wankhede stadium here on Monday.
Abhishek Nayar executed a major part of the task by grafting his way to an unbeaten 122 and his team to a huge first innings score of 524 for six and with four wickets in hand.
The caution on the part of the host is understandable as its bowlers have struggled to run through opponents in the league and with Zaheer Khan also absent.
Baroda’s energy levels fell after chasing the ball around for two days and dropped catches further dented its morale. The beneficiaries were nightwatchman Dhaval Kulkarni and Wasim Jaffer. Yusuf Pathan at first slip grassed an edge by Kulkarni, while Jaffer benefited from Pinal Shah’s lapse behind the wicket.
The Mumbai batsmen were watchful and choosy in their strokeplay. Nayar and the others could not dominate the way Jaffer and Sachin Tendulkar did on day one, making for dreary cricket.
Mumbai’s second day exertions against a deflated attack fetched 252 runs in 90 overs. With three days remaining, the home team was hell-bent on conserving wickets.
Aditya Tare demonstrated Mumbai’s batting depth with a hard-hitting 64, hitting 10 boundaries. Nayar plugged one end and will be the focal point of Mumbai’s hopes till the declaration happens.
The left-hander got behind the line and stroked the ball around in such a determined frame of mind that Baroda will dread the sight of him on the third day.
Pathan, the visiting skipper, appeared clueless again and may struggle to keep his inexperienced bowlers motivated.
For Baroda, Vahora (three for 89) worked the hardest, while Gagandeep got Jaffer.
The scores: Mumbai — 1st innings: W. Jaffer b Gagandeep 150, K. Pawar lbw b M. Vahora 8, H. Shah c Pathan b B. Bhatt 9, S. Tendulkar b Vahora 108, D. Kulkarni c Shah b Vahora 27, A. Nayar (batting) 122, A. Tare c Shah b Chauhan 64, A. Chavan (batting) 17; Extras (b-8, lb-7, w-3, nb-1): 19; Total (six wickets, 180 overs): 524.
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-35, 3-269, 4-286, 5-356, 6-479.
Baroda bowling: M. Vahora 39-11-89-3, G. Singh 36-6-101-1, B. Bhatt 36-3-105-1, K. Patel 35-6-114-0, A. Chauhan 19-4-53-1, A. Rayudu 6-1-18-0, A. Waghmode 9-0-29-0.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy