Pankaj Singh's spirited six-wicket haul restricted Mumbai to 252 in the first innings on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on Friday. The host was 17 for no loss at stumps.

The track had a tinge of grass which was just adequate to help the seamers in the morning and the strapping pacer took the responsibility of shouldering the host attack.

Pankaj quickly found the right line and enjoyed the movement off the pitch. After trapping Mumbai opener Omkar Gurav in front, the Rajasthan bowler changed his end to get more advantage. Sahil Kukreja failed to read the swing and found his stumps in disarray.

Jaffer fails

Sumit Mathur's support from the other end proved crucial. Mathur produced a gem of a delivery to knock off Wasim Jaffer's off-stump even before the prolific run-getter could open his account.

Pankaj provided another breakthrough when he removed Rohit Sharma, who faltered in reading the late-swing. Mumbai took lunch at 103 for four.

Young Deepak Chahar made an important contribution by removing the set Ajinkya Rahane in the third over of the post-lunch session. Rahane was caught behind while playing an out-swinger.

Pankaj varied his line to claim a settled Ajit Agarkar (36) and a promising Iqbal Abdullah to take life out of the Mumbai reputed lower-order.

“They had a long batting line-up, so I had to bowl long good spells to stop them,” said Pankaj on his best season in which he had captured 39 wickets, including four five-for performances, so far.

He said after garnering 33 wickets in the Plate group he wanted to draw everyone's attention by bowling well against a top side like Mumbai.

The visiting team had just two decent knocks from a watchful Kukreja (60, 89b, 151m, 11x4) and a hardworking Abhishek Nayar (60, 135b, 199m, 7x4).

The scores:

Mumbai — 1st innings: S. Kukreja b Pankaj Singh 10, O. Gurav lbw b Pankaj 0, A. Rahane c R. Jhalani b D. Chahar 60, W. Jaffer b Mathur 0, R. Sharma b Pankaj 21, A. Nayar c R. Jhalani b Chahar 60, A. Agarkar c R.R. Parida b Pankaj 36, I. Abdullah c R. Jhalani b Pankaj 6, R. Powar c V. Saxena b Pankaj 25, A. Shaikh lbw b V. Yadav 18, A. Salvi (not out) 0; Extras (b-2, lb-8, nb-4, wd-2): 16; Total (in 81.1 overs): 252.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-40, 3-53, 4-78, 5-116, 6-177, 7-193, 8-216, 9-246.

Rajasthan bowling: Pankaj Singh 22.1-2-64-6, D. Chahar 21-4-77-2, S. Mathur 22-6-67-1, V. Yadav 16-5-34-1.

Rajasthan — 1st innings: A. Chopra (batting) 5, V. Saxena (batting) 12; Total (for no loss in six overs): 17.

Mumbai bowling: Agarkar 3-0-14-0, Salvi 2-1-3-0, Shaikh 1-1-0-0.

Keywords: Ranji Trophy

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