Sports Reporter

ROHTAK: Dhawal Kulkarni’s two-wicket burst after the visiting batsmen’s dogged effort put Mumbai in a comfortable position in its Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match against Haryana at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Stadium, Lahli, here on Friday.

In reply to Mumbai’s first innings total of 400, the home team was 34 for two with Rahul Dewan (20 n.o) and Manav Sharma (six n.o) putting up a brave fight at the close of the second day’s play.

Restrained

On the slow track, the defending champion’s first aim was to ensure a big total on the board. So, both overnight batsmen — Ajinkya Rahane and Ramesh Powar — were uncharacteristically restrained in their approach.

An hour before the lunch break, Rahane fell in his attempt to drive Joginder Sharma. Sachin Rana, posted at gully, completed the formalities. Rahane’s knock, lasting nearly eight hours, was studded with 16 boundaries.

In extremely cold and windy conditions, Haryana pacers put up a disciplined performance even as Powar and the remaining Mumbai batsmen continued to build the innings laboriously.

The touring side scored just 68 runs off 35 overs in the first session and 75 off 28 in the second.

The stocky Powar struck six fours, mostly off straight drives, to reach his 16th first class half-century (53, 191b). His sixth and eighth-wicket partnerships with Rahane and Iqbal Abdulla were worth 57 and 53 runs respectively.

Abdulla, hitting seven boundaries in his unbeaten 45, was the key man to take Mumbai to the 400-run mark.

“It is not easy to score runs on such a slow wicket. The match may be decided on the first innings scores. So we tried to get as many runs as possible,” Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer said.

Consolation

Haryana captain Amit Mishra, who worked hard for almost two days, finally had the consolation of claiming two tailenders. Sachin Rana added one to his three-wicket haul on day one.

Mumbai’s Ajit Agarkar and Dhawal Kulkarni stuck to perfect lines to test the host batsmen. Kulkarni was in good rhythm to spark hopes for his team.

The scores:

Mumbai — 1st innings: S. Kukreja c Dewan b Budhwar 5, S. Marathe lbw b J. Sharma 6, A. Rahane c Rana b J. Sharma 143, W. Jaffer lbw b Rana 19, R. Sharma c Dewan b Rana 0, A. Agarkar lbw b Rana 78, R. Powar c Sunny Singh b Rana 53, V. Samant c Saini b Rawat 13, I. Abdulla (not out) 45, D. Kulkarni c Saini b Mishra 4, U. Salvi c Rawat b Mishra 11, Extras (b-9, lb-12, nb-1, wd-1): 23; Total (in 159.4 overs) 400.

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-17, 3-55, 4-55, 5-229, 6-286, 7-309, 8-364, 9-380.

Haryana bowling: Joginder 34-9-89-2, Budhwar 31-8-94-1, Rana 36-13-72-4, D. Singh 13-2-40-0, Amit Mishra 40.4-15-74-2, Rawat 4-0-10-1, S. Sharma 1-1-0-0.

Haryana — 1st innings: N. Saini lbw b Kulkarni 4, R. Dewan (batting) 20, Sunny Singh c Kukreja b Kulkarni 0, Manav Sharma (batting) 6, Extras (lb-1, nb-3): 4; Total (for two wkts. in 18 overs) 34.

Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-9.

Mumbai bowling: Agarkar 6-2-14-0, Kulkarni 7-2-8-2, Malvi 4-1-11-0, Powar 1-1-0-0.

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