Convincing win for Mumbai

Mumbai Nov. 10. Mumbai grabbed its first four points of the new Ranji Trophy season recording a convincing five-wicket win against Baroda in the Elite Group `A' match at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.

The defending champion pressed for victory right from the first over of the day, sustained pressure and eventually reached the fourth innings target of 160 in 36. 2 overs. Losing two early wickets did not deter the home team from approaching the target, instead opener Wasim Jaffer, found his touch to remain undefeated on 86 with eleven 4s.

It was seamer Avishkar Salvi who provided the breakthroughs in the first over of the morning removing left-hander Tushar Arothe and Nayan Mongia. He had gone wicketless on Sunday, but suddenly found himself in line for a hat trick, but the absence of a fielder at cover prevented him from scalping Rakesh Patel who had played uppishly.

The possibility of a Mumbai victory brightened after Salvi trapped Ajit Bhoite leg before. Thereafter Rajesh Pawar defied for more than two hours before Salvi returned for his second spell after lunch, took the wicket of Pawar to give sufficient time and overs for his side to look for a win.

Mumbai lost opener Vinayak Mane and Nihit Shetty in the first spell bowled by Irfan Pathan (Sr), but the experienced Jaffer took control of the proceedings, dominated the Baroda spinners Bhoite (off-spinner) and Pawar (left-arm), who together conceded 99 runs in nearly 21 overs.

Jaffer played for two and a half hours to steer his side to a comfortable win.

The first Ranji match turned out to be highly rewarding for Salvi who took nine wickets. He was never wayward and without really bending his back, bowled accurately to make a successful return to competitive cricket after suffering a hand injury during the first Test between India and New Zealand in October.

The scores: Baroda 213 and 270 (Satyajit Parab 121, Connor Williams 50, Avishkar Salvi four for 61, Nilesh Kulkarni four for 69) lost to Mumbai 324 and 160 for five. — Our Special Correspondent

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