Ranji trophy: Mumbai batsmen continue to falter

Sports News

Shared News| January 5, 2020 8:38:01 am
Karnataka’s Abhimanyu Mithun picked up three wickets in Mumbai’s second innings. (Express photo: Pradip Das)

It was a lesson on how to take advantage of swing and seam movement in bowler-friendly conditions. Karnataka hassled the Mumbai top-order, again, on Day Two of the Ranji Trophy match. Such was the discipline from the visitors at the BKC-MCA ground in Mumbai, that the hosts — which had the likes of India Test match regular Ajinkya Rahane in the squad — was put under constant pressure by the Karnataka pace unit.

The experienced Mumbai top order looked just as vulnerable as they were on the opening day, and was dealt a heavy blow when opener Prithvi Shaw suffered a shoulder injury and was immediately asked to report to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore for further assessment. In his absence, Rahane was forced to move up the order and open the batting with Aditya Tare after Karnataka were bowled out for 218 earlier in the day.

But the Mumbai batsmen showed no improvement from their first innings debacle, where they folded for 194. So much so that Karnataka’s opening bowler, Abhimanyu Mithun’s swing was something they were found wanting against.

Rahane in particular looked uncomfortable from the start, and it wasn’t long before Mithun trapped him leg-before wicket for just one run. Siddhesh Lad came in at number three, hit a boundary, and then scooped back to the bowler, Mithun, who took a decent reflex catch.

It wasn’t just Mithun though who impressed with the ball. His fellow opening bowler V Koushik was equally skilful in his release and ability to swing the ball both ways. He too got into the act and dismissed Tare for six.

With Mumbai losing three wickets for just 12 runs, the attention turned again to skipper Suryakumar Yadav, who rescued his side with the bat in the first innings. But the 29-year-old’s time at the crease was short lived as he was slow to react to a swinging Mithun delivery that nicked his gloves and invited wicketkeeper BR Sharath to take an easy catch.

Mumbai were 26 for 4 and were in dire need of a partnership to steady their second innings. It came from Sarfaraz Khan and Shams Mulani. The duo showed patience and grit to slow down the game.

Khan, who played his first game for Mumbai after a gap of three years, went on to score an unbeaten 53 at stumps.

Brief Scores: (At Mumbai) Mumbai 194 & 109/5 (Sarfaraz Khan 53 batting; Abhimanyu Mithun 3 for 52, V Koushik 2 for 11) vs Karnataka 218.

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