Mumbai get taste of their own medicine
Baroda bat through the day to frustrate Tare & Co to end day 2 at 374/4, ahead of hosts by 205 runs; Waghmode slams century
Mumbai: Quite often, Mumbai have frustrated their opponents by batting an entire day, if not more, without losing many wickets.
In Mumbai’s historic 500th Ranji Trophy match, it has been reversal of roles as their bowlers found it hard to dismiss the Baroda batsmen, particularly left-handed opener Aditya Waghmode.
Getting a taste of their own medicine, Mumbai managed to take only one wicket in each of the three sessions as Baroda, who have 120 Ranji matches less experience than Mumbai (Baroda are playing their 380th match), were in the driver’s seat at the Wankhede Stadium.
On Day 2 of the Group C clash, Baroda, resuming at 63/1, surpassed Mumbai’s 171 comfortably before lunch. At stumps, Baroda were 376/4, ahead by 205, courtesy a patient sixth firstclass century, and season’s first, by Waghmode (138, 309b, 13x4, 1x6), a delightful 75 (113b, 3x4, 5x6) by captain Deepak Hooda and a watchful 63* by Swapnil Singh.
The day did not begin well for Mumbai. Missing big time was the spring in their step to go out there and making use of whatever help the strip offered in the morning. Their attack began with Abhishek Nayar and rookie leftarmer Royston Dias.
Nayar withdrew in his delivery stride before going back to the top of his run-up. The first delivery of the day he sent down was a no ball. Dias, from the other end, suffered an injury after sending down only five deliveries and was not in action for the entire day.
Mumbai, in order to pick up early wickets, must have begun with their key weapons. Perhaps, Shardul Thakur from one end would have been a better option.
Already down with one frontline bowler, Mumbai could not provide the breakthrough as Waghmode and Vishnu Solanki settled down to a partnership. As the two were within 15 short of a century stand, Solanki for 54 (86b, 9x4) fell in Thakur’s third over of the day an hour into the morning. He steered Thakur’s round-the-wicket delivery into slips, where Suryakumar Yadav completed a smart catch.
Next man Hooda, known to play attacking cricket, has been in the selectors’ eye for a while. Averaging 48.75 in first-class cricket before coming here, Hooda is aware of scoring big runs consistently to climb higher. He made his instincts clear when his first scoring shot was a six over long-on stepping out to Mumbai left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil. The 22-year-old tall right-hander was severe against Gohil that he picked four more sixes off him. His second six, which went over long off, saw Baroda surpass Mumbai’s total 12 minutes before lunch. To the mediumpacers, Hooda glanced them off his pads for runs on the on side.
Hooda rode on luck when on 38, the deflected from the back of the bat off an attempted pull against Thakur was dropped by Aditya Tare. Again, on 51, Tare missed a stumping chance down the leg side off Gohil.
However, Gohil, 22, had the last laugh when Hooda failed to connect well and the onehanded slog took the elevation and not the distance to be caught at deep mid-wicket, presenting the bowler with his 50th first-class wicket and ending the 140-run thirdwicket stand.
Waghmode kept his end tight. In no hurry to score, Waghmode waited for loose deliveries. His timing was attractive like he did against Thakur when a front-foot tap sent the ball racing to cover boundary to bring up his fifty.
The life on the pitch may have faded, making batting easy. The host bowlers tried everything, including the Gohil going over the wicket and adopting an outside the legstump line and the mediumpacers bowling short balls.
The 28-year-old left-hander did not react to anything that was out of harm’s length. He reached his hundred with a three to midwicket off Thakur before tea, seeing off a spell from the right-armer in this second session in which he bowled bouncers and wide of the offstump inviting Waghmode to play at it.
Not tempted, Waghmode settled into another solid partnership with No. 5 Singh. The fourth-wicket pair raised 105 before Waghmode fell late in the evening, edging Shreyas Iyer to Ajinkya Rahane at lone slip four short of his highest first-class score.
Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar reacts as Baroda batsmen Deepak Hooda (R) and Aditya Waghmode (L) run between the wickets duirng the second day of the Ranji Trophy match at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Friday