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

DNA (Delhi) - - SPORT - G. Kr­ish­nan guru.kr­ish­nan@dnain­dia.net

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.

—SAL­MAN AN­SARI/DNA

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

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