Mumbai in control of Ranji tie against Delhi

November 18th, 2008 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) Mumbai openers Sahil Kukreja and Wasim Jaffer put their side in a commanding position with an unbroken 149-run stand against Delhi after their spinners dismissed the home side for 295 in the Ranji Trophy Super Division match here Tuesday.By the end of third day’s play at Feroz Shah Kotla, Mumbai were ahead by 184 runs after taking a slender 35 run first innings lead.

Kukreja was batting on 77 (163 minutes, 115 balls,15X4) and Jaffer 71 (163 min, 108 balls, 9X4) when once again the play was called off early due to bad light.

Earlier in the morning, Mithun Manhas (98, 231 minutes, 161 balls, 18×4) and Rajat Bhatia (81, 210 minutes, 130 balls, 13×4) who steadied a rickety Delhi innings Monday after they were down four wickets for 176, continued to bat untroubled on a benign pitch and added another 49 runs to take their partnership to 146.

If it was pacers who took 12 wickets Monday, it was spinners who dominated the third day. The spinners came into operation after 13 overs and snuffed the life out of hosts. Romesh Powar (3-54) struck with the last ball of his first over when Manhas cut him to point only to be latched by Ajit Agarkar, just two short of his century in his 100th first class match.

From there on Delhi’s steep fall began as their batsmen recklessly threw their wickets away. Puneet Bisht survived only two balls before being trapped leg-before by Sairaj Bahutule (3-44) for duck and Sumit Narhwal’s 42 minutes stay was shortened when he was caught by Kukreja off Bahutule.

Bhatia though at one end kept the scoreboard ticking but fell short of partners. He was stumped by wicket-keeper Vinayak Samant after being lured by Bahutule to step out.

However, Chetniya Nanda (11) and Parvinder Awana (20) frustrated the Mumbai bowlers with a 37-run last wicket stand before Powar castled off Awana’s leg stump to ensure his side a first innings lead and three points.

In their second innings, Jaffer and Kukreja batted with flourish and milked the Delhi bowling with their sublime touch. Kukreja took to offensive and came heavy on Awana in the sixth over when he hit him for three consecutive fours. He reached his half century in a similar fashion, hitting the cherry at mid wicket for four off Nanda.

Jaffer, too, played with finesse, hitting some delectable on drives to complete Delhi’s misery. He hit Nanda for two consecutive fours, the second one at the extra cover region brought his 50.

Brief scores: Mumbai first innings 330 all out and 149 for no loss (Sahil Kukreja batting 77, Wasim Jaffer batting 71), Delhi first innings 295 all out (Mithun Manhas 98, Rajat Bhatia 81; Romesh Powar 3-54, Sairaj Bahutule 3-44)

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