Zaheer takes Mumbai closer to 38th Ranji title

January 14th, 2009 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 14 (IANS) Zaheer Khan wrecked the Uttar Pradesh batting Wednesday, picking up seven wickets and taking Mumbai to sniffing distance of the 38th Ranji Trophy title on the third day of the final here.At close of play, Mumbai were 130 for no loss in the second innings with skipper Wasim Jaffer batting on 74 and Vinayak Samant on 53 and extended the lead to 287 at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium.

But it was Zaheer who set up the match for Mumbai with his second five-wicket haul in back-to-back Ranji Trophy finals by bowling out Uttar Pradesh for 245 in the first innings in reply to Mumbai’s 402.

Shivakant Shukla stood solid against the Mumbai bowlers with 99 runs.

Resuming at overnight 91 for three, Shukla along with Parvinder Singh (22) and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (41) showed some resistance but Zaheer proved too hot to handle.

In his second spell with the second new ball, Zaheer took five wickets for 20 runs, and Uttar Pradesh slumped from from 214/4 to 245 all out. However, some of the umpiring decision raised eyebrows.

Jaffer and Samant then easily handled the lacklustre Uttar Pradesh bowlers and reached their fifties to take Mumbai close to yet another title.

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