Ajinkya Rahane, the captain of Mumbai, had a conversation with his teammates on the eve of a key Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu about approaching a game session by session. At the Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday, Tushar Deshpande took the counsel of his skipper to heart and dominated the first session with a five-for (5 for 37), which allowed Mumbai to limit Tamil Nadu to 144 in the first innings of the match.
Sarfaraz Khan remained unbeaten on 46 to guide Mumbai to 183-6 at stumps on Day One, with a slim lead of 39. Despite the fact that the away team put up a strong fight in the post-tea session, with Aswin Crist’s short-pitched deliveries claiming the wickets of captain Rahane and Hardik Tamore in quick succession, Mumbai was able to advance their score to 183-6.
Deshpande and Mohit Avasthi were able to make the most of the circumstances thanks to Mumbai’s choice to send Tamil Nadu into bat after they won the toss and elected to have their team bat first. Avasthi got his first strike on the fourth ball of the first over he bowled when Tamore caught Sai Sudarshan behind the wicket for a duck. After a few minutes, a misunderstanding between N. Jagadeesan and Sai Kishore led to the latter being run out, which put Tamil Nadu in a difficult position with their score at 5 for two.
The onus was on Jagadeesan and Baba Aparajith, but Deshpande rocked the middle-stump of the latter as the visiting team lost its top-three wickets for a total of 22 runs inside of the first seven overs. However, the Mumbai bowlers did not let complacency to set in as they played their next game after learning from their loss to Saurashtra in their previous match. Deshpande was successful in claiming his third wicket when Jagadeesan played an edge to second slip, where Prithvi Shaw was able to make an easy catch. The run total was reduced to 23.
While Deshpande maintained the fort at one end, Mumbai’s bowling star this season, Shams Mulani, took three wickets for 33 runs and cleaned out Vijay Shankar for 18. This brought an end to the 22-run partnership that had been going on between Pradosh Ranjan Paul and Vijay Shankar.
With Mulani and Deshpande tightening the noose, Tamil Nadu wouldn’t have been able to reach the 100-run barrier if it weren’t for Paul’s courageous innings of 55 runs off of 75 deliveries. Without Paul’s contribution, Tamil Nadu wouldn’t have been able to surpass the 100-run mark. Paul began energetically, with a flurry of boundaries, but with little assistance from the other end, his efforts went in waste as Tamil Nadu innings disintegrated soon after noon. He came in at a time when his side needed some consistency, and he started aggressively with a flurry of boundaries.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Arman Jaffer were removed by first-time bowler H Trilok Nag (2-58) inside the first four overs, which was a tense beginning for the Mumbai team. Nag made his presence known after coming in as a replacement for Sandeep Warrier, who is sick with a fever. Both of Nag’s dismissals were caught behind by the substitute Kavin Ravi, who chipped in for habitual stumper Jagadeesan, who was absent of the field for some time.
A partnership of 67 runs between Mumbai’s skipper Rahane and Shaw allowed the team to gradually get back into the game. The host side was able to put the pressure back on Tamil Nadu thanks to the aggressive play of both of the batsmen until a delivery from Crist played on Shaw after scoring 35 runs off of 33 balls faced. And Rahane, who seemed to be in excellent condition, having struck a few of straight drives to the boundary in his 43-ball-42 knock, was out not long after tea was served. While Rahane was making an attempt to go around Crist, Trilok Nag was able to make a catch at deep point. A little while later, adding insult to injury for Mumbai, Crist bowled another short-pitched ball, and this time Baba Indrajith made the catch at square leg off Tamore.
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